Edmonton Notes for June 7, 2020

More than 10,000 people showed up at the Alberta legislature on Friday night to declare that Black Lives Matter and to peacefully protest racism, white supremacy, and police brutality. They marched into the night, with constant cheers and horns heard throughout downtown.

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • "Edmonton is not immune to racism," wrote Mayor Don Iveson in a statement on anti-racism protests. "Racism exists, and does persist, here in Edmonton – and we must remain committed to fight racism, but this starts with acknowledging it."
  • In a video posted to social media, Edmonton police chief Dale McFee addressed the death of George Floyd calling it "criminal" and said "there needs to be accountability."
  • A form letter from Black Lives Matter Edmonton that calls on City Council to divest from policing and invest in community has been signed more than 7,500 times.
  • After 11 weeks, the Emergency Advisory Committee decided not to renew the State of Local Emergency (SOLE) on Thursday afternoon. "Choosing not to renew the SOLE is as a result of the low number of active cases and hospitalizations, and the City’s ability to manage the current state without the declaration in place," reads the news release.
  • City Council voted 8-5 to prioritize the Capital Line South LRT extension ahead of Metro Line North. "We are decades behind schedule of building out LRT in the city or mass transit," said Councillor Andrew Knack. "We need proper mass transit to all parts of the city — that is what is needed in large urban centres like Edmonton." His motion to continue pressing the provincial and federal governments for predictable funding was approved.
  • The City of Edmonton has launched a series of environmental rebate programs to encourage energy efficient upgrades and electric transportation. Edmontonians can save up to $4,000 towards the installation of a solar electric system, and 30% of the cost of an e-bike, to a maximum of $750.
  • The city has delivered 350 pop-up garden plots to 29 sites this year to help residents start gardening, reports CBC News. "The city is providing the planter boxes and soil to each selected site while gardeners must supply their own plants, seeds and tools."
  • "A public opinion poll from the Alberta government indicates 79% of those polled support Edmonton hosting some Stanley Cup playoff games under conditions approved by the chief medical officer of health," reports Global News. In Edmonton itself, 57% of respondents strongly support the idea while 21% somewhat support it.
  • Three Antonov AN-124 planes, among the largest in the world, arrived at the Edmonton International Airport as cargo charters this week. “We look forward to welcoming back more passengers in the future but until that time cargo flights are bringing needed traffic and activity to EIA and the entire Edmonton region,” said EIA president and CEO Tom Ruth in a news release. “We plan to keep building on the relationships we’re establishing for many years to come, to the benefit of our entire region.”
  • Bird and Lime deployed hundreds of e-scooters in the city this week. They’re supposed to be corralled and cleaned daily. There are lots on and around 104 Street and I’m a bit surprised at how many people are riding them already. Roll Scooters, which had been planning to launch in Edmonton this spring, told the Edmonton Journal that COVID-19 forced it to change plans. They’re hoping to launch later this summer.
  • Parking fees in EPark zones and City-owned parkades will be reinstated on Monday, June 8. Hourly rates in approximately 80% of EPark zones will be reduced.
  • The Art Gallery of Alberta will reopen to the public on June 11 with access via pre-booked tickets.
  • Laser City, which was forced to close in mid-March, has launched an online Minecraft day camp that runs for two hours a day.
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

This week, Speaking Municipally surpassed 50,000 downloads! Thanks to everyone who has supported our show. Check out Episode 88 for more on what happened this week.

E-scooters being cleaned
E-scooters being cleaned

Upcoming Events (June 8-14)

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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