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Let's Talk

The input of Calgarians is important in shaping the direction of our future. To honour The City's commitment to continue its conversation with Calgarians, calgary.ca/ourfuture was launched in June 2012. Calgarians were asked if their priorities had changed since Council approved the 2012-2014 business plans and budgets, if outside events had changed or shifted (e.g. economic conditions) and if The City was doing a good job in meeting the expectations laid out in the three-year business plans and budgets.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2013 & 2014 business plans and budget adjustments survey and the November Adjustments!

Now, we have a new challenge. As mandated by the provincial government, beginning with the 2013 municipal elections, our Aldermen and Mayor will be elected to a four-year term of office.

Currently, we have a three-year business plan and budget cycle that aligns with Council's three-year election cycle. We need to adjust that cycle so we remain aligned with the Council's longer term of office.

The City of Calgary has identified the characteristics of our three-year approach that should be maintained, and we are LOOKING FOR YOUR INPUT into the timing and duration of our business plans and budgets for the upcoming cycle, which starts right after the October 2013 election.

Help us create a new business planning and budgeting process to match the new four-year Council term.

Take our survey

How we will use your input and report back to you?

In continuing our conversation, we have these goals in mind:
  • Provide you with information about how we plan and budget and why we do it, including information about our previous process and the need for change.
  • Make you part of the process in creating a new business planning and budgeting cycle and give you the opportunity to provide input and ideas.
Your input will be shared with both Council and Administration to aid them in deciding on a new business planning and budgeting process to support a four-year Council term. We will post the results of the survey on this website, and continue to update you as decisions are made throughout 2013.
Thank you for being engaged and thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback to help us build a better Calgary!


The rationale for multi-year business plans and budgets has been to improve the City's ability to implement longer-term plans based on the certainty that resources (dollars, people, partnerships, etc.) have been committed. A three-year cycle also provides certainty to citizens on future property tax rates and user fees. The longer-term view links business plans and budgets with the strategic priorities of Council and Calgarians, and helps control changes in spending plans.
Please take the time to browse this site, if you haven't already, to understand what our three-year business plans and budgets comprise.


The following are characteristics of The City of Calgary's current three-year business plan and budgeting approach:

Council-Directed – Following each civic election, Council identifies priorities for its term, and this sets the direction for the development of the department plans and budgets. Council then approves these integrated business plans and budgets, which are implemented during the remaining years of Council's term.

Flexible – An annual process allows The City to adjust its plans and budgets in response to changes in the external environment.

Realistic and Financially Sustainable – The budgets are balanced each year (revenues and expenditures match) and are based on realistic cost and revenue projections for the period. Revenue projections include approved tax rate changes for the period, based on citizens' preferences for finding a balance between service levels and affordable municipal taxes.

Efficient – The process is respectful of the balance needed between the time and effort devoted to business plan and budget preparation and approval, and the time needed to implement the approved plans.

Comprehensive – The planning phase is intensive and in-depth. Council direction is combined with the results of citizen engagement, analysis of the future service needs, and economic and social forecasts, to develop the business plans and budgets.

Integrated – Business plans and budgets are directly connected, thereby enhancing accountability. The business plan deliverables are funded from approved operating and capital budgets for the same period. Business plans are therefore realistic and financially achievable.

Future-Oriented – The City's business plans and budgets take a long-term perspective, ensuring that decisions about spending priorities reflect The City's long-term vision and policy goals.

Take our survey
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