Calgary city council: 3 things to watch at today's meeting
Nenshi sings, fast-tracking Green Line and stopping sewage trucks
There will be a little bit of light-hearted theatre at Monday's city council meeting (see below). But there will also be a more emotional moment.
If you ever watched the Hollywood movie The Devil's Brigade on late night TV, you know loosely the story of a truly unique Canadian-American unit of soldiers who made things miserable for the Nazis in Italy and France in the Second World War. Given the 70th anniversary of VE Day this month, city council is going to recognize the two surviving local veterans from the First Special Service Force on Monday. There will be pride and probably also a few tears in the chamber.
1. He can act — but can he sing?
Mayor Naheed Nenshi made a bet with his counterpart in Anaheim on the outcome of the Flames/Ducks playoff series and... it didn't go well. So now it's time to pay up. Nenshi has to wear a Ducks sweater (ugh!) and belt out his version of Let It Go from that Disney epic "Frozen".
An amateur thespian, Nenshi has admitted he's terrified of singing in public. On Monday, we'll see whether that terror is justified. It will happen at the start of the meeting so watch via live feed on the city website if you are curious.
2. Converting the Green Line
Plans are in the works for the Green Line, a mass transit line which would stretch from Calgary's northern outskirts to the deep south, past the South Health Campus. The original vision was for it to be a dedicated busway which could later be converted to an LRT line.
Now one of its biggest boosters, Coun. Shane Keating, is asking city council to go LRT from the start. Given a new transit-supporting NDP government in Edmonton and a federal government hoping to create a national transit strategy, Keating thinks big money is possible from the other orders of government. It brings to mind the old line about if you're going to dream, dream big. In this case, $5 billion ought to cover it to build the 40 kilometer-long Green Line.
3. Stop the sewage trucks
Municipal politics sometimes isn't so beautiful. Many Calgarians might be intrigued to know that every year, 31 million litres of raw sewage from homes just west of the city goes across the Glenmore Causeway — which happens to span a good chunk of the city's drinking water supply.
Coun. Keating wants the city to start negotiating with the County of Rocky View to hook up as many as 121 houses in Elbow Valley West to the city's water/sewer lines. Given sometimes awkward relations with the neighbours, Keating is hoping council members can hold their noses long enough to ink a deal to provide the service and park the trucks.