In our first 7 years, we've made amazing progress toward an even better Calgary!
Harnessing the energy and ambition of our city, we have been able to make huge strides, ensuring that every Calgarian has access to great opportunity, prosperity and quality of life - all while having the lowest residential property taxes in the country.
I'm proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the past 7 years. These accomplishments however are building blocks of what we need to continue doing, ensuring that Calgary continues to be a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life.
Over the past seven years, Calgary Transit has developed a long-term strategic plan, implemented several new routes, constructed four bus rapid transit (BRT) lines and improved the customer-service experience. Substantial work has also been completed on the Green Line, a new LRT line and the most expensive infrastructure project in Calgary’s history. Mayor Nenshi’s leadership and his understanding of the transit system has resulted in better service for citizens.
- Funding & construction of the Green Line Light Rail Transit (“LRT”) Stage 1
- The planning & development of the vision of the Green Line LRT at full build out
- Purchase of new Light Rail Transit Vehicles (“LRVs”) & phase-out of the old original U-2s
- Four Car LRTs & upgraded LRT Platforms
- North Crosstown Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”)
- South Crosstown Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”)
- Southwest Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”)
- 17 th Avenue (“International Avenue”) Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”)
- Stoney Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) Bus Storage and Transit Facility
- Adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) Buses to augment fleet of diesel buses
- Creation of the Low-Income Transit Pass
- Implemented the Route 300 bus from Downtown to the Airport
- Scrapped the $3 Park & Ride Fee to park at Calgary Transit parking lots
- All LRT Ticket machines give change and accept debit and credit payments
- Creation and adoption of RouteAhead a 30 year strategic capital plan for Calgary Transit
- Launched the Calgary Transit Customer Commitment & using public data to monitor and make transit more reliable, helpful, informative, easy to use, safer, and cleaner
- Set-up the Calgary Transit Customer Advisory Group (“CTCAG”)
“Investments in public transit are some of the most important investments a government can make.”Naheed Nenshi (December 2016)
A road network that works well is key to a well-functioning city. Mayor Nenshi has encouraged innovation in how we build interchanges, and brought in policies that deal with issues important to Calgarians, such as better snow removal. He understands the importance of these initiatives to the daily lives of citizens.
- Construction of Airport Tunnel & Airport Trail upgrades
- Construction of Glenmore-Ogden Interchange
- Construction of TransCanada-Bowfort Road Interchange
- Construction of Macleod Trail-162 Ave Interchange
- Construction of Crowchild-Flanders Ave Interchange
- Construction of Deerfoot Trail- 212 Interchange
- Construction of Crowchild Trail improvements over the Bow River
- The Twinning of Peigan Trail SE
- Advocacy in support of reaching a Southwest Ring Road
Agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Tsuu T’ina Nation
- Established Microcar Parking Stalls in downtown Calgary in spaces where normal cars do not fit to create new stalls for microcars & carshare vehicles to meet demand
- Adopted new Carshare Parking Policy to ensure fair distribution of parking resources between carshare vehicles and private vehicles in commercial areas.
- Updated the Downtown Parking Strategy first time in 40 years
- Added 539 parking spots in downtown over three years
- 5 th Avenue Lane Reversal
- Uber and all rideshare services licensed to safely operate in Calgary with proper insurance and background checks in place to protect to the public, while providing taxi companies with a more level playing field
- Developed & implemented new Snow and Ice Control system for Calgary’s roads
- Rebuilding of 17 th Avenue SW
“Now is exactly the right time to be building… we’re creating jobs, taking advantage of lower prices, and building critical transportation infrastructure that will reduce congestion on our roads.”Naheed Nenshi (August 2017)
Pedestrians & Cycling
More people are choosing to regularly travel around our city in ways that don’t involve automobiles. It is important that we have infrastructure to ensure a safe journey. Mayor Nenshi has ushered in changes that have made things exponentially safer for pedestrians and cyclists in Calgary.
- Supported adoption and implementation of the Cycling Strategy approved in 2011. To date the projects based on this strategy have been:
- Bridgeland Cycle Track on Edmonton Trail
- 5 Avenue N.W. between 10 Street N.W. and 14 Street N.W.
- Richmond Road S.W. Improvements between 17 Avenue S.W. and 20 Avenue S.W.
- 52 Street N.W. between Home Road N.W. and Bowness Road N.W.
- 10 Street N.W. between 3 Avenue N.W. and 5 Avenue N.W.
- 20 Street S.W. between Langriville Drive and 20 Avenue S.W.
- Northland Drive N.W.
- Northmount Drive N.W. Improvement Project
- Bowness Road N.W. Complete Street (Phase 2)
- Downtown Cycle Track Project
- East Central Bikeway Network
- 11 Street S.E. corridor Improvements
- 53 Street N.W. Bikeway Review
- Creation and adoption of StepForward: Calgary’s first pedestrian strategy in 2016. To date the projects based on this strategy have been:
“The whole point is the research very clearly shows if you make it safer, people will cycle. For every person who is able to do that, that means one less person on crowded C-Train or one less car in a crowded artery.”Naheed Nenshi (May 2015)
The strength of our community lies in the strength of every one of us. Mayor Nenshi has led initiatives that have had a positive impact on the quality of life of citizens in all parts of Calgary.
- Construction of the New Central Library
- Construction of the Rocky Ridge Recreation Centre
- Construction of the Great Plains Recreation Centre & Tournament Facility
- Construction of the Quarry Park Recreation Centre
- Construction of the Seton Recreation Centre
- Established the Community Investment Fund (“CIF”) which provides a permanent fund to support the upgrade & maintenance of city pools, recreation facilities, community halls, etc… like the Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre renovations
- Renovations to Bowness Park & Prairie Winds Park
- Supported the Shouldice Athletic Park Artificial Turf Fields Restoration and Resiliency Project and supported the upgrades to Shouldice Plaza in cooperation with the community
- Expansion of the Calgary Soccer Centre adding 4 additional indoor fields and 3 outdoor artificial turf fields
- Supported construction of the Calgary Indoor Tennis Centre in Acadia by the Tennis Community
- Supported construction of New Brighton Athletic Park
- Supported the planning work for the Foothills Athletic Park (“Fieldhouse”)
- Supported funding for the Lemur Enclosure at the Calgary Zoo
- Supported funding for the Panda Enclosure at the Calgary Zoo
- Advocated on behalf of the Calgary Zoo & City of Calgary for Federal funding to support building the Panda Enclosure
- Constructed the C-Space King Edward School Arts Incubator
- Developed the “Enough for All” Anti-poverty strategy
- Developed the Fair Entry Program – The One-Stop Desk for all low-income services
- Supported approval of Living a Creative Life — the arts development strategy for Calgary stewarded by Calgary Arts Development Authority (“CADA”)
- Construction of St. Patrick’s Island Park
- Development of Haskayne Park
- Completed construction of the new Calgary Film Centre
- Supported Calgary settlement agencies and community groups in the initial arrival and settling of 1300 Syrian Refugees into the community in 2015-2016
- Supported increased funding to FCSS
- Created a $5 million fund to support community not-for-profits work in dealing with increased work load and/or reduced revenue
- Founded Neighbour Day in 2014 to encourage neighbours to get to know one another.
- Founded 3 Things for Calgary
- Founded 3 Things for Canada
- Funded and executed the implementation of the Enough for All strategy to reduce poverty in Calgary.
- Took on a leadership role in fostering Indigenous reconciliation in Calgary through the renaming of Langevin Bridge, the raising of the Treaty 7 flag at City Hall, and passing an Indigenous Policy Framework, the first of its kind among Canadian municipalities
“I go to work every single day and really try to make the community better for people, and in particular for people who don’t feel they have a voice in the community. To me, that’s a really special thing.”Naheed Nenshi (June 2016)
It is essential that every Calgarian has a safe place to call home. With Mayor Nenshi’s leadership and support, both The City and community agencies are making substantial progress in meeting this challenge.
- Updated and passed a new affordable housing strategy for Calgary, Foundations for Home, focused on building more City units, generating existing City units, helping non-profit providers build more units, and advocating to align this strategy with other orders of government.
- In executing The City’s affordable housing strategy, the mayor and council recently approved the most significant sale of City-owned land to affordable housing providers in the City’s history; These first seven sites will yield approximately 350 new homes.
- Oversaw the construction of 2275 new affordable rental units by the City and non-profit housing providers in Calgary from 2011 to 2017. There are currently 345 affordable rental units under construction.
- Made home ownership more attainable for over 800 Calgary families by acting on the board of directors for Attainable Homes, a City-owned non-profit organization working to help moderate-income Calgarians achieve home ownership.
- Established the Housing Incentive Program with $7.4 million allocated under the Community Economic Resiliency Fund to offset development fees, helping non-profit housing providers construct more affordable housing.
“Affordable housing support people of all ages, family compositions, demographics, people who require a safe and stable home and decent place to live as the foundation of being able to participate in community.”Naheed Nenshi (July 2017)
Planning & Development
The City and the development industry used to have a relationship fraught with animosity. By working together to address issues of mutual concern, we are meeting the needs of citizens and developers alike. Mayor Nenshi will continue to advocate for a bigger, bolder City.
- Implemented the Transforming Planning process in 2012 to reform the planning system and that process now evolved into the nextCITY series of initiatives which includes projects like:
- the Main Streets Program
- Transit Oriented Development planning
- Establishing developer fund plans: 6 Area Structure Plans (“ASPs”) were completed by 2015 totaling 4,700 hectare in 11 communities in Calgary (The City has 27 to 30 years of planned land supply) ASPs completed are the Glacier Ridge ASP, the Haskayne ASP, the Nose Creek ASP, and Providence ASP
- Customer service and process improvements
- This work helped inform the 2015-2016 Off-Site Levy Bylaw negotiations with industry which led to the new Off-Site Levy Bylaw (described below)
- New Off-Site Levy Bylaw – Supported by Industry and passed unanimously by Council – Where Greenfield areas cover the full cost of growth by 2018 (Eliminated the Sprawl Subsidy)
- As a result of the Off-Site Levy Bylaw, Industry and City administration developed a comprehensive industry work plan to:
- The East Village nearly built out & development of a Victoria Park Master Plan underway
- New Guidebooks for both Established and Greenfield communities
- New communities automatically zoned for a secondary suites
- Adoption of six-storey wood-frame buildings (previously, wood-frame construction was limited to four-storey buildings) this is an innovative way to make housing more affordable for Calgarians by making it easier and cheaper to build six-story housing complexes.
- $34 million fund established to repair and maintain The City’s inventory of heritage assets including renovation of Historic City Hall
- Preserved the historic McHugh House for public use in Humpy Hollow Park in Beltline
- Improved public notices for development and zoning changes including launching the new, easy to use and understand Planning and Development Map
“We have a tendency to regress to the mean, to build what we’ve built before. We have to be able to let go of that. If we want something new that hasn’t been done before, we have to be bold. We have to be brave.”Naheed Nenshi (April 2017)
Flood Protection & Mitigation
The flood in 2013 changed our city in remarkable ways. Mayor Nenshi’s leadership during that critical time, and his advocacy for more resilient infrastructure has made us a better city. We can meet whatever challenge is thrown our way.
- Established with Council the Expert Management Panel on River Flood Mitigation
- Established a Flood Mitigation Capital Program that includes:
- New Flood Mitigation Barriers
- Program of building Flood Recovery Erosion Controls & Riverbank Stabilization
- Stormwater System Improvements
- Bridge Improvement at 12 Street SE & 9 Ave SE
- Gravel Bar & Bank Stabilization Projects
- Sanitary System improvements in Roxboro & Sunnyside Flood Protection for the Calgary Zoo
- Glenmore Dam Infrastructure Improvements – Upgrade to Dam Gates
- Support the Government of Alberta’s Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir project
- Joined the Rockerfeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program to assist Calgary in developing an Urban Resilience plan to handle future shocks both chronic and acute
- Repeatedly reiterated that the highest capital priority for the City is Flood Mitigation
“As we rebuild, as opposed to the things that are pure resilience, of course we're going to rebuild in a way that is thoughtful, that mitigates against future disaster and damage," he said. "I want to make sure we don't miss one thing, which is the remarkable role of people and the remarkable capacity we have as human beings both to be resilient but also to help our neighbours.”Naheed Nenshi (January 2014)
The way that City Hall operated was out of touch with regular citizens. Under Mayor Nenshi’s leadership, The City is implementing initiatives that make it easier to interact with Calgarians, and which will result in a City that ultimately better serves its citizens
- The rate of yearly tax rate increases dropped from 7.9% in 2010 to 0% in 2017
- Pushed Administration to find $325 million in efficiencies and reductions in the 2014-2018 Budget
- Cut Red Tape Program that saved $14,675,355 & 143,516 hours of Staff & Public’s time
- Transforming Government program implemented to encourage a culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary
- Implemented Zero Based reviews of City Business Units – so far finding over $50 million in annual savings and more efficient service delivery
- Set aside $45 million to set-up the Municipal Non-Residential Phased Tax Program to cap business non-residential tax increases to 5% in 2017-2018
- Change regulations to allow for Food Trucks
- Rebuilt the Planning, Development and Building permits front counter and instituted additional customer service training for staff
- New multi-year budget process with greater community engagement and citizen-focused performance metrics and goals
- Hired a new City auditor and allocated the resources and freedom to do the job
- Implemented a new Audit Committee structure which includes more members of the public, providing greater public oversight
- Consolidated the business tax & the nonresidential property tax – phase in complete by 2019, this makes the city competitive and comparable to other major Canadian cities without a business tax
- Publish more detailed minutes of Council meetings with Council member voting records and video record available online of the meetings
- Council pay now reviewed through the Council Compensation Review Committee, a committee of citizens at arms-length from Council
- Established the Council Innovation Fund to quickly implement pilot projects and experiments in policy and programs
- Reform of the Calgary Combative Sports Commission
- Initiated discussion regarding a City Charter for Calgary, will provide The City of Calgary with greater autonomy, flexibility, power and authority to deliver services to citizens. It will allow The City and the province to define new ways of working more effectively together in a broad range of areas.
- The Citizen Dashboard launched
- Many permits and services now online via ePermits
- Supported, through the Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee, the development of City Hall 101
- Develop a new process to appoint citizens to City Boards, Committees and Commissions
- Established Engage Calgary to facilitate better public engagement on City projects
“Government can’t do it alone. To be successful, we need the involvement of citizens for every step along the way… citizen engagement and feedback as we move forward will ensure we are on the right track and nimble enough to adjust to serve Calgarians better.”Naheed Nenshi (February 2015)
Crime and Safety
The safety of Calgarians is of utmost importance to Mayor Nenshi, and he will continue to work with the Calgary Police Service to ensure that The City is doing whatever it can to assist them.
- Increased the size of the police force over the last several years with 50 new officers hired last year and supported Calgary Police Service’s (“CPS”) continued use of Community Policing
- Increased number of Calgary Transit Officers through funding in 2014-2018 Budget
- Support the continued work of programs like the Multi Agency School Support Team (“MASST”), Calgary Recreation’s Drop-in After School Programs and Youth Justice Services’ Youth at Risk Development (“YARD”)
- Supported the establishment of the ReDirect Program to fight youth radicalization
- Supported the Chief of Police and the Police Commission in their work in ensuring CPS is an open and inclusive police service
- Supported the roll out of naloxone to The City’s first responders to address opioid overdose deaths
- Took a proactive approach to ensure The City will be prepared for the legalization of recreational cannabis
“The Calgary Police Service is better at this than anybody else; that’s why we’re at the safest point we’ve been in generations.”Naheed Nenshi (November 2015)
Municipalities are large consumers of energy, but are also able to influence how citizens contribute to combating climate change. As The City develops its own climate resilience plan, it is making it easier for Calgarians to help the environment. We need a Mayor who understands the importance of working with, not against, the energy industry to make this happen.
- Implemented the Green Cart Program and built the large indoor/outdoor organics composting facility at the Shepard Landfill site. Sixty per cent of our household waste is food and yard waste and composting our organic waste will greatly extend the life of our landfills, minimize the environmental impact our food and yard waste has on our environment, help us reach the City’s goal of sending 80 per cent less waste to our landfills by 2020 and produce valuable compost
- Council approved $35 million to repair and restore the City’s tree canopy in response to the damage caused from the September snow event
- Supported the City’s ten-year Corporate Energy Plan to reduce green house gas emissions, reduce energy usage by the City and improve environmental performance. Specific actions under the plan include: the Green Fleet project, the Electric Vehicle Strategy to support the deployment of lower emissions vehicles throughout Calgary, the Sustainable Building Policy which ensures City-funded buildings must meet or exceed LEED Gold standards, and the retrofit of LED lighting for 80,000 street lights to reduce energy use.
- Construction of the Bonnybrook Plant Cell D expansion, a $714 million wastewater treatment plant expansion to accommodate the City’s future growth
“Rather than an inflammatory conversation pitting energy advocates against environmental advocates, we need to work together, as a community, as a nation, to get this right.”Naheed Nenshi (February 2016)
Mayor Nenshi has ushered in a new era of accountability, accessibility and transparency at City Hall.
- Established the Office of the Ethics Advisor & the Integrity Commissioner
- December 2014 Council approved the Code of Conduct for Citizen Members for the appointed to Council Established Boards, Commissions and Committees which is a new policy to ensure accountability with appointees. Citizen members appointed to Council established Boards, Commissions and Committees will now be held to the same ethical conduct standards as Members of Council and members of City Administration.
- In 2013, Council passed the Mayor’s proposal to create a new Ethical Conduct Policy for Members of Council and the new Gifts and Benefits Policy for Members of Council
- Council adopted the Disclosure Policy for Members of Council, a policy based largely on Mayor’s Office practice. The policy restores (and builds upon) the previous Council practice (from 1972 to 2000) of having Council members disclose their real estate holdings. The policy requires that Council members and their immediate family members disclose their real estate and financial holdings along with any outside employers. The disclosure registry, launched in early 2015, improved transparency and helped to clarify any pecuniary interests.
“This is an important step forward to improve openness, transparency and accountability at City Hall.”Naheed Nenshi (April 2016, on the appointment of Calgary’s first ethics advisor and first independent integrity commissioner.)
Calgary’s economy has experienced significant volatility over the past few years. Mayor Nenshi has worked hard to attract new businesses and jobs to Calgary, while advocating for adequate supports for existing businesses.
- The rate of yearly tax rate increases dropped from 7.9% in 2010 to 0% in 2017
- Set aside $45 million to set-up the Municipal Non-Residential Phased Tax Program to cap business non-residential tax increases to 5% in 2017-2018
- Supported Calgary Economic Development (“CED”) with an additional $7 million over three years to support business attraction and economic growth initiatives
- Supported the creation of the $10 million Economic Development Fund to support initiatives to revitalize downtown and vacant office towers
- Supported construction and operations of the Calgary Film Centre
- Updated the Calgary 10-year Economic Strategy for Calgary, support its 6 areas of focus, and resourced CED ensuring it remains a living document that is implemented
- Attended countless trade missions and hosted delegations to sell Calgary’s story to the world to support economic development and job creation.
- Successfully negotiated that Rocketspace, a Silicon Valley-based tech accelerator, establish Calgary as their Canadian headquarters.
- Continue process of continual process improvements in permits and planning
“Now is the time. Now is the time to foster local businesses. Now is the time to support local entrepreneurs.”Naheed Nenshi (December 2016)
Mayor Nenshi has worked effectively with other orders of government to successfully bring projects that will change the face of our city - like the Green Line, the Southwest Ring Road and City Charters - to reality. Calgary has its best champion in our mayor.
- Advocated successfully with the Province for the 911 Service to remain an integrated service with Fire, Police and EMS all together in one service
- Successfully Advocated for $1.53 billion from the Provincial government for the Green Line LRT Project
- Successfully Advocated for $1.53 billion from the Federal Government for the Green Line LRT Project
- Successful advocacy in support of reaching a Southwest Ring Road Agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Tssu T’ina Nation in 2014.
- Advocated for reform of the Local Authorities Elections Act (LAEA) to change Campaign Finance
- Successfully worked with the Big City Mayors’ Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (“FCM”) for increased Federal investment in affordable housing in decades: $11.2 billion over the next 11 years
- Successfully worked with the Big City Mayors’ Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (“FCM”) for increased Federal spending on Public Transit
- Successfully advocated with the Provincial Government for the development of a City Charter for Calgary
- Successfully advocated for the province to introduce further harm reduction services to address the opioid overdose crisis, including medically supervised consumption services in Calgary.
- Jointly drafted the intergovernmental strategy to reduce opioid overdose deaths working with the City of Vancouver, the City of Edmonton and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (“FCM”) Big City Mayor’s Caucus.
- Advocated to the federal and provincial governments for an appropriate municipal role for the coming legalization of recreational cannabis.