Edmonton Notes for December 2, 2018

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • On Thursday, the Government of Alberta introduced the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act which if passed would “provide Edmonton and Calgary with infrastructure funding tied to provincial revenues, meaning they would share in Alberta’s future revenue growth.” The proposed $500 million would be split between Edmonton & Calgary as a replacement for MSI which completes in 2022. “The deal includes a baseline of funding that can grow (and may contract) based on the Province’s actual revenues, which makes Edmonton a genuine benefitting partner in our combined efforts to grow employment, grow investment and help drive prosperity for Edmontonians and Albertans,” Mayor Iveson wrote about the funding deal.
  • Premier Rachel Notley announced today a short-term reduction in oil production aimed at protecting jobs. “Under the action announced, production of raw crude oil and bitumen will be reduced by 325,000 barrels per day to address the storage glut, representing an 8.7 per cent reduction.” The reduction will start in January and last until December 31, 2019.
  • Starting January 1, 2019 the City of Edmonton’s boundaries will officially expand to include 8,267 hectares of land from Leduc County and a portion of 50 Street in the Town of Beaumont. “We are looking forward to welcoming these new residents to Edmonton,” says Mayor Don Iveson.
  • Inflation in the Edmonton region moved down 0.3% in October to 3.0%. Despite declining gas prices, “gasoline was still up by approximately 21% on a year-over-year basis in October 2018.”
  • Despite just 6 cannabis-related charges in the first month of legalization, Edmonton Police want an $87 million budget increase, in part to hire 24 officers to deal with cannabis. Councillor Andrew Knack has quite rightly wondered how sensible that is and is actually suggesting a reduction in the increase EPS would receive this budget cycle.
  • According to a poll funded by Prosperity Edmonton, 73% of respondents want Council to hold off on tax increases. “Eighty-two per cent of respondents also said taxes will be an important factor in their voting decisions for the next municipal election, the poll suggests.”
  • Parking revenue downtown is less than projected which is a problem as it was supposed to help pay off the arena debt. So Council has decided to use funding from the CRL to cover the difference, which means less money for other projects.
  • Winter schedule adjustments took effect on ETS today. “Bus routes 2, 8, 9, 10, 15, 90, 100, 106, 112 and 143 have undergone significant and permanent schedule adjustments.”
  • This year 11 individuals were recognized at the 2018 Salute to Excellence Citation & Performance Awards. Congrats to all!
  • Councillor McKeen has asked the City for a report on ways to help homeless people in Edmonton while new supportive housing is developed. “[People] are leading desperate lives out there, and we continue to pay a high price for chasing our tail on this, whether it’s policing, bylaw, the folks who clean up these camps, (or) the business zones,” McKeen said Tuesday during a city council meeting.
  • This week Council officially nixed the need for a development permit for minor home-based businesses. They have also passed changes to the Zoning Bylaw that make it easier for residents to hold short-term special events.
  • The deadline for the Metro Line LRT signalling system is Tuesday and Thales insists the system is ready to go.
  • In the latest episode of Speaking Municipally, Troy is joined by Kirsten Goa to discuss parking revenue, budget, and child-friendliness.
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Health Innovation, Music, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

New era for provincial, cities partnership 123607
New era for provincial, cities partnership, photo by Premier of Alberta

Upcoming Events

  • We’re into the time of year when it seems everyone is hosting a holiday party. Enjoy safely!
  • Zoominescence 2018 started on the weekend at the Edmonton Valley Zoo and runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to Christmas.
  • Holiday Magic starts at City Hall on Monday and runs all week.
  • The Alberta Legislature’s annual Light Up takes place on Tuesday.
  • Green Drinks: YEG Makers takes place on Wednesday evening at Yellowhead Brewery.
  • The Economics Society of Northern Alberta is hosting its Annual Outlook Conference on Thursday at the Quarter Note Hotel (formerly Hyatt Place in The Quarters).
  • The City is hosting a drop-in engagement session on Thursday night at the Stantec Tower lobby about the proposal for digital signs atop the tower.
  • Pitchfest takes place on Friday at the Shaw Conference Centre. It’s “an opportunity for technology startup founders to pitch their businesses and needs to a select audience of other entrepreneurs, private investors, public funders, service providers, business leaders, and community members.”
  • Royal Bison‘s second weekend takes place Friday to Sunday at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre.
  • The sold out Luminaria 2018 runs Friday to Sunday at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden.
  • The Oilers host the Wild on Friday and the Flames on Sunday.
  • URBANYEG is hosting its first Panel Discussion on Saturday at CCIS at the University of Alberta. Three panelists will share their experience with photography.
  • The Inspire Cheer & Dance Championship takes place at the Edmonton EXPO Centre on Saturday.

Cloud Factories
Cloud Factories, photo by Dave Sutherland

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