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New Report Examines Calgary City Council’s Record Over 2013-2017 Term
Wednesday, 9 August 2017 - 12:45pm
The Manning Foundation has released the latest “Calgary Council Tracker” report today, that analyzes a wide range of Calgary Council data, statistics and activities for the full current term, between November 2013 and August 2017.
This in-depth study contains the most data ever collected on Calgary Council, including over 10,000 recorded votes per councillor, proportion of time spent in camera, attendance records for councillors, and organic coalitions that have developed between councillors.
Highlights from the report include:
- Calgary City Council met 120 times for a total of about 1,127 hours and 53 minutes: 861 hours and 8 minutes in public (76.3%), and 266 hours and 45 minutes in secret (23.7%).
- Calgary City Council met in camera at least 748 times during 2013-2017 for an average of 21 minutes and 41 seconds each time.
- The percentage of time spent in camera, at 23.7%, is up from 19% in the previous term.
- For comparison, between 2014 and 2016, Hamilton met in camera 13 times, Toronto 18 times, and Ottawa only one time.
- There are significant irregularities in the way that Calgary City Council records time stamps in the minutes of meetings, including in camera sessions, a serious concern for such an important topic.
- Average attendance was 96.8%, very similar to the previous term’s 98%.
- Council considered 10,405 motions, the vast majority of which passed, with only 2.8% failing.
- Council members Woolley and Carra very often vote the same way (80% of divided votes), as do Councillors Chu and Magliocca (72%).
- Conversely, Council members Farrell and Stevenson voted the same way only 32% of the time.
- The data also appears to show two reasonably clear coalitions of five councillors each.
- Nenshi, Carra, Farrell, Pincott, and Woolley tend to vote together quite often.
- Chu, Chabot, Demong, Magliocca, and Sutherland also vote together reasonably often, though the correlation is less significant.
“It can be difficult to keep up to date on what’s happening at City Hall throughout the year. This report is designed to provide citizens with an easy-to-access record of their councillors voting history and attendance, how much time is spent debating in secret, and a wide range of other statistical insights.” said Peter McCaffrey, Director of Research at the Manning Foundation, and the author of the report.