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58 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 17: City hall's greatest hits
Ten current and former city hall reporters talk about their favourite memories with host Annalise Klingbeil. 1. Robson Fletcher invents a word that’s now part of the Calgary lexicon 2. The famous Lucas Meyer unveils his highlight reel of council impressions 3. Helen Pike on puns, zucchinis and threats 4. Bill Kaufmann reveals what happened in Las Vegas 5. Jason Markusoff, of the pearl-clutching media, chuckles in shock 6. Shawn Logan reflects on a time before strict security 7. Rick Bell for mayor 1998 8. Colette Derworiz speaks about a career highlight 9. Dave Dormer with an important lesson about running up stairs 10. Annalise Klingbeil says goodbye and thank you
27 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 16: Alberta’s Opioid Crisis — 'There's no end in sight'
Across Alberta, there were 482 opioid-related accidental deaths in the first nine months of 2017. Take a minute to let that number sink in. Nearly two Albertans are dying every single day from fentanyl and other opioids, and there’s no end in sight. This crisis is killing young men at a higher rate than anyone else. The majority of victims are dying in their own homes, and in Calgary, most fatalities are occurring outside the downtown core, in the suburbs. Behind the startling statistics are stories. There are partners, children, parents, aunts, uncles and friends left behind to grieve a life lost too soon. On this episode host Annalise Klingbeil and guest co-host Meghan Potkins speak to Rosalind Davis, the co-founder of Changing the Face of Addiction. In February 2016, Davis lost her partner Nathan to fentanyl after he developed a dependency on opioids that began with a painkiller prescription for a back injury. He was 34. Potkins and Klingbeil speak to Davis about what happened to Nathan and her advocacy work since his death. We also take a look at what stands out to Postmedia reporter Potkins after months of covering opioids and what’s being done to stop a crisis set to kill hundreds of Albertan’s by year’s end. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated. You can subscribe to The Confluence podcast on iTunes, Tunein, Google Play, Stitcher, Pocket Casts and Overcast, and follow us on Twitter or like the podcast on Facebook.
46 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 15: ‘We only really notice things when they’re gone’
For years, more than 30,000 drivers a day rolled by a long row of character homes along Memorial Drive, west of 10 Street N.W., with little thought. When a construction fence surrounded the homes, some Calgarians took note. After a bulldozer destroyed the vacated abodes, all of a sudden, citizens remarked that something was missing from their daily commutes. “We only really notice things when they’re gone,” says Josh Traptow, the executive director of the Calgary Heritage Authority. On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil speaks to Traptow about all things heritage, in a city with a reputation for bulldozing its past. “Calgary, especially in the 70s, 80s and 90s tore down, really, a lot of amazing buildings,” says Traptow. “Calgarians really want to save what they have left. In another 100 years, who knows what they’re going to have.” Traptow and Klingbeil cover a wide range of topics including the archaic terms listed on historic Calgary land titles, why a young Calgarian cares so much about old things, and how to designate your own abode as a municipal historic resource. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes the podcast sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated. Here are links to a few of the news articles mentioned in this episode: Are 'run of the mill' heritage homes worthy of preservation? Advocates argue yes ‘Wow is this ever a cool house:’ Owner of home built in 1975 requests municipal historic resource designation Concrete connection to Calgary’s past preserved in sidewalk stamps Request to preserve one of Canada's last remaining 'Trend Houses' goes to city council
34 minutes | 3 years ago
Ep. 14: SW BRT 101 (Why expanded transit is so controversial in southwest Calgary)
When city council debated a pair of dedicated bus lanes proposed for southwest Calgary this week, it wasn't the first time — and it likely won't be the last. Despite getting the green light from council in 2011, controversy over the southwest bus rapid transit (BRT) project continues to rear its head. "It seems that every six months to a year, we’re going through the southwest BRT," said Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong during the latest debate. On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil and producer Kerianne Sproule dive deep into the history of the proposed 22-kilometre route. From a 2010 city brochure that landed in southwest mailboxes to the latest council vote, we explore the ongoing drama surrounding expanded transit service — drama that's unusual, even for Calgary. Think of it as a crash course in the saga that has become the southwest BRT. As always, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes and Facebook reviews are appreciated.
51 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep.13: 'Not your grandma's suburb'
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating has a bumper sticker in his office. It says: "I do suburbs, but I do them right." On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil drives (and complains about an abundance of traffic circles) as Keating tours listeners around Calgary's deep south. We travel through master-planned, mixed-use, compact neighbourhoods that Keating believes have been done right. These aren't the Calgary suburbs of decades past, where single-family, cookie-cutter homes with double-car garages sit on large lots and amenities are a car-ride away. The tour starts in Auburn Bay, which was Calgary's fastest growing community in the 2017 city census, and had 4,217 residents when Keating was first elected in 2010. Today, more than 16,000 Calgarians live in estate homes, townhouses, apartment complexes, condos and duplexes in Auburn Bay on Calgary's southeastern outskirts. In nearby Cranston and McKenzie Towne, there are another 36,665 residents who live in walkable, high-density communities that offer a variety of housing, retail and employment options on the city's outer edge. Keating tours us through other communities including Seton — an area that's been transformed from gopher-filled farmland to the downtown of the 'burbs — Quarry Park and Douglasdale. As he takes us through some of Calgary's fastest growing communities, Keating speaks about topics including sprawl, the Green Line LRT, living in the deep south without a car, and what's wrong with a closed-minded attitude about new suburbs, all while teaching us about the communities he loves. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes and Facebook reviews are appreciated.
42 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 12: 'It's a blood sport and I don't see any bleeding'
He calls city hall the big blue playpen and he's been covering it for nearly three decades. On this episode of the Confluence podcast, host Annalise Klingbeil speaks to ever-opinionated Calgary Sun columnist Rick 'the Dinger' Bell about the looming municipal election. With less than three weeks left before voters head to the ballot box, Bell says the mayoral race is shaping up to be interesting because it's not yet clear just who will win council's top seat. "In Calgary mayoral elections that's a real novelty. Most elections, if you have someone who is already the mayor, it's just a question of how much do they win by. And in this case, there is doubt as to who the mayor will be on the morning of October 17," Bell says. Bell, who admits he voted for the purple revolution in 2010, believes there's a possibility incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi could lose his seat to businessman and lawyer Bill Smith, or longtime Ward 10 councillor Andre Chabot. "I can hear people talking who used to think Nenshi was the God who walked as a man and now are critical of him," Bell says. Tune in as Bell details what he sees as disenchantment with Nenshi, why he feels sorry for Chabot, and what he thinks of Smith's strategy to date. "What would you do if you had a candidate, who had a chance at winning because the incumbent is not as popular as he once was, but he's not a good speaker, he's not a good answerer of questions, and he doesn't know a whole lot about city hall?" asks Bell. Eighty-six people recently signed up to run for a spot at the council table, while 45 people are running for school trustee, and Bell also catches us up on why he refused to speak to the majority of people who came to city hall on nomination day, what ward races he's watching closely, and what he thinks taxpayers deserve this election. In addition, knowledgeable Flames Nation reporter Ryan Pike joins us to talk about the latest bombshell in the ongoing arena saga and catch us up on what's been happening on this file since the Saddledome opened in 1983. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.
29 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 11: ‘This just isn’t right’
When he ran for mayor in 2010, Naheed Nenshi campaigned on 12 better ideas for Calgary. “Better idea number one is about secondary suites,” Nenshi said in a 2010 campaign video before he won council’s top job. “This is one of those areas where our city council could have acted decisively so long ago and they just haven’t.” But after seven years with Nenshi at its helm, council still hasn’t acted decisively on the issue. On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil interviews Nenshi about secondary suites. The pair talk about why the mayor has failed on his 2010 campaign promise to legalize suites, what he would go back and do differently, and just how much time council spends on the painstaking process of approving secondary suite applications one by one. Think of it as part 2 to last week’s Secondary Suites 101 episode. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated. You can subscribe to The Confluence podcast oniTunes, Tunein, Google Play, Stitcher, Pocket Casts and Overcastand follow us on Twitter @confluenceyyc.
22 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep 10: Secondary Suites 101
If you’re a homeowner in Calgary and you want to put a stove in your basement, prepare for a process that’s unheard of in any other major Canadian city. Calgary remains one of the only municipalities across the country where most property owners who want a secondary suite must plead for a zoning change directly to city council. On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil and producer Kerianne Sproule take you into the wild world of secondary suites in Calgary. We go over the basics, find out exactly what a secondary suite public hearing is like, and speak with a student completing a thesis on the politics and policies of secondary suites in our unusual city. We also hear directly from our listeners, who have called to weigh in on the topic. As always, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated. You can subscribe to The Confluence podcast on iTunes, Tunein, Google Play, Stitcher, Pocket Casts and Overcast and follow us on Twitter @confluenceyyc.
42 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 9: Downtown Calgary’s 10-to-20-year problem
Picture Calgary’s downtown core, where tall office towers and cranes working on the next big project have long dominated the skyline. Today, the equivalent of one in four of those buildings sits completely empty. The city’s record-high downtown vacancy rate has even surpassed that of Manhattan at the height of the Great Depression. That’s a major problem for Calgary, which has historically relied on downtown for one in four jobs and 40 per cent of its non-residential tax revenue. On this episode, host Annalise Klingbeil and guest co-host Chris Varcoe, a Calgary Herald business columnist, speak to Calgary Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Adam Legge about downtown Calgary’s big problem. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.
43 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 8: School's out for summer
City council's final meeting before their summer break felt like it would simply never end. Thankfully, after three long days, it finally did. "Ladies and gentleman, school is out for the summer," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi around 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 2, at the conclusion of a meeting that literally started the month before. On this episode, hosts Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil discuss that three-day meeting, look back at the big issues that have plagued elected officials in recent months, and look forward at what's to come as election season heats up ahead of the Oct. 16 municipal vote. Tune in for their take on issues like the Green Line LRT, an Olympic bid, a new arena and, the oh-so-Calgary controversy that is secondary suites. It's not all city hall talk, though. This episode also contains a sad farewell and exit interview with one-third of the Confluence. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.
60 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 7 — The Babysitters Club
One's a retired Court of Queen’s Bench judge. The other a University of Calgary law professor. Together, they are tasked with keeping Calgary’s mayor and councillors on a short leash and under a watchful eye as city hall’s first integrity commissioner and ethics advisor. On this episode, Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil sit down with Allen Sulatycky and Alice Woolley to reflect on the challenges they faced establishing the new watchdog positions, explain what their roles entail, the work they’ve done to date, and just what it’s like to babysit bickering council members. And later in the episode, Robert Williams, a retired professor from the University of Waterloo who was retained as integrity commissioner for two Ontario municipalities, joins us to discuss how that province plans to modernize and strengthen existing code of conduct legislation and make integrity commissioners mandatory for municipalities. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.
44 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 6: The don't forget your helmet edition
What happens when a podcast host goes for a bike ride with city council's most ardent opponent of cycle infrastructure? Well, for starters, she learns that Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu can indeed bike. Chu is the happy owner of a blue mountain bike and a helmet, which he regrettably forgot on our ride-along on Northmount Drive N.W. On this episode, hosts Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil dive into the issue of bicycles in Calgary. And, in a city where the words WAR. ON. CARS. are uttered often, what an issue it tends to be. Between this month's warm weather, the bike inundation that defines popular music festival Sled Island, and the recent two-year anniversary of Calgary's contentious $5.5-million downtown cycle-track network (which is forever here to stay after a 10-4 council vote in December), we thought it was a fitting time to examine Calgary's complicated relationship with two-wheeled transport. In addition to the interview on two wheels with a helmet-less Chu, we talk to a school trustee, a city official, and another city councillor about the city's latest controversial endeavour — painted bike lanes on Northmount Drive N.W. We also have an enlightening chat with award-winning author, long-time bike blogger and current cyclist in chief at Shifter Tom Babin about all-things bike. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great. And, your feedback, advice, ideas, shares and iTunes reviews are appreciated.
38 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 5: An '80s TV dad for mayor and Calgary's garish Stampede cartoons
The race to become Calgary's next mayor has another entrant. Bill Smith, a Calgary lawyer and former president of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, formally kicked off his campaign at a well-attended event at Fort Calgary on June 12. On this episode, we visit the launch party and speak to Postmedia politics reporter James Wood about his thoughts on a "very easy-going, likeable guy" who surprisingly, hasn't had his fill of politics just yet. Hosts Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil also talk briefly to Paul Denys, a city election official, about the so-called "red zone" for city staff and council members during the campaign. But it's not all politics. ATB economist Todd Hirsch also joins us to talk about civic identity and his vision for the tacky, garish Stampede-themed images that will soon cover windows around the city. In a city notorious for complaining about public art, few — if any — take issue with the longstanding tradition of plastering street-level windows with cartoonish rodeo animals, women in daisy dukes, and huge, all-caps words like YAHOO, YEEHAW and HOWDY. Until now. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great.
47 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 4: Grabbing a tiger by the tale and much ado about slates
The former owners of a well-known restaurant have sued Druh Farrell, accusing the inner-city councillor of — among others things — defamation, “systematically” flouting her public duties and corruption. And a foursome with conservative ties announced their intention to run as a slate in the October 16 Calgary Board of Education (CBE) election under the banner Students Count. Hosts Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil talk to corporate lawyer and blogger Susan Wright (we highly recommend out her thoughtful blog susanonthesoapbox.com) about the lawsuit Farrell is facing, the purpose of indemnity policies, frivolous and vexatious lawsuits, and how this could impact Farrell’s re-election bid. We also sit down with Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid and former CBE trustee and chair Sheila Taylor to dive into the controversial issue of political slates, how Students Count could raise the profile of the school board election, and whether this slate (if successful) could dismantle the secretive and obedient board. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great.
75 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 3: How do you eat an elephant?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It's Calgary's most ambitious infrastructure project to date. A 46-kilometre, $4.65-billion (and counting) light rail transit line that will tunnel beneath the downtown core and ease commutes for thousands of Calgarians in the deep south and far north. In early 2015, the Green Line LRT was still years, if not decades, away from becoming a reality. But a $1.53-billion pre-election funding promise from the former federal Conservative government kicked the project into high gear and lifted expectations to unrealistic heights. It was doomed to disappoint. And, eventually, it did. City officials revealed this month the first stage of the Green Line would only stretch 20 kilometres, from a maintenance and storage facility at 126th Ave. south, through the downtown core and stop at 16th Ave. north — half the line many expected for the same eye-popping price tag. The reaction was predictable. Residents, many in far-flung suburban communities who devoted many hours offering input to the city, were outraged, frustrated and disappointed. Local politicians, many seeking re-election this fall, feigned shock and claimed they were just as surprised and disillusioned as their constituents. So what happened? In this episode, we’re joined by Calgary’s general manager of transportation Mac Logan, as well as Elise Bieche, president of the Highland Park Community Association, to sit down for an extensive and thoughtful conversation on the challenges, opportunities and disappointments around the Green Line. Hosts Annalise Klingbeil and Trevor Howell also discuss a lil’ “backstabbing” incident in council chambers that prompted one councillor to swap seats, triggered a complaint to the city’s integrity commissioner, and pressured another elected official to issue a qualified apology. As always, Kerianne Sproule makes us sound great.
43 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 2: They got asked... a lot
In this week's episode, we're joined by Ask Her board member Sarah Elder-Chamanara, former Calgary alderwoman Gael MacLeod, and Minister for the Status of Women Stephanie McLean to discuss why so few women run for public office, the discrimination they face, and ongoing efforts to boost the number of females on the ballot in Calgary's fall election. Women, on average, hold about a quarter of elected seats in municipal politics. The 2013 municipal elections saw just 490 women elected to office across the province, compared to 1,384 men. That same year, only 10 women ran for a spot on Calgary city council, and only two — Druh Farrell and Diane Colley-Urquhart — were successful. Ask Her, a non-partisan organization, launched last year with a goal to have at least 20 women run for council October 16 by spreading awareness and offering candidates tools, including financial support. Hosts Annalise Klingbeil and Trevor Howell also dissect Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot's first mayoral campaign fundraiser held late last month and how he hopes to take advantage of Mayor Naheed Nenshi's sagging poll numbers.
31 minutes | 4 years ago
Ep. 1: Nothing to lose
A popular mayor seeking re-election and vying to secure his political legacy. A veteran Ward 10 councillor with "nothing to lose" and everything to gain ... if he can woo enough voters in his favour on election day. No, we're not previewing this October's mayoral bout between Naheed Nenshi and Andre Chabot for the first full episode of The Confluence — we'll tackle that match-up in the coming months. Instead, we're taking a look back to the 1998 municipal election when then-alderman Ray Clark, who was first elected to council in 1983, launched his ultimately doomed effort to thwart former mayor Al Duerr's campaign for a fourth term. Clark's popularity proved no match for Duerr, who won the 1995 election with an astounding 92 per cent of the vote (higher than Ralph Klein or Naheed Nenshi) and sailed to victory again in the 1998 civic vote. While media suggested the campaign between the two became highly personal (both downplay suggestions it was) Clark and Duerr were kind enough to spend more than an hour in the same room with us recounting that campaign, the questionable value of endorsements and even offering Nenshi and Chabot some advice as they gird for the 2017 election campaign.
1 minutes | 4 years ago
Coming soon ...
Join hosts Trevor Howell and Annalise Klingbeil for thoughtful discussions on critical municipal issues with community leaders, policy makers, politicians and, most importantly, Calgarians who make this city unique and vibrant. Stay tuned for our first full episode on Friday, April, 21, 2017.
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