The hardest part of that week was trying to maintain some semblance of normality in every other aspect of my life. I tell this story for one reason: to highlight the incredible resilience of those living on the streets. I was fortunate. My experience was fleeting, and yet, that brief stint of not having a place to call home impacted me greatly.
Creating capacity in municipal governance isn't really something the elves can build and throw in Santa's toy bag. It will take politicians and citizens committed to a superior democratic structure to make this one happen. It would be the best Xmas ever if Alberta embraced this exceptional opportunity to craft a truly democratic society.
Calgary technology trailblazers Decoder has introduced Remixes, a free iOS app that makes it easy for music lovers to find and listen to remixes and covers of the songs in their music libraries. Users select a song and the app searches SoundCloud for available remixes and covers.
It is with a heavy heart that I sit to write this, because it was inspired by a recent incident in Calgary. In that incident a homeless man was eating in a local restaurant, having had a meal paid for by others. The story is a bit murky, but apparently he became a bit disruptive, and an employee at the restaurant asked him to leave. While I understand asking any disruptive patron to leave it was the words apparently used that troubles me. The employee told him to leave because he was dirty, smelly, and "looked offensive".
We'll drive, copilot, change the tunes, serve up the beverages, adjust the heat and ensure government doesn't fall asleep... but someone has to open the doors so we can get in the car. Unlock the doors of government and let citizens in, that is the mantra of imagineCalgary, now firmly in the hands of hardened bureaucrats. The language of imagineCalgary is not their mother tongue and they are struggling with just the basic translation, let alone the incredibly lofty and epic targets found within the imagineCalgary tome.
While one might think, this is a creative way to build a school, and it is, the democratic process needs to be followed. It must be viewed through the lens of equity in Public Education. Information needs to be transparent if the public is expected to support it.
What an incredible evening was had at The CORE Shopping Centre's 'Twas The Night Private Shopping Party! The downtown Calgary mall was chockful of incredible music performances, fashion shows, pyrotechnics and most importantly, amazing deals at many of the shops.
What an exciting time to be a political addict in Canada. Who says Canadian politics is boring? People who aren't paying attention, that's who. First, the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was removed from office. Second, we find out that Mark Carney got headhunted to the U.K. And elections, you know, the best sport ever? There were three! And they weren't boring, at all.
The Argonauts and Stampeders will battle it out on the gridiron for CFL supremacy on Sunday, but which of the finalists in the 100th Grey Cup game hails from a better city for travellers? Vacay.ca looked at how Toronto and Calgary stacked up against each other in seven categories. Here are the results...
The most exciting by-election on Thursday is in Calgary Centre, where polls indicate a three-way race between the Conservatives, the Liberals and (deep breath) the Green Party. So if you live in Calgary Centre and are an NDP voter, a Green voter, a Liberal voter, then I suggest you consider yourself, first and foremost, a progressive voter.
For every dollar Canadians pay in taxes, just eight cents ends up with municipalities, arguably the level of government delivering the services deemed most important to citizens. No wonder Canadian mayors are on a constant mad dash for more cash. It feels like they are on a treadmill, going nowhere very fast.
If there was any confidence that Alberta's government would avoid imitating the failed policies of other provinces -- think of Quebec and Ontario and their massive debts -- that faint hope for continued Alberta exceptionalism was kiboshed at the recent Progressive Conservative convention in Calgary.
The latest numpty move by the Kensington business association (BRZ) calls into question why these member-driven organizations still exist. They are there to serve their members, not the best interest of the neighbourhood or public at large. The Kensington BRZ is demonstrating this beautifully. First it banned food trucks from Hillhurst and now it has stopped Market Collective from holding its Christmas fair for three weekends in December, at a time when demand is high for locally made gifts, rather than those made in China, which proliferate Kensington gift shops.
Increasingly, the planet's population is becoming urbanized and cities are where the action is. Cities with the ability to attract human capital will prosper. Hence, more and more, the role of municipal governments will be to do more than simply ensure that the garbage is picked up and that roads are paved.
From a progressive's point-of-view 1 Calgary Centre is ambitious, commendable, daring, timely and incredibly brilliant. From a conservative perspective, it is a nightmare. But will it work?
Diwali, also known as the "Festival of Lights," is a time-honoured Indian cultural festival. It is a tradition that conveys a universal message of hope and peace that transcends all borders and faiths. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring community together and to celebrate our diversity. It's one example of the many cultural celebrations available to Calgarians throughout the year and I am always thrilled when I participate, because I come away with such a feeling of pride and hope for our future.