By Sydney Fream
Do you know where all your food comes from? What per cent of it is local? What would happen if this Region became fully dependent on importing food?
Harvey Buckley is one of the founders and current president of Action for Agriculture, an organization devoted to improving and maintaining Alberta’s food sustainability.
Listen as Harvey connects food sustainability and Alberta’s food dependance. He explains how our province will lose its food independence if we become a net importer of food.
Through proposed changes to the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP), the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) continues to build relationships and improve collaboration with Rocky View County and the M.D. of Foothills.
A look back
Back in March 2013 the Calgary Regional Partnership entered mediation with the M.D. of Foothills and the Rocky View County (see our previous post). It was an attempt to resolve some outstanding issues surrounding the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP). The mediation concluded at the end of July 2013 and a mediation report with recommendations was sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. (Read why the Plan is essential to the Calgary Region)
Significant progress was made involving all parties at the mediation table (see here and here).
On March 13, 2014 the Minister sent back a letter that:
- Provided provincial support of the mediation process
- Recognized the desire of CRP to remain a voluntary organization and enshrine the Metropolitan Plan in legislation.
- Encourage the CRP to implement the results of the mediation.
The Letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs:
The Calgary Regional Partnership’s booth at Chestermere’s Winterfest
The potential for transit in the Chestermere area is being studied by the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP). Included in that transit feasibility study is a public engagement process (chestermeretransit.ca) which provides an opportunity for residents in Chestermere to provide their input and feedback on their travel needs and patterns.
As part of the engagement effort, CRP attended Chestermere’s Winterfest in January. We asked people to tell us about where, when and how they travel locally, regionally, and to and from Calgary. The CRP also provided an update to Chestermere Town Council about the public engagement, gathered feedback and let them know about future public engagement events.
A total of 16 feedback forms were completed and an additional eight people asked to receive the feedback form electronically. Here’s what we heard:
Alberta is looking to to build a world-class transportation system over the next 50 years. With an anticipated growth of 1.8 million people in the Calgary Region over that time frame, conversations must be had to answer the following questions: How will all these people be able to travel? What type of jobs will they have? Where will they live? Will they have enough water? A safe, sustainable and innovative multi-model transportation system will help provide answers.
Representatives from the Government of Alberta were in the town of Cochrane as part of on-going engagement sessions across the province. The engagement outcomes will help develop a 50-year transportation strategy. Government of Alberta Executive Director Ross Danyluk explains how the various partners and stakeholders will be involved:
There is a significant infrastructure-deficit across Canada. From new ones desperately needed by municipalities to existing ones that require renewal. They include water and wastewater treatment facilities, schools, hospitals, recreational centres, roads, highways and the list goes on.
Report after report state the dangers of lacking infrastructure in communities and the tremendous cost to build. All levels of government have made (and will continue to make) significant infrastructure investments (examples: here, here, here) totalling billions of dollars yet the deficit persists. Perhaps there needs to be a different approach. The Van Horne Institute (VHI) may have an answer.
A recently published VHI report shows the potential for Infrastructure Banks or “iBanks” to address the infrastructure deficit. iBanks are corporate entities that raise capital from public, private or mixed public-private sources and then invest that capital in many types of infrastructure projects . iBanks would be arms-length Crown Corporation managed by a board of experts similar to those that manage P3Canada.
Peter Wallis, CEO and President of the Van Horne Institute, describes Infrastructure Banks (iBanks):
Building a prosperous Calgary Region starts from pivotal work done by the Calgary Regional Partnership’s (CRP) Steering Committees. They are made up of elected officials from all member municipalities and meet every other month. These committees, along with their staff committee counterparts, form strategies and implement plans that have significant impact to the Region. They just had their inaugural meetings since the municipal elections in October 2013. These meetings had many new faces and brimmed with anticipation of future work. (Also check out our governance page to see how the steering committees are integral to CRP)
Here’s an update:
The Netherlands Trade Delegation and The Calgary Regional Partnership share ideas on regional and international transportation.
The Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) joined The Van Horne Institute and Calgary Economic Development in welcoming members from the Netherlands Trade Office for a round table discussion last week. The focus was to develop the transportation & logistics sector that will contribute to the Calgary Region’s economic growth. Colleen Shepherd, Executive Director of the CRP, spoke about what the Region there to gain and learn from the Netherlands Metropolitan Region.