Ques­tions of role in pipe­line de­bate

How ef­fec­tive would for­mal city dec­la­ra­tion be if it doesn’t have au­thor­ity to do any­thing?

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - MADE­LINE SMITH

Coun­cil­lor Jeromy Farkas re­leased a lengthy no­tice of mo­tion propos­ing a for­mal city coun­cil dec­la­ra­tion of sup­port for new pipelines and of­fi­cially ac­knowl­edg­ing that the oil price dif­fer­en­tial is a “cri­sis.” CHRISTINA RYAN/STARMETO A city coun­cil­lor wants Cal­gary to make an of­fi­cial state­ment of sup­port for Al­berta oil and pipelines, but at least one ex­pert ques­tions how ef­fec­tive the move would be with lim­ited mu­nic­i­pal pow­ers.

Ward 11 Coun­cil­lor Jeromy Farkas re­leased a lengthy no­tice of mo­tion Wed­nes­day that pro­poses mak­ing a for­mal city coun­cil dec­la­ra­tion of sup­port for new pipelines and of­fi­cially ac­knowl­edg­ing that the oil price dif­fer­en­tial is a “cri­sis.” He also wants to di­rect city ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­view the city’s “ad­vo­cacy op­tions,” in­clud­ing le­gal or pol­icy moves or us­ing city fa­cil­i­ties and ve­hi­cles to spread “ed­u­ca­tion” about the prov­ince’s en­ergy in­dus­try.

“The mayor has spo­ken at great length about the im­por­tance of our oil and gas in­dus­try, but never have we for­mally rec­og­nized the fact that Cal­gar­i­ans are in cri­sis,” Farkas said. “There’s a lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion out there, and I think the city can play a role.”

Mount Royal Uni­ver­sity po­lit­i­cal science pro­fes­sor Lori Wil­liams said it’s fair for coun­cil to dis­cuss the is­sues Cal­gary is fac­ing as a glut of oil pro­duc­tion plagues Al­berta, but the city doesn’t have much au­thor­ity to do any­thing con­crete.

“It’s not a mat­ter of ne­ces­sity. Clearly, it isn’t nec­es­sary. What re­ally mat­ters is what would be ef­fec­tive,” she said.

THES­TAR.COM/CAL­GARY

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