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Friday, September 19, 2014

Dog lovers invited to Working Dogs Day event

Come down to Bowmont Off-Leash Park between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 20, to meet working dogs from around the city and learn about responsible pet ownership.

Working Dogs Days will feature demonstrations from working dogs and their handlers from the Calgary Police Department, Calgary Fire Department, Animal & Bylaw Services, Calgary Search & Rescue Association, PADS Calgary (Pacific Assistance Dogs Society), PALS (Pet Access League Society), Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP Police Dog Services. Attendees can also learn about dog recall training and pet first aid.

Working Dogs Day is part of The City of Calgary’s Off-Leash Ambassador program which was launched in 2013. The program relies on volunteers to help promote the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw and teach dog owners about positive pet interactions and safety. This is accomplished through education, demonstrations and discussions led by the ambassadors who act as positive role models in off-leash areas.

“The Off-Leash Ambassador program is a great example of community and volunteerism,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Once again, we see success when The City and its citizens collaborate —together, we ensure healthy and safe off-leash areas for Calgarians and their pets.”

Councillor Ward Sutherland, who is a long time community volunteer, will attend the event to show his support of the Program and meet the working dogs.

“An event that celebrates volunteers, specifically the ambassadors that support our off-leash parks, is wonderful. The free dog recall training, first aid and service dog demonstrations are a brilliant addition to the event and a great way to educate citizens on how to keep our off-leash parks safe and fun for all of us,” he said.

For more information about responsible pet ownership, up-coming Off-Leash Ambassador events and registering to become an Off-Leash Ambassador, visit or follow Animal & Bylaw Services on Facebook.

Please note: the area where the event will be held has been cleaned of tree debris from the recent storm and has been deemed safe. However, we urge all event attendees to be mindful of potential hazards, look up, stay away from large trees and be aware of surroundings.

Submitted by Tara Norton-Merrin, Animal & Bylaw Services

Making things simpler with Cut Red Tape

Simple, innovative, flexible, outcome-focused and measurable. These are the guiding principles behind The City’s Cut Red Tape program aimed at removing unnecessary red tape for citizens and businesses.

Since the program began in 2010, there has been an estimated 90,000 hours in time saved. But the biggest impact has been the difference it has made for the people that use City services. Whether it’s a citizen looking for low-income assistance or a food truck operator needing a business permit, the program has helped cut down barriers and make it easier for people to interact with The City of Calgary.

These highlights are just the beginning of a larger trend within the organization to continually improve services and focus on results. Cutting red tape may have started off as a program, but is the way we will conduct business from now on.

Take a look at our Cut Red Tape video above, which was recently produced to highlight a few stories and successes of the Cut Red Tape Initiative. It was first shown to council in Jeff Fielding’s recent presentation where he indicated he would like to see the Cut Red Tape principles embedded into how we work.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Together... We Are Calgary: The Leadership Strategic Plan

Earlier this week, City Manager Jeff Fielding presented to Council a new strategic plan for The City of Calgary.

The plan lays out five key directives which will guide the organization over the next several years. With Council’s approval of these directives, The City of Calgary will begin a new journey related to the implementation of this work.

Administration will:
  1. Establish a cooperative and meaningful relationship with Council
  2. Develop a cohesive leadership culture and collaborative workforce
  3. Better serve our citizens, communities, and customers
  4. Focus immediate and collective attention on planning and building a great city
  5. Strengthen the Corporation’s financial position

Implementation of these directives will have impacts on the entire organization. This will cause a rethinking of how work outcomes are to be achieved by The City at all levels from administration to front line staff. City Council will also have a role to play.

The title of the presentation, Together... We Are Calgary, captures how The City and community pull together in times of need. It also reflects how City staff are able to focus their energies on successful outcomes when we work together as ‘One City’ with ‘One Voice’ – as seen in the response to the 2013 flood and other crises. As part of this journey, The City will be making a concerted effort to improve collaboration across the organization at all times. The unprecedented population growth facing Calgary over the next several years will be the key driver in enhancing levels of cooperation.

The organization will not be undergoing a major restructuring. The City will continue serving citizens and customers in ways that meet their expectations now and in the future, but will also look to improve how it does business.

The approach to planning and building a great city will be significant, due to the new reality facing Calgary – projected population growth of up to 40,000 new citizens each year for the next four years. This will require all of The City’s departments to work together to ensure it is well positioned to respond. A new initiative will bring together representatives from all departments to determine and implement collaborative solutions for growth.

The City will be required to think creatively about how to serve a community growing at a rate that exceeds previous projections. That journey has begun.

View the full Together, We Are Calgary Leadership Strategic Plan presentation document.
View the video from the City Manager's presentation to Council.

Treat your taste buds at the “green zone” food trucks TODAY

The Aglio E ‘Olio  and Yummi Yogis food trucks will be parked in front of The City’s Administration Building (Old City Hall) TODAY. 

Come down between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and experience the fabulous food.

Aglio E ‘Olio is Calgary’s first authentic and organic pasta truck and Yummi Yogis prepare health conscious meals and offer gluten-free and dairy-free options. 

Celebrate the reappearance of summer with lunch and learning alfresco. 

City staff and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) representatives will be on-site to teach Calgarians about the importance of recycling, composting and simply being more environmentally conscious. Join our Facebook event for detailed updates.

We look forward to seeing you.

Submitted by Carissa Vescio, Animal & Bylaw Services