Course Description

Politics in the City: Everything You Need to Know About Calgary Politics

Local politics is a bit of a puzzle. On the one hand, it’s the closest level of government to our everyday lives, providing services so essential that their absence would be almost immediately felt, such as police, fire service, water, and garbage collection. On the other hand, it has the lowest voter interest. In 2004, just 19 per cent of Calgarians turned out to select its city council.

This course will give you the knowledge you need to easily follow local politics, in Calgary and elsewhere. We’ll discuss the most important questions of local politics:

  • What powers do city councils actually have?
  • How do city budgets and property taxes work?
  • What’s the relationship between federal and provincial governments and local councils?
  • Why don't people turn out to vote? What role do property developers play in local politics?

Course Details

By completion of the course, successful students will be able to:

  • Identify important issues in Calgary city politics
  • Compare Calgary city politics with city politics in other municipalities in Canada and around the world
  • Discuss key issues in Calgary city politics
  • Identify the complexities and importance of local government in Calgary

Paul Fairie has been a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary in political science since 2010. Paul is also a data scientist at Centrality Data Science in Calgary, and a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail where he tries to make political science research accessible to the general public.


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Online Synchronous
10:00AM to 12:00PM
Mar 13, 2021 to Mar 27, 2021
Schedule and Location
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Fee before GST non-credit $75.00
Reading List / Textbook

No textbook required.

Section Notes

Classes are held online in real-time (Mountain Time) at the specified time and dates.

This course uses:

  • Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system. The instructor will post your course outline and other materials in D2L.
  • Zoom web conferencing software.

For more information, please visit our Online Learning Resources.

Unless notified, all online courses are available at 9 am MT the day before the start date. Students who register on (or after) the start date will receive access within one day of registration.

Unless otherwise stated, notice of withdrawal or transfer from a course must be received at least seven calendar days prior to the start date of the course.

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