City of Calgary update on response to COVID-19 – April 24, 2020
The City of Calgary would like to remind citizens that we remain in a State of Local Emergency. This is to support the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. The City of Calgary, in collaboration with social agencies, the business community, civic partners and citizens, is taking immediate action to respond to COVID-19.
Please see below for the latest updates
City event cancellations extended:
All City of Calgary led and supported events set to take place through August 31 are now cancelled.
In addition, we are cancelling permits for third-party events that were set to be held on City land through August 31 which means those events cannot proceed.
Public safety and physical distancing is our top priority, and today’s decision reflects that.
The City will continue to reevaluate this decision and the August 31 date could be extended in consultation with the Province’s direction and Alberta’s’ ability to flatten the curve.
Festivals and events are estimated to contribute more than $600 M to the local economy per year. Calgary is a vibrant city renowned for our world-class festivals and events. When Calgarians can gather once again, we’ll work with event organizers to bring amazing events back to Calgary’s streets, parks and venues
A full list of all cancelled events can be found online.
Canada Day celebrations in Calgary
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to physically distance, The City of Calgary is adapting its plans for Canada Day celebrations. Although Calgarians can’t celebrate together in the same location, we can still show our national pride.
The City is looking for ideas on how Calgarians would like to commemorate Canada’s 153rd birthday. We’re asking Calgarians to create a short video showing how you’ll be celebrating from your homes, balconies and yards. Will you do a painting and hang it in your window? Will you hang all your red and white clothes from your balconies? Share your ideas using hashtag #OCanadaYYC.
“Canada Day is by no means cancelled. In fact, during this time it’s more important than ever to lift each other’s spirits, demonstrate unity and celebrate this wonderful country,” says Jennifer Thompson, manager of Arts and Culture at The City of Calgary. “Our celebrations will however need to look much different than in years’ past. We’ve been working hard on some exciting alternatives for Calgarians.”
The City will continue work with local partners like the Calgary Stampede, Calgary Arts Development, CMLC and others to plan a memorable experience for Calgarians. Revised Canada Day celebration plans will be announced as details become available at Calgary.ca/CanadaDay.
Not only is The City of Calgary keeping an eye on physical distancing and social gatherings, but it has been responding to concerns about businesses operating inappropriately.
An example of inappropriate business activity was an instance of an individual who was selling hand sanitizer from the back of their vehicle. We need to remind Calgarians not buy hand sanitizer from strangers off the back of a truck. Health Canada regulates the manufacture of hand sanitizer and legitimate businesses have to adhere to strict health and safety regulations
If anyone has bought any hand sanitizer not sold by a reputable provider, please throw it away. We cannot guarantee what was used to make it and it could be toxic to the skin.
As of today, Business Licensing, has received approximately 500 public complaints through 311 in relation to COVID-19. Officers are working closely with AHS, CPS, Bylaw Services, Calgary Fire Department, Alberta Gaming and Liquor and Service Alberta to address the various concerns listed in those service requests.
- To date, 134 written warnings have been issued to non-essential businesses related to COVID.
- 1 Business had their business licence suspended, along with a closure order by AHS – Health Inspectors.
- 2 violation tickets ($1000 each) issued under the business license bylaw for failing to maintain provincial regulations.
- 1 violation ticket ($1000) issued for operating without a business licence.
- 1 violation ticket ($1000) issued to a business for providing a fake or altered business licence.
We see a lot of positive examples of compliance. However don’t put yourself in a situation where it is hard to maintain compliance with physical distancing – like in overused green spaces. And with more outside activity likely to happen this weekend, we will be:
- increasing parking restrictions in some areas to reduce vehicle volume in residential areas
- providing increased education to citizens through a new ambassador program
If the park or pathway you go to is busy, or the parking lot is full, leave and head to a less crowded area or location.
And while The City prefers to only use enforcement (ticketing) as a last resort, we expect that there will be an increase in ticketing for those who are not following the Public Health Order by respecting physical distance requirements when they leave their homes.
Yard work and community gardens
The City has launched some great tips online for respecting physical distancing while still working outdoors and enjoying outdoor spaces safely.
Currently, community gardens remain open for use for the 2020 growing season.
Each community garden group is responsible to create an action plan for managing physical and social distancing, as well as ensuring public health orders are followed.
Transit update and thank you
Right now, even with so many people staying home, Calgary Transit is seeing 100,000 customers a day using the transit system during the #COVID19 pandemic.
Transit is considered an essential service, and Calgarians may see some drivers wearing masks to keep others safe. But even if staff are covered up, they’re still here to serve citizens.
Here’s some of the things they had to say:
- I take the 22 to and from work as an RN at the immunization clinic at the Sheldon Chumir every day. Couldn’t get there and do my job without you folks. Thank you for your hard work in this time. The schedule changes were communicated well and rolled out smoothly. The transit drivers are always lovely. Really, I couldn’t ask for more. Thank you!!! – Hilary
- I'm a grocery store worker in the Sage Hill area but I live in the Bankview area. I have no vehicle. I NEED public transit to get to and from work everyday. If Calgary transit shut down during the pandemic, I could not get to work. I would take me 3 hours to walk to work. It would be detrimental for me if CT shut down. Thank you for running this survey. - Jason
Calgary Transit is looking for stories from users on why transit is important to Calgarians during the covid state of emergency. If you’re a transit user and have a story to tell, you can visit calgarytransit.com/yourstory