Davison, Farkas want to limit number of Calgary council members going to Halifax conference
Wards 6 and 11 representatives say 'excessive spending' on travel should be cut during economic downturn
Two Calgary councillors have filed a notice of motion to limit the number of city officials attending a taxpayer-funded trip to an annual conference later this year.
A notice of motion, filed by Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Davison and Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas, is asking council to reconsider a decision to send all 14 councillors to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference in Halifax from May 31 to June 3.
In a release, Davison says the registration fees for the conference are between $845 and $1,180 per person, not including airfare, hotels, food and other accommodations.
I have filed an urgent business notice of motion related to excessive spending on external conferences. Calgarians are facing the worst economic downturn in a generation, and we need to show leadership by cutting down on excessive spending. Co-sponsored by <a href="https://twitter.com/JeromyYYC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JeromyYYC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yyc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyccc?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#yyccc</a> <a href="https://t.co/x9sT19NFm7">pic.twitter.com/x9sT19NFm7</a>—@JeffDavisonYYC
He says council should "show leadership" during the economic downturn and limit the Calgary delegation to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, council's FCM board director, Coun. Joe Magliocca, and three other councillors, chosen by a random draw.
"Everybody wants to go to conferences like this," Davison told CBC News. "They're always nice to attend. It's always great to get together with your peers across the country and discuss various issues. However, we are in a tough economic time and what's the value there for the taxpayer?"
The motion, which will be debated next week, is also calling for similar spending restrictions on "all future conferences attended by councillors occurring at the taxpayers' expense."
If the motion passes, council members who go to the Halifax conference will have to report publicly on the value of going on the trip.
With files from Scott Dippel