2020 City Budget Campaign: Building on our Strength.

Join us for this year's city budget campaign which is focused on building on our strengths as a city.  There is great pressure to cut the services that make Calgary strong and resilient. Things like transit and our community supports. Our Police have made good initial steps in how they address Truth and Reconciliation through the Indigenous Liason Officer Program and Mental Health through the Police and Crisis Teams (PACT). To have the impact our City needs these programs need to be expanded. 

October 19th - Call to Action

On October 19th, Calgary City Council will debate the development of an additional 11 neighbourhood developments at the city’s edge. City administration calls these new developments “business cases” -they are new communities and new land that is in addition to the land approved in 2018 for 14 new communities.  The problem is that when our City Council approved the original 14, the city’s own administration identified the need for  8 new communities at most. 

As an Alliance, we are concerned about this because it will impact the city budget and because it will take money away from services for existing communities.  Each new community requires considerable expenses upfront that are not recuperated until these communities are filled. For example, the original 14 new communities will cost $330 million spanning from 2019 to 2022, 55 million of this will come from our property taxes – that is money that could be spent on affordable housing, improving transit etc. 

Quite simply, City Council should not cut services that Calgarians depend upon while citing financial challenges, particularly when, a few weeks prior, they also approved spending money on developing neighbourhoods that are in excess of what the city needs. 

As an alliance, we do not have a position on development. However, what our leaders are concerned about, is how these communities will result in further urban sprawl, which makes our city less energy efficient, less financially efficient and our transportation system less effective. It is not wise to be building new rooms in our shared house, in the midst of a financial crisis.

For more information about these new communities please visit:




Call to Action

In response to this, we are asking you to do these three things. 

1. Speak before City Council - On October 19th, we are asking our members to speak to City Council and request that the City Council not approve these business cases/new communities, particularly if there is any short or long term cost to the city. Instead, we ask that Council direct these resources towards services that will make our city stronger. Please let us know if you are willing to speak. We will be happy to provide you with talking points and coaching if needed. You can let us know by contacting Ryan at ryan@calgarycommongood.org. Please, also register to speak by emailing the city clerk at: publicsubmissions@calgary.ca.

2.Write or phone your City Councillor - If you are unable to present before City Council; please email your city councillor. See below for the appropriate email address and key points to include in your email or phone message.

3. Post to social media - Use the hashtag #yyccc and include your city councillor (see list below for your councillors’ Twitter information). This will be especially important on October 19th, however posts prior to this date also have an impact. You can write your own message and/or share posts from the Alliance’s social media accounts which can be found on Facebook and Twitter @CommonGoodYYC

How to Speak before Council:

  • Send an email to this email, publicsubmissions@calgary.ca , and let them know your name and what (if any) group that you are representing - this is for the meeting minutes. If you’re sending an email on behalf of a few people, please have them CC’d on the Request to Speak email.
  • If you have a presentation you’d like to show, please send it via email. It is much preferred that the presentation be sent ahead of time; however, the morning of the meeting is also acceptable.
  • When it is your turn to speak, the Committee will call upon you and you’ll have 5 minutes to speak.
  •  If you have a presentation, the Clerks will display it in the Council Chamber and will advance it (just say ‘next slide’).
  • You can watch the meeting online at calgary.ca/watchlive.
  • Any member of the public wishing to make a written submission, may do so using the public submission form at the following link: Public Submission Form. 

Key Points 

(Note: When preparing emails, letters, phone calls or presentations before council – please choose the ones below that speak to your interests and the interests of your councillor if you know your councillor’s interests.)

  • I am asking you to vote against approving additional land for development that will have any cost; short or long-term, to our city at this time. Please consider prioritizing spending on strengthening our existing communities, instead of spending on developing communities that people won’t live in for years. 


  • Instead of spending on developing new land I am asking you to invest in_____ (options include: improving public transit, investing in our recreation centres, enacting the climate resiliency strategy, affordable housing, developing more community hubs. Expanding the number of PACT (police and crisis teams), increasing the number of Indigenous Liaison Officers, etc. )


  • The administration has already recommended against building these communities. Why would the Council go against the recommendations of those who have studied this closely? Council needs to follow the Municipal Development Plan it has already approved. 


  • Please do not approve new land for development when there is already an oversupply of land set aside for development.  There are already 2,600 hectares of land in excess beyond trends in housing and population growth. This is enough for 14 year’s worth of new detached and semi-detached homes and 24 year’s worth of other residences. 


  • These new communities will have a significant financial cost for all of us. While developer levies are supposed to cover the cost of new developments, there is no indication that this is actually true. This means that the cost will have to be borne by the rest of the city. The 14 new subdivisions already approved are estimated to cost over $330 million from 2019 to 2022, with $55 million to be paid from property taxes.


  • If we continue to build out instead of up, this will create a long-term financial imbalance for our city. These new developments push us further from achieving the City's Municipal Development Plan (MDP) goal of growth in 50% new communities and %50 existing communities. This failure will result in $16.6 billion in additional capital costs over 60 years and additional annual operating costs of $390 million by 2070. 


  • Urban sprawl comes at a high cost and not just in financial terms.  Libraries, policing, fire and social services become stretched with urban sprawl. It comes at a high cost in terms of time added to commutes,  unworkable transit routes, destruction of natural infrastructure, such as wetlands drained, forests bulldozed, and prairie paved over, all the while increasing our greenhouse gas emissions. 


  • Unoccupied new home inventories and rental vacancy rates are rising. People are leaving Calgary. Adding more supply while demand is dropping, will cause home prices to drop by an estimated 10-24% by 2022. Families will be left owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, while builders undercut them with cheap houses in the suburbs. 


  • Instead of urban sprawl, keeping Calgary compact will help the city build walkable neighbourhoods centred around good transit, with shops and offices close by -- creating the kind of neighbourhoods that attract new businesses and young people to our city. 


  • When you are in a financial crisis and looking at budget cuts, it is not the time to put money into building new rooms for your house. 

Contact Your City Councillor







Naheed Nenshi




Ward Sutherland




Joe Magliocca




Jyoti Gondek *




Sean Chu




George Chahal




Jeff Davison




Druh Farrell




Evan Woolley




Gian-Carlo Carra




Ray Jones




Jeromy Farkas




Shane Keating




Diane Colley-Urquhart




Peter Demong



Calgary Alliance for the Common Good


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