An 8-7 split city council vote has resulted in the donation of city of Calgary tax dollars to a Federation of Canadian Municipalities fund to help with Haiti reconstruction efforts.
Those against are concerned that tax dollars are being sent out of the country when people in this city are going through tough economic times.
They say that a private initiative such as a “Go Fund Me” page could have been set up and Calgarians could donate that way. As well some say the city in the past has helped in the Haiti efforts by sending skilled workers to the area.
Councillor Peter Demong worries that a precedent is being set and there will be other requests, “Why this one and if we do this one, which one is next and is it $25,000, is it $50,000 on the next one. At which point do we say no we shouldn’t be donating, I don’t like the idea of saying no, but the fact of the matter is these are city of Calgary taxpayer dollars.”
Those in favour of contributing the money say that other international municipalities have helped out Calgary in the past, Councillor Druh Farrell, “Do you remember during the flood the aid that we got from around the world, municipalities big and small”
Brian Pincott is pleased council voted to make the donation and says he was going to ask for $100,000 but opted with the lesser amount of $25,000 to try and ensure council would vote in favour, “The thing that would be really horrible for Calgary is if we had a motion to support a country we work in, a country we assist and say no we are not going to give you assistance. I think that would have been a really black eye for Calgary.”
Voting in favour of the donation were Mayor Nenshi, Woolley, Farrell, Carra, Colley Urquhart, Pootmans, Jones, Pincott.
Voting No, Sutherland, Chabot, Demong, Chu, Magliocca, Keating, Stevenson