Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- A new report suggests that combining the transit services of municipalities within the Edmonton region could lead to savings of $3 million per year once systems are fully aligned in 2026. “As the Edmonton Metropolitan Region becomes more interconnected and complex, doing more of the same to meet the region’s mobility needs will not be sustainable over the long term,” said City of Edmonton Councillor Michael Walters.
- Council approved an unfortunately contentious affordable housing development in Keheewin this week. “The test for us is not the consent of the neighbourhood and certainly not the unanimous consent of the neighbourhood,” said Mayor Don Iveson. Nevermind that the proposal is solid and makes sense, Council had to approve this to avoid setting an incredibly dangerous precedent for future affordable housing projects. We talk more about this in the latest episode of Speaking Municipally.
- Council also approved a 36-storey tower in Oliver just a short walk away from Grandin LRT Station.
- The City of Edmonton has awarded a one-year food service contract for Hawrelak Park to Culina To Go. “We recognize the importance of working with local providers and we are excited to have Culina operating out of the park,” said Rhonda Norman, Director of River Valley and Horticulture Facilities.
- I was really disappointed to see that Councillor Paquette’s motion to look at third party review of private Council meetings failed 7-6. “I was actually surprised for a city that wants to be known for openness and accountability,” he said. “You would think you’d want continuous improvement.”
- Champion Petfoods has opened a new 421,000-square-foot facility west of Edmonton in Parkland County known as The NorthStar Kitchen. It will employ about 200 people in production and logistics.
- The Edmonton Public Library is one of 73 libraries around the world to surpass one million digital books checked out in 2019 using Rakuten’s OverDrive and Libby. I love Libby and use it every day with my EPL account!
- The UCP government says that although it is looking into changes to the Local Authorities Elections Act, it has no intention to introduce partisan politics to municipal elections. Mayor Iveson and other municipal leaders aren’t so sure, however.
- A reminder that 311 service hours are being reduced to 12 hours a day starting on Sunday, Feb. 2.
- Edmonton-based physician Shawna Pandya is acting as commander on Mars simulation mission in Utah to study the science needed for human exploration of the planet. She "returns to Earth" on Feb. 3.
- About 47% of Albertans say they are $200 or less away from insolvency at he end of a month. That’s crazy!
- "For the past eight years or so, Edmonton has been rolling out an official strategy to encourage its residents to embrace winter rather than hibernate," wrote The New York Times recently.
- Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.
“James Burns, CEO of Alcanna, Minister Doug Schweitzer, MLA Brad Rutherford, and Cst. Robyn Wilson, Edmonton Police Service, announced action to fight robberies and thefts targeting liquor stores.” Photo by Government of Alberta
- The Winter Shakespeare Festival continues this week, wrapping up on Saturday.
- There’s another #boombagsYEG SEWcial coming up on Tuesday evening at Unbelts on 99 Street.
- Let’s Talk Hope Edmonton takes place all day Wednesday at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel. "We’re bringing together business owners, teachers, mental health workers, nonprofit leaders, and students to talk help and solutions for mental health."
- The Oilers are back in action after the all-star break, hosting the Flames on Wednesday night and the Blues on Friday night at Rogers Place.
- The Alberta Cannabis Council and AGLC are speaking at a cannabis industry networking night on Wednesday at Brewsters in Oliver Square.
- Mayor Don Iveson will be speaking about building a city for two million people on Thursday evening at MacEwan’s Allard Hall.
- The 2020 Student Sustainability Summit takes place Saturday at the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union Building.
- Metro Cinema is showing Groundhog Day on Sunday afternoon.
- Swing ‘n’ Skate is on at City Hall every Sunday until Feb. 23.
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