Feature City Hall Stories

Council recommends extending liquor consumption to 3 a.m.

Extension could create safer, less crowded streets, say councillors

THUMB LIQUORWait times for cabs, crammed streets and shoving shoulders to get that last drink at 2 a.m. are just some of the reasons why City Council requested to extend liquor service to 3 a.m. at the Council meeting last month.

Council members asked Mayor Naheed Nenshi to send a letter to the President of the Alberta Treasury Board and the Alberta Minister of Finance requesting amendment of current liquor service regulations.

If passed, patrons will also have an additional hour to finish up their last drinks after 3 a.m., but everyone has to be off the premises by 4 a.m.

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First time renter finds ideal rental property

Recent high school graduate says she lucked out in the current housing market

halee mcbeath SS renterLike many 18-year-olds fresh out of high school, Halee McBeath was looking to gain independence from her parents and start a new chapter of her adult life.

Halee and her two close friends, Keeley McCormick and Andrew Bone, began looking for a rental property in Airdrie in September 2013. With a limited budget and the current housing market, their chance at freedom seemed bleak.

Keeley's father and stepmother, Scott and Kim McCormick, have owned a rental property in Airdrie since 1992, a block from Keeley's childhood home. When they saw the difficulty of finding a rental property for their daughter, they suggested moving everyone into the house they owned.

The three kids moved into the main level of the 1,300 square foot bungalow in October 2013, and they found a couple to live in the fully developed basement suite to make rent lower for all tenants.

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Politics of secondary suites: ‘unfair, immoral, unethical,’ Mayor Nenshi says

Despite a punishing 1.3 per cent vacancy rate in Calgary, the mayor hasn't convinced City Council to get on board with secondary suites

Nenshi thumbnailPhoto courtesy of the office of the mayorThe City of Calgary defines a secondary suite as "a self-contained living space consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen located within or on the same property as a single family home." They're often referred to as basement suites or mother-in-law suites.

Secondary suites can act as supplemented income for homeowners to help pay a mortgage or can provide a living space for a family member, for example. But according to the Calgary Homeless Foundation, those who rent secondary suites do so because they're affordable.

According to the foundation, 84 per cent of Calgarians support the development of new secondary suites and 85 per cent support the legalization of existing ones.

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City report says 2013 summer flood hindered Calgary’s whistle-blower program

Number of reports fall from 94 to 57 in one year

whistleblower2Released February 10 of this year, the 2013 annual report for the City of Calgary's whistle-blower program states that in 2013 there were 57 reports submitted to the program, 37 fewer than the previous year. This is a deficit that the report attributes to the summer flooding in Calgary.

The whistle-blower program acts as a mechanism for members of the public or city employees to report and request inquiries into "allegations of waste and/or wrongdoing within the City." It is also a channel that offers anonymity and complete confidentiality in both individual reports and investigations.

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