Plebiscite on secondary suites considered
It’s been one of the most contentious city issues in recent years, with municipal politicians at loggerheads over whether to legalize secondary suites across residential Calgary.
Now, council is contemplating letting voters decide the whole issue in the next municipal election, and have requested city officials study the costs, legal implications, and possible wording of a plebiscite.
“The issue is it sounds like my colleagues are too entrenched in their positions,” said Ald. John Mar, who proposed the city look at a plebiscite.
“New information based on the latest polls will not sway them from their positions. The best thing to do is let the people decide.”
Monday’s council decision to investigate the idea doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a plebiscite; it is just a report into the possibility. A plebiscite would not be binding on council.
City manager Owen Tobert estimated holding a plebiscite in conjunction with the election would cost around $1 million.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi argues the views of Calgarians are already well known, with surveys showing they broadly support the legalization.
The report on a plebiscite will come in September.