I am proud of Calgary’s history of environmental leadership. But, we have work to do to ensure that City climate action efforts include everyone. If elected, I will fight for ambitious and immediate climate action by the City of Calgary to address the ongoing climate crisis. I will ensure that no one is left behind by City environmental services—even if they live in a condo or apartment.
Calgary Has Shown Environmental Leadership
The City of Calgary has a history of leadership with many environmental and sustainability matters. For example, since 2012 all City operations, including the C-Train, have been powered by renewable energy. Calgary also has the most extensive urban pathway network in North America, with approximately 1000 km of regional pathways. In 2016, City Council approved Calgary’s hugely successful Cycle Track Network, which was built under-budget and led to more people biking.
Recycling and Composting in Calgary Was Too Late and Excluded Apartments For Half a Decade
Apartment dweller hauls her recycling to a city depot in 2013.
Calgary did not introduce blue-cart recycling until 2009, after many other cities. And, even then, condos and apartments were excluded. As a result, Ward 8 residents living in condos and apartments had to haul their recycling to City depots while homeowners had their recycling picked up. Current Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley had to campaign to convince the City of Calgary to mandate mandatory recycling service for condos and apartments by 2015 (6 years after single family homes received this service).
Green-cart composting for single-family homes in Calgary commenced in 2017. Four years later, multi-family units, including townhouses, condos and apartments, have been left behind once again and property owners are responsible to arrange their own compost diversion. I will work to address this inequity.
Calgary’s Clean Energy Bylaw Excludes Apartments
On September 13, 2021, City Council unanimously approved moving ahead with a new bylaw to implement its Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP), which will be up for public hearing and decision later this year. The CEIP bylaw will make it easier for Calgarians to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for their homes, and pay the cost over time through their property tax bill.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades available through CEIP but not available to most condo, apartment and commercial buildings.
But not all Calgarians can benefit from this program. The CEIP bylaw excludes residential buildings over three storeys—virtually all of the many apartment buildings and condominiums in Ward 8—and all commercial buildings.
Excluding Calgarians who live in large condo and apartment buildings from City climate action flies in the face of the evidence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also determined that large buildings like apartments can achieve energy savings of up to 80-90% with upgrades, while the most comprehensive retrofit packages for single family homes achieved reductions in total energy use by 50–75%. Businesses should also be permitted to play their part too—I believe that energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades can be a big part of Calgary’s Downtown Strategy.
We must include all Calgarians in Calgary’s Clean Energy Improvement Bylaw
If elected, I will propose a Notice of Motion calling on City Administration to develop a program by next year to help finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades for all residential and commercial buildings. The City of Edmonton recently announced a pilot CEIP program that includes commercial buildings.
I will fight to make sure that the City of Calgary shows leadership on climate action. I will fight just as hard to make sure that no Calgarians are left behind due to the type of building they live in. If elected, I will fight to ensure all active climate and environment programs are expanded to include condominiums and apartments, and to guarantee all future programs will include these housing options from day one.
After all, meaningful climate action requires participation from everyone--let’s make sure we all have access to the programs that will help us do our part.