The ever-growing burden of technology on our lives

Increasingly, cities are complicated systems. The thought of traffic lights, 911 calls, transit and hospitals all going haywire at once is really scary

The ever-growing burden of technology on our livesIt you think red tape is slowing progress, you’re right. If you think some complex technical gadgets in your home, office and car aren’t really saving time, you’re right again. But have you thought about how costly and dangerous this technology can be? Author Samuel Arbesman has in his book Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits…

Defibrillator program options weighed by Kindersley council

The town has an inspection program for 12 defibrillators but there’s no plan for their maintenance and replacement. Several are in private facilities

Defibrillator program options weighed by Kindersley councilKenneth Brown of The Clarion Kindersley’s elected officials are interested in moving away from maintaining any defibrillators not located in town-owned facilities. Council members discussed the Kindersley Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) Project at a regular meeting on Oct. 23. They were provided with three options regarding the project. The town is now responsible for 12…

Calgary ready to move mountains to land Amazon HQ2

Hey Amazon. Not saying we’d fight a bear for you … But we totally would

Calgary ready to move mountains to land Amazon HQ2The Bible told us the meek will inherit the Earth, but the timid approach isn’t going to attract Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. The competition is intense among dozens of cities across Canada and the United States to be the location for the $5 billion US development. Calgary Economic Development quickly decided Calgary was in. And…

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financing

By informing the public about who provided campaign support before the election, the public can watch for any favoritism after

Shining a light on the dark side of municipal campaign financingAnyone who has been involved in municipal politics – at least over the past couple of decades – has heard virtually every candidate say they support increased transparency. Why do they say this and then not follow through? Transparency makes the democratic process work better because the public can understand, and then react to the…

Taking the air out of Airbnb

Toronto and Vancouver have restricted Airbnb listings to a primary residence. The number of listings is dropping fast

Taking the air out of AirbnbIn Canada, Airbnb is getting … well … deflated. The ironic reason is that it’s become too popular. Airbnb is an online service for “Air bed and breakfast.” It's for guests who want a cheap place to stay the night, even if it's on an air mattress. Since its 2008 launch in San Francisco, Airbnb…

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the means

Incentive packages often include tax breaks on property, income or permit exemptions – and taxpayers pay the freight

Courting Amazon: the ends don’t always justify the meansBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur Fraser Institute Amazon’s recent announcement that it plans to open a second North American headquarters has sparked a mad scramble by communities seeking a huge economic payoff. But some notes of caution need to be sounded. The new Amazon headquarters are expected to house up to 50,000 “high-paying jobs” and add…

Calgary’s potential for renaissance can be found in its history

Here's how the best of the city's founders would approach the problem of rebuilding the city

Calgary’s potential for renaissance can be found in its historyCalgary is becoming a city of ghosts. And it’s from ghosts that salvation may be found. I lived there for 30 years and pursued three careers – in oil, academia and museology, about one a decade. Each time I moved on, I did so enriched by stories of the founders of Calgary and with new…

Kindersley council approves new strategy and governance structure

The plan was developed around three pillars identified by council: Build Bridges, Smart Spending and Make it Happen

Kindersley council approves new strategy and governance structureKenneth Brown of The Clarion Kindersley town councillors have approved a new strategic plan and governance policy near the end of the first year of their term. Council members passed resolutions to approve the strategic plan and governance policy at a meeting on Sept. 25. Council adopted the strategic plan first after a brief presentation…

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride folly

Poor dental health in childhood becomes a lifelong burden, with consequences for those who can least afford dental care

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride follyIf I could convince Calgarians to vote on one issue in the upcoming municipal elections, it wouldn’t be the one that’s in the headlines – whether to subsidize the Flames’ billionaire owners in their quest for a new arena. Instead, it would be to punish those idiotic councillors who voted in 2011 to remove fluoride…

Calgary’s down, but is it out?

A former Calgarian returns to find empty office space, a battle over a multimillion-dollar hockey rink, and deserted restaurants and hotels

Calgary’s down, but is it out?After a summer spent up B.C.'s Sunshine Coast, I recently returned to Calgary for board meetings. The onset of fall is the uptake of my work as a member of five boards. They all crunch back into business mode almost the same week that ocean swimming becomes unpleasant. Every September, swimming is replaced by Robert’s…