Bringing more fairness to Calgary with Fair Entry
With the collaboration of many City of Calgary departments and the advocacy of Mayor Nenshi (since before he was mayor!) and many other tireless community champions, The City of Calgary has launched the Fair Entry program to make it easier for people with a low income to access city services. To learn more about the Fair Entry program, visit www.Calgary.ca/FairEntry.
Here is the news release from May 26, 2015:
Today The City of Calgary opened two new customer service locations for its Fair Entry subsidized services application process. This new application process means that Calgarians applying for City-subsidized programs apply only once to have their income qualified for all five programs.
“As part of our work to transform government, one of our goals is to put the citizen at the centre of our activities,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The Fair Entry project is a great example of that. It not only preserves people’s dignity but it allows more people to access more City services.”
The Fair Entry program is a part of The City’s efforts to transform government and cut red tape. City business units worked to align processes, share responsibilities and make their focus citizen-centric. Applicants may qualify for, and informed of, programs and services which they were not aware of and will only have to explain their current financial situation once while the streamline process makes it more convenient for people accessing more than one program.
“What is most important is that we are providing an excellent public service benefitting all Calgarians and allowing people to become full participants in our communities,” said Katie Black, acting director, Community & Neighbourhood Services.“Partnership and collaboration is so important and we couldn’t have accomplished this project if we had tried to do it alone.”
Community partners worked alongside The City to make changes for more equitable access to City services and programs. Colleen Houston is with Fair Fares Calgary and has been a strong partner and tireless advocate for a city that is accessible to all.
“Many people experience barriers to accessing transit passes and we fought really hard to make sure that people didn’t have to spend two days off their jobs to submit applications for services,” said Colleen Houston, of Fair Fares Calgary. “I’m so proud of the people living in poverty who stepped forward to tell Council what is needed to create a city that is fair and dignified.”
The Calgary Public Library also partnered with The City to create a service counter location at the Village Square Library in addition to the service location on the 3rd floor of the Municipal Building.
“We are so pleased to be able to provide accessible services from The City of Calgary right alongside all the great library services we have to offer to the residents,” said Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library. “It’s a great partnership and it’s just one more way the Calgary Public Library is becoming the best library in the world.”
The City anticipates it will provide subsidized services to roughly 55,000 Calgarians per year through Fair Entry. Eligibility for all of the Fair Entry programs is based on the Statistics Canada low-income threshold, approximately $24,000 for a single Canadian and $45,000 for a family of four. Calgarians interested in learning more about the Fair Entry program, how to apply or where they can find and drop-off applications should visit Calgary.ca/fairentry.