Many Calgarians, myself included, wondered why it was crucial to declare a "Climate Emergency" as one of the very first acts of the new council. They were only sworn in on October 25th and by the 13th of November the mayor and two councillors penned their op-ed on their justification for the declaration. ( https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-declaring-a-climate-emergency-shows-calgary-is-ready-to-step-forward ) .
Today we have news that the CSEC wants to walk away from the events center deal.
The deal reached in July with CSEC was good for Calgary in that it brought roughly $300 million in private investment to the table. Investment that council "says" it is trying to attract to the city. The deal was done, but the development permit was not approved yet. Part of the deal was that CSEC was to be responsible for cost overruns, not the city. The new council became responsible for approving the development permit, which they did. However, the approval came with the price of millions of dollars of "climate change mitigation". These climate change mitigation dollars being a result of our shiny new climate emergency declaration. CSEC would not have accounted for this and it surely eroded their trust in the deal and confidence that they would not have other costs thrust upon them by the city in the future that were not part of the agreement.
So was this a plan to kill a deal the mayor and councillors didn't want?
The mayor says she is so "disappointed" with this news and one coucillor has called the news "tragic". However, these are two of the loudest voices for the "climate emergency" which helped put this deal in jeopardy.
These two penned the aforementioned article for the media: https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-declaring-a-climate-emergency-shows-calgary-is-ready-to-step-forward
One could certainly start to connect the dots and question the sincerity of their feelings regarding this recent turn of events. Especially since the councillor in question declared during his campaign that he felt the Arts Commons project had more value than the events center project and should have been the number one priority. ( YouTube interview with Danielle Smith - time stamp 18:00 - 19:35 )
Fast forward to today and we have this news:
So, here are some questions.
Was the "climate emergency" declared in an effort to help kill the deal?
Was it an underhanded move to get more tax dollars from a group trying to invest in our city, and what signal does this send to future investors?
If the mayor and councillors' intentions were not nefarious, does it not display incompetency that they could not have foreseen or anticipated the results of their actions?
If they don't solve this problem and revive the deal, should we be complacent with a council that is either agenda-driven or incompetent?
At this point, it looks as if they either knowingly or unwittingly helped kill investment with a "climate emergency". Let's see what happens going forward and how Calgarians will respond.