Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Calgary begins cleanup after flood, volunteers needed

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has asked for 600-1000 volunteers to help residents get back in their homes after a massive flood swept through the city on Thursday last week. An outdoor water use ban is still in place but tap water is safe to drink according to the director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. Downtown Calgary remains closed but some buildings may reopen tomorrow to the public. Approximately 11,000 people are still without power in downtown while the C-Train and bus services are still suspended in the area. The Calgary Stampede will still go ahead on July 5 despite the flooding. [CBC]

2. Alberta Premier pledges $1 billion in relief funding, abandons balanced budget goal

Alberta premier Alison Redford has announced $1 billion in recovery funding from the province to kickstart the flood recovery process. Qualified residents will be granted $1,250 per adult and $500 per child and will receive pre-loaded debit cards to assist with housing needs and day-t0-day expenses. [Huffington Post]

3. Saskatchewan prepares for Alberta’s floodwater

As Alberta’s floodwater flows east, the South Saskatchewan River was expected to peak today or yesterday. The Cumberland House area, downstream from the junction of the North and South Saskatchewan rivers, has already been evacuated. The provincial Water Security Agency has estimated more than 6,000 cubic metres per second will move into the South Saskatchewan this week, which would mark the highest flow recorded on the river since the early 1900s. [Metro]

4. Committee approves proposed traffic changes for tower at Portage and Main

Winnipeg city councillors on the downtown development, heritage and riverbank management unanimously agreed to Creswin Properties’ proposal to allow vehicles to turn off Main Street into a 5.4-metre wide opening onto their property and partially close a back alley if other adjacent property owners agree. The proposed development would include a building with 237 hotel rooms, 30 condo units on the top six floors, a full-service restaurant and 40,000 square feet of office space. [Winnipeg Free Press]

Around Canada:

5. Rob Ford attends Toronto Pride kickoff for first time

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attended his first Toronto Pride event today, despite his last three predecessors marching in the parade and his two years of skipping it as mayor. Traditionally unpopular with Toronto’s gay community, Ford recently voted against funding the festival and as a city councillor, and once said it was “disgusting” that the Toronto City Council awarded $5,000 for a video about coming out of the closet. [Toronto Star]