While Canadians could see a ban on single-use plastics by 2021, one Calgary city councillor says the solution to the problem should start with consumers and retailers before the government is forced to step in.
In May 2019, Calgary city councillors voted 6-1 during a utilities committee meeting in favour of developing a strategy to reduce single-use plastics. However, Coun. Jeromy Farkas voted against the plan and said he would rather see innovation than “heavy-handed government approaches.”
A grey Mazda sits on the approach to Stoney Trail Bridge on the morning of May 31st. A pink tarp is draped across the driver’s window. The car’s hazard lights flash as the sticky smoke from the High Level wildfires surround the scene. Two people are dead.
At approximately 9 a.m., first responders arrive to find the lifeless body of a 77-year-old woman, who has since been identified in media reports as Liisa Nukkala, within the vehicle. The body of her son is found on the river bank below the bridge.
The murder-suicide marks Calgary’s sixth domestic homicide of 2019, with the most recent four occurring within a month-and-a-half of each other. According to the Calgary Police Service statistics, Calgary saw a 10 per cent increase in domestic conflict incidents in 2018, with a total of 21,535 reported to police.
In late May, amidst smoky skies from wildfires in northern Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney tabled Bill 1 to end the provincial carbon tax. The carbon tax has been a contentious topic both provincially and nationally. Kenney has argued the levy has no effect on reducing greenhouse gases, whereas Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argues the price on pollution is the best solution to reducing natural disasters, like wildfires. Politics aside, there is no denying that climate change is a serious problem. The planet’s temperature will not stop increasing and wait for the best solution to be discovered.
As the future of Calgary’s first mobile supervised consumption site remains uncertain, some residents continue to raise concerns about having the services in their neighbourhood.
The mobile site has been proposed for Forest Lawn, which has the second highest overdose rate in Calgary. Provincial funding for the service has been frozen while the UCP government conducts a review of proposed supervised consumption sites across Alberta.
William Carnegie, who is the former president of the Forest Lawn Community Association, initially advocated for the proposed mobile supervised consumption site, but pulled his support after Calgary police reported an increase in crime in the area around the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre.