July 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue
How property tax dollars support Calgarians
When it roars, stay indoors
Getting Prepared for Emergencies
Use less water this summer
Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw Review
Messages from our Community Partners
- Calgary Police Partners with Bike Index
- Bike Safety
- Calgary Transit Mobile App
- Calgary Public Library News
- Covid-19 Community Food Map
A Note from the President
As we enter into the thick of the summer season, I look back on the first half of this year and marvel at what we’ve all had to overcome; as individuals, as families, and as a community. We have had to learn new levels of patience, perseverance, and most importantly, compassion.
When I think of Whitehorn, that is what is most apparent to me and one of the things I truly love most about living here – our compassion and our sense of community. Throughout these troubling times, I have watched our community – our families, friends, and neighbours – pull together and give what they can to help each other. I’ve watched my children learn from this and do their part to contribute; and I’ve learned and grown from this myself. Every day, we are all always learning and growing, and I for one, can’t think of a better place to do it than here.
Today is Canada Day and I find myself reflecting on how fortunate I am to live in this country, this city, this neighbourhood that I love. What do you love about living in Whitehorn? Our Neighbour Day contest is still running (until July 12) and we’d love to hear from you. Send us a short video and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a prize.
As always, Whitehorn, stay safe, be patient, be kind. You are all amazing!
City of Calgary News
How your property tax dollars support Calgarians
During these unprecedented times, many Calgarians are facing financial challenges because of COVID-19.
To help you and your family, we’ve extended the 2020 tax payment deadline from June 30 to September 30 without a late payment penalty, meaning a 7% penalty will only be added to any unpaid balance on October 1, 2020.
Supporting Calgarians through the pandemic requires essential City services, including Police, Fire and Transit, which are funded by your property tax. We want you to know that for every tax dollar we collect from homeowners this year, $0.63 goes towards supporting City services, while the remaining $0.37 goes to the province. Get a breakdown of how tax dollars are used to meet the daily need of Calgarians on calgary.ca/taxbreakdown.
Property tax revenue shares were adjusted to 52% residential and 48% non-residential this year to provide long-term solutions to support Calgary’s local economy. This means that the typical Calgary household saw a small increase in their property taxes of 7.5% or $240/year.
- $90/year provincial increase
- $15/year provincial revenue decrease that reduced City revenues
- $135/year municipal tax shift from non-residential to residential property owners
With fewer businesses’ properties than homes, the municipal tax shift means some local businesses have saved thousands, enabling them to keep their doors open and creating jobs for Calgarians. Overall, business property owners will receive a combined 12.07% tax decrease.
Learn more at calgary.ca/financialfacts.
When it roars, stay indoors
Summer is a wonderful time of year to spend time outside under the warm sun, but it’s also the most active storm season in Calgary. While storms can be mesmerizing and exciting, they can also be very dangerous.
“Calgary is prone to strong and sometimes dangerous summer storms,” says Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. “Keep yourself, your family and your property safe during a summer storm by signing up for emergency alerts, making an emergency plan, and having an emergency kit.”
In addition to thunder, lightning, rain, and wind, summer storms often bring hail which can damage houses and cars and cause injuries. Protect your home and property by parking under shelter, secure items that might blow away, and remove weak branches and trees. Stay tuned to Environment Canada when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes.
Public weather alerts for Alberta and Alberta Emergency Alerts let the public know when a strong storm is coming. A “severe weather watch” means the conditions favour a certain type of hazardous weather, and a “severe weather warning”, means that the weather event will happen in the next 30 minutes and you should take shelter immediately.
The best place to be during a storm is in an enclosed building or hard topped vehicle, and a basement if tornado conditions exist. Stay away from high ground, isolated trees or telephone poles, picnic shelters and open spaces, to avoid being hit by lightning. Keep yourself and your pets inside until the storm has passed.
Learn more about disaster risk in Calgary and how you can prepare by visiting calary.ca/getready.
Getting prepared for Emergencies:
Emergency action plan
Calgary Emergency Management Agency plans for and co-ordinates all emergency services and resources during major emergencies and disasters. Responders may not be able to reach everyone immediately, so we encourage you to learn how to take care of yourself for the first 72 hours of an emergency. If you ever need to respond to a widespread emergency, we want you to be better prepared to protect yourself and your family.
What is in an Emergency Action Plan?
An emergency action plan can reduce the impact of an emergency situation. Making a plan will ensure that you and your family members know what to do and who to call.
To start making your plan, download the Are you Ready? – Fillable action plan. Available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, and Punjabi. The action plan will take you through the following steps:
- Create a home escape plan. This plan will tell your family how to evacuate your building in the case of an emergency. Determine a pre-designated meeting spot and make sure to have at least two ways to exit your building. Hold evacuation and fire drills every month. If you need to escape from second or third floor windows, use rescue ladders.
- Have a family discussion about what should you do during an emergency, where would you go, what would you need, and where would you meet.
- Make sure children know when to call 9-1-1.
- Create a family reunion plan. Designate a common meeting place outside your community. Everyone should check in with an out-of-town friend or relative. Though phone landlines and mobile networks may be overloaded, often a text message will go through.
- Plan a place to stay. Ensure that you have a place to stay in case you are evacuated from your home. Make plans with at least one inner-city and one outer-city friend or relative who can help you and your family in an emergency. Keep the contact information for these friends or relatives in your 72-hour kit.
- Gather your family’s emergency contact information. It is important that you are able to get ahold of the members of your family during an emergency or disaster. For each family members you should record, their full name, work or school location, home address, phone numbers (home, cell, and work), and email address. Though phone landlines and mobile networks may be overloaded during a disaster, often a text message will go through.
- Learn your building’s evacuation plans and the locations of safety equipment. If you live in an apartment building or condominium, make sure to learn your building’s evacuation plans and know where fire alarms are located. If you have mobility issues, know someone who could assist you in exiting the building.
- Fill out a home inventory checklist so you can have a comprehensive record of your belongings in case of a property loss.
- Don’t forget about your pets! Having a plan in place beforehand can greatly reduce the stress of an emergency situation. Be sure to consult your vet when developing an emergency plan and kit for your pet.
For more information, please see the City Of Calgary’s page all about Emergency Action Plans.
Build a 72-hour Emergency Preparedness Kit:
Get the checklist here
In the event of an emergency, responders may be busy assisting those in immediate danger. The 72-hour kit holds supplies to support you and your family for three days in an emergency situation.
What is in a 72-hour kit?
Bottled water – Store four litres of water per person per day.
Food – A minimum of three days’ food that won’t spoil and requires minimal preparation, such as canned or dried food and energy bars.
First Aid kit – First Aid kits should be easily accessible in your home and vehicle.
Medication – Include any prescription medication that you or your family members take.
Wind-up flashlight and radio – Wind-up flashlight/radio combination models are available from many outdoor retailers. If you are using a battery-operated flashlight or radio, be sure to stock extra batteries and replace them every year.
External battery pack or wind-up phone charger – You could be without power in your home for days, or you might have to evacuate. It is important that you are able to use your cell phone to call for help or to receive information.
Whistle – A whistle will help attract attention if needed.
Warm clothes and blankets or sleeping bags – Blankets or sleeping bags are much warmer than survival blankets. You may want to pack both, but survival blankets do not replace real blankets.
Dust masks and duct tape – These supplies will help you shelter-in-place.
Cash in small bills and coins – You should include cash because debit and credit cards may not work in an emergency situation or if the power is out. You might need coins in case you have to use a payphone or coin-operated laundry facilities.
Personal sanitation items – Consider including moist towelettes, garbage bags and toilet paper.
Supplies for your baby and pet – If applicable, stock your kit with baby food, diapers, formula, extra clothes, and baby wipes. If you have a pet, have an evacuation plan for your pet, water, food and toys.
Cash in small bills and coins – You should include cash because debit and credit cards may not work in an emergency situation or if the power is out.
Entertainment – You may want to consider including non-power consuming entertainment for children and adults, such as games, card or books.
For more detailed information on creating a 72-hour Emergency Preparedness, please visit the City of Calgary’s website here.
Use less water this summer
With the warmer months fast approaching, it’s time to prepare your yard for the upcoming seasons. By making some simple changes, you can enjoy a beautiful yard that’s green in more ways than one!
Here are some helpful tips to make your YardSmart:
- Choose water-wise plants. They need less watering, which means conserving our resources and savings on your water bill. Plants native to our region are a wise choice because they thrive in our unique climate.
- Add pollinator-friendly plants. Our flowering plants and crops rely on pollinators, such as bees. Invite these powerhouses into your yard by planting a variety of white, yellow, blue and purple native flowers that bloom in all seasons. We recommend avoiding pesticides because they can’t discriminate between pests and beneficial insects. Remember, dandelions are not a noxious weed, and are a source of pollen and nectar for bees. For more information on pollinators check out ca/wildlifeand click on the bee!
- Keep your grass 3 inches long. Leaving your grass longer helps develops a deeper root system, keeping the roots cool in the heat and dry weather. Spreading mulch, such as bark or wood chips, also is a healthy choice to reduce evaporation and slow weed growth.
Simple changes can make a big difference!
More information about creating a YardSmart yard can be found at calgary.ca/yardsmart
Reminder: Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw Under Review
The City of Calgary is reviewing the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw to better understand how it reflects community values and meets the needs of Calgarians. The goal is to have a bylaw that will adapt to the changing trends in society and that will improve public safety and livability.
In the first phase of the public engagement process, Calgarians were asked to share their thoughts on what is and isn’t working with the current regulations. They were also given the opportunity to provide input on other things that should be included in the Bylaw. Feedback collected in phase one is being used to develop potential amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
In the second phase, the City of Calgary is seeking your feedback on these potential amendments. Visit calgary.ca/petbylaw to stay informed and get updates.
From Our Community Partners
- CPS Bike Index
- Bike Safety
- Calgary Transit Mobile Ticketing App
- Calgary Public Library
- YYC Community Food Map
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has partnered with Bike Index, a free, online bike registration service, to aide in returning stolen bikes recovered by the CPS back to their rightful owners.
By registering a bike with Bike Index, bike owners are provided with easily accessible documentation of their bike’s information and serial number, which can be looked up by police and aide in a stolen bike’s return to its rightful owner. For more information about Bike Index and to sign up or view the Bike Index website, please visit the City of Calgary page here.
Let’s all enjoy the bike season safely and securely!
A message from the Federation of Calgary Communities
- Protect Your Noggin
Toddlers to adults should think twice before getting on a bike without a helmet. The helmet should fit nicely and cover the forehead. Calgarians under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet.
- Ring, Ring!
Having bell can let those around you know your coming!
Being a cyclist follows similar rules to driving a vehicle. Pay attention to posted signs, speed limits and watch out for pedestrians. Know your route ahead of time it this can help you be aware of potential detours and hazards.
- Increase visibility
Having reflector or lights can increase your visibility for other cyclists, pedestrians and cars.
Calgary Transit’s new. mobile ticketing app, My Fare, is now available. The My Fare app that lets you buy tickets and passes anytime from anywhere, using your smartphone. Just download the app and purchase tickets. It’s fast, easy, and available any time you’re on the go.
How to use My Fare
Download the My Fare app from your app store and install it on your smartphone. Then it’s easy to buy your fare:
- Complete a one-time account setup (optional) using your myID account.
- Select “Buy Ticket.”
- Choose your ticket type.
- Enter your payment info*. The pass will be delivered instantly to your ticket wallet.
- Activate your ticket just prior to boarding your bus or entering the fare restricted area at a CTrain station.
- Scan your ticket on the onboard scanner on your bus, or show it to a Calgary Transit Peace Officer, if requested.
For more information about the My Fare app, please visit the Calgary Transit page. The app is free and can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.
Calgary Public Library will begin to gradually reopen locations in multiple phases. On Tuesday, June 23, the first three locations to reopen are: Crowfoot (8665 Nose Hill Dr NW), Fish Creek (11161 Bonaventure Dr SE), and Forest Lawn (4807 8 Ave SE).
Hours of service will be Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and closed on Sundays. The Library will implement Temporary Senior Hours for the first hour of service each day to support seniors and persons with underlying health conditions more susceptible to COVID-19.
All locations will have limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. Please confirm if your location is open and what services are available before visiting. The next round of locations to reopen will be announced on Wednesday, June 24.
The Library has implemented physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to create a safe and clean environment for staff and the public. Watch the video to understand these measures in action.
For more information on What to know before visiting the library’s, please visit their information page here.
The Access to Food team has developed a google map to highlight no and low cost food resources in Calgary (e.g. food hampers, community food pantries, delivery services, gift card programs, prepared meals, etc.). We would like to request your help in sharing the map externally and also in helping to keep the map relevant/accurate. We’d also be happy to hear any suggestions you have for making the map more useful for Calgarians.
You can find the map here:
Calgary COVID-19 Community Food Map: Places where people can access no and low cost food in the city of Calgary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a ‘living’ map resource and can quickly become outdated. When you take a look at the map and look at the resources available in your neighbourhood, please let the team know if there are any additional resources that could be added, services that could be clarified, or programs that have closed.
Please feel free to share the map with your family, friends, social recreation groups, and sport groups. If they have changes that need to be made, feel free to let them know they can email Nancy.Dick@calgary.ca directly to have it updated.