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Parker’s Pen – May 2022

David Parker

I received a little flack over an earlier column in which I suggested we should give our mayor and council a little time to settle into their chairs before being concerned about the important things they were elected to tackle.

The responses suggested that I was way too optimistic.

Now I know that our mayor has suffered in the popularity polls but the rest are indeed making decisions to improve our way of life.

We can now keep hens in the backyard. Too bad it will mean hiring new staff to make sure keepers have taken the right training program, have the required license and are paid a visit to make sure the coops fit the standards to house two to four hens. Not one, because it might get lonely. And what a crime if someone was found to have five!

And by the time this column is read we might just have an official city bird. That’s got to be of prime importance.

Looking at the short list I would cross off the little nuthatch because I doubt if many people have watched one zipping around the garden. Blue Jay is a non-starter for those who are not fans of a Toronto baseball team. And for goodness’ sake, not a Flicker. A beautiful but also a very destructive bird.

It cost me a few hundred dollars to repair the hole in my siding made by its long, hard-as-steel beak, and a friend told me repairs to his chimney flashing cost close to a $1,000.

My choice is the ‘clean up the roadkill’ magpie – I like characters. And anyway, the Black Billed Magpie is a Western bird; doesn’t nest in Niagara.

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Meanwhile I have senior friends who are very uncomfortable travelling on the LRT. Getting to the library at Lions Park station has become a scary venture.

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Property taxes are up, as expected, but council should perhaps look at the several thousand acres of industrial land in the city’s bank. There is a shortage of good sites and selling for new buildings would provide a huge amount of sales and tax revenues.

Rocky View County is enjoying the benefit of being able to house huge new warehouses.

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The reception at Centini’s to launch this year’s Business in Calgary Leader Awards had me thinking that we are blessed with many who fit the bill. But where are the political leaders? Civic, provincial and federal leaders are not matching up to so many we could name over the past decades.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Pat Carney recently, and thanked her for her courage and determination in ridding us of the NEP.

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We all expect to get shorter as we age; so why when putting my socks on do my feet seem farther away?

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It was a real pleasure to once again attend a splendidly organized Tourism Calgary Open House, and to chat with so many full-of-confidence people working in the hospitality industry. Let’s all do our best to support them as we welcome tourists back.

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Final words: You can only draw on what you deposit.