I especially like the last slide of the PowerPoint for the Multi-Unit Dwelling Recycling Program. “We Want To Hear From You!” I bet you do.  As you read this, City employees are out buying Naproxen in bulk in anticipation of the public consultations. (I buy Naproxen in bulk. Thank god the Conservatives relaxed that one restriction; it makes dealing with everything else slightly more tolerable.)

p. 126 is my old friend, the Equity Building Program. As I have outlined in a poorly-written and -edited post elsewhere on this “blog”, this is a, well I want to say “stupid” but I’m working on being an ableist-free space here so I’ll say “unfortunate”, idea. I won’t get into it here but the gist is we’re enabling zero-down mortgages with City financing for marginally qualified homeowners. If you still don’t see why that’s a problem, the Globe and Mail is doing a spiffing job of busting the Canadian real estate market’s chops in a recent multi-part series. At the risk of turning into, er, Garth Turner here, the city has now removed the ceiling on the house price, placing the onus squarely on the banks, who are busy passing the buck to CMHC, which is, haha surprise, backed by the government. Technically it is part of the government but whatever. Anyways let’s all hope I’m terribly wrong on this one.

p. 127. Ehrenburg Homes (“The Castle Company”) is planning to build some rental units (yay) in Evergreen (muted yay). For this they get a tax break and judging glares from the neighbours who may or may not exist yet.

p. 130 is a longer bit from the Equity Building Program where they’re complaining about the new mortgage rules making it harder to qualify for said program. RED FLAG hello here it is. The answer here is to provide more affordable housing not affordable financing. Because when interest rates go up the affordable financing is possibly not so affordable anymore. Now I really know how Garth Turner feels. (I don’t.) Anyways if you want to tell me how wrong I am feel free to do so on Twitter. If you think I am right we can go to a partisan-free bar of your choice where you can buy me a hefeweizen and/or a rye and ginger. Fortunately the City is only on the hook for 3 mil if this plan fails. (“If” ahahaha). Now that I’ve completely alienated any potential friends I may have at the City (hi City employees), let’s move on.

133 is the full outline of what’s going to happen with the rental housing in Evergreen. It’s supposed to be affordable, okay, and it’s supposed to have a fully wheelchair-accessible unit (just one?) as well as energy-efficient. Let’s just hope these attractive features are still around when they finish building the houses. They have a way of evaporating.

p. 137. The CMHC reported there was a zero percent vacancy rate for three bedroom units east of the river and north of College Drive. That’s odd, because I know for a fact several of the crap duplexes along Gray have been empty for years. Mostly because they want 1500 a month for them. (Seriously, crap.)

p. 140. One of the streets in Evergreen is called Maningas Bend? I may have to update my silly street name list.

p. 142 is the Report of the Executive Committee, which is a fancy term for a committee comprised of all the council members (Friends of the Bowl). There is a bit about the repeal of the Technical Planning Commission (repeal it! Whatever it is) and then we are on to the Sidewalk Snow Clearing Bylaw or as some see it, the Red Snake of Fascism Rearing Its Head And Eating Our Freedoms and/or Children. (What’s the fascist animal? Weasel? Bull? I am not up on my political epithets here.) (Right, I just remembered it’s “pig” but whatever. Snakes are more ominous.)

If you are a breathing, eating citizen of this bloody city you will know what the issue is about, it is about being fined for Not Doing The City’s Job Which You Don’t Want To Pay The City To Do. (Apologies to those of you who do want to pay the city to do it, perhaps we should organize some sort of public demonstration.) If you want to tell me all about your position on the matter, please don’t. I am too busy gracefully leaping over the windrows of snow on the street and tripping gaily down the excitingly textured area where the sidewalk used to be.  Sometimes I even give a hearty “Tally-ho!” as I plow eagerly through some untouched drift athwart a stately dwelling. Don’t interrupt me, I say. I am having too much fun.

The snow removal enforcement report starts on p. 153 if you care to read it. The summary, I reluctantly offer, is that a) it will cost more money and b) it will most likely cost the most money to those people who need it enforced – people who are unable to wield the most noble of tools, the shovel.

p. 155 has the operational standard for a “clear sidewalk”, here reproduced in full:

“Operationally, a ‘cleared sidewalk’ will be one in which there is visible evidence that effort has been taken to clear the sidewalk subsequent to the most recent snow event and has a cleared path width of at least 1.2 metres. Cleared sidewalks will be free of any loose snow or debris and must not present a hazard nor be a hindrance to pedestrian traffic regardless of their mobility. A packed surface is acceptable as long as the aforementioned conditions are met and the packed thickness does not exceed 3 centimetres.”

The city put those quotes in, not me. I remember enough from my high school English that either you quote something or you put it in block quotes because it’s more than four lines long but you DO NOT DO BOTH. Much like how Saskatoon drivers either execute a turn or use the turn signal, but never at the same time.

p. 156 has the statistics from the last five years on who has been naughty and who has been nice. So far, since the winter of 07/08, the compliance level has been 89%, 94%, 96%, 95%, and 99% respectively. So, those of you who have been giving your shiftless neighbour a break, call them in and lower that number!

p. 157 has the options available and the cost associated with each. Doubtless you have heard the numbers bandied about by your partisan news outlet of choice, so do yourself a solid and read the numbers here. Also please note a Commissionaire is a veteran, generally, so those of you advocating they be paid minimum wage can politely fuck off.

p. 161 has a pictorial reference in case you would like to print that out, augment it with strategic red Sharpie, and tape it to your neighbour’s door. Or in my case, the unfortunate property owners in University Heights shopping area who think it is okay to scatter salt on 3 inches of snow and call it a day. (I am not kidding, they didn’t even turn on the snowblower.) I am not sure what it said on the outside of the salt bag in their possession but I have yet to meet a type of NaCL that could eliminate three inches of snow.

[We now pause while I check that it is indeed a form of table salt used to melt snow. Happily, I am wrong. You can use such diverse things as fertilizer, calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, magnesium chloride, potassium acetate, potassium chloride (fertilizer again) and, uh, urea (also fertilizer), in addition to NaCl. They all have their drawbacks, especially salt which kills the vegetation and any metal, and fertilizer which kills the concrete. Also I believe that sales of potassium chloride are limited due to their rather unsettling side effect of combustibility.]

p. 166 is the beginning of a fuller fleshing-out of the options for snow clearing if you don’t enjoy reading tables.

p. 171 is the beginning of the summaries of the letters to Council. I’ve done some quick sums here and that means that 53.6% of the agenda this month is communications. Hat tip to the residents who made their New Year’s resolution to exercise their right to send, uh, poorly-spelled missives to the local government. At any rate, the poor sod who’s tasked with reading these letters will have managed to stress-eat their way through any remaining Happy Holiday baking. Recycling: good for the environment, less good for your waistline.

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