Edmonton Notes for May 24, 2020

It started out wet, but the weekend turned into a beautiful one. We were busy in the garden and went for a walk on Sunday in the sun to show Emily the Talus Dome. There were an awful lot of people out enjoying the weather, though everyone did seem to be obeying the physical distancing rules. We certainly didn’t see anything close to what happened at Trinity Bellwoods in Toronto. Instead, Edmontonians had to be reminded to stay off the river and away from the river banks (Edmonton Fire Rescue Services had to rescue a dog on Sunday morning). Stay safe!

Talus Dome

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • The relaunch is underway in Edmonton. On Friday, "playgrounds, skateparks, tennis, pickleball, volleyball and basketball courts, disc golf, outdoor fitness parks and athletic tracks" started to reopen. EPark fees will be reinstated starting June 8 and the Edmonton Valley Zoo is slated to reopen on June 15.
  • The City also relaxed rules for new temporary patios, sidewalk cafes, and outdoor retail operations.
  • Mayor Don Iveson said in an interview with CBC News that the City may be forced to shut down public transit for the summer due to the financial impacts of COVID-19. "The idea of spending less on it in the warmer months so that we have more to spend in the colder months is just one possible scenario," he said. Ridership is down 70-80% and the City projects a net loss of more than $33 million for transit due to the pandemic. On Twitter, Iveson clarified that "shutting down transit would be an absolute LAST resort for us."
  • “I can’t imagine a better place to come to than the home of the Edmonton Oilers or this province that has done so much for the sport of hockey and for the NHL for decades,” said Premier Jason Kenney, responding to questions about the NHL’s plans to resume hockey. “It just makes so much sense, so we will be making a significant pitch.” Mayor Don Iveson sent a letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that said "by bringing hockey back to a smaller market, the NHL would generate a significant boost to a great hockey city that has long laboured to create conditions to support the game."
  • Troy and I discussed the possible transit changes and the NHL hub city possibility on the latest episode of Speaking Municipally.
  • Mayor Don Iveson and the mayors of most Edmonton-area municipalities have sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney asking for help in securing federal funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Global News. “As we look ahead to the reopening and relaunch phases, now is the time to ensure municipalities are not grappling with financial uncertainty,” the letter said.
  • The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) said it has been forced to reduce its workforce by up to 40% which is up to 100 positions.
  • The City of Edmonton has mailed more than 400,000 property tax notices to Edmonton property owners. "The payment deadline is June 30 but, this year, late-payment penalties on unpaid taxes will not be charged until September 1." Notices are also available online.
  • Home sales in Edmonton recorded over MLS systems dropped by 46.6% in April compared to March, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
  • Baseball Edmonton, a group of 20 people including former Edmonton Oiler Randy Gregg who serves as managing director, has been awarded the 10-year lease (beginning April 2021) to operate RE/MAX Field, reports Global News. In a statement, the City of Edmonton said, “We are supportive of the group’s vision for the facility, its commitment to advancing baseball in Edmonton and continuing to ensure community access to RE/MAX Field.”
  • Richard Skermer, president and CEO of RWE Events and producer of the Edmonton Airshow, has been awarded the J.A.D. McCurdy Trophy from the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, "in recognition of outstanding and praiseworthy achievement by a Canadian in the field of civil aviation."
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

Upcoming Events (May 25-31)

The vast majority of upcoming events have been cancelled or postponed. If you’re unsure, just stay home – especially if you’re feeling sick.

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