Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- The City is projecting an additional $20.2 million shortfall for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Council will get a financial update on Monday.
- The debate on policing and community safety will continue this week with Council considering a number of amendments to the main motion that was made a few weeks ago. It seems likely that any budget adjustments would be limited to about $11 million and won’t be official until the fall budget discussions.
- Edmonton will not require people to wear masks after the Emergency Advisory Committee considered the idea on Thursday. "Face coverings are recommended, but they are not mandated," said Dr. Chris Sikora, medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services. The Province will be distributing another 20 million masks starting July 13, once again through drive-thru locations.
- Kris Harvey and Victoria Balint recently recovered from COVID-19 and are calling for discussing the illness to be normalized. "I think a lot of people are ashamed to even mention they’ve been tested or they’re isolating or they’ve tested positive," said Harvey.
- Council voted 10-3 to put the $100,000 e-bike rebate program on hold for 2021-22. Only Mayor Don Iveson, Councillor Aaron Paquette, and Councillor Ben Henderson voted to keep the program. Troy and I focused on this in Episode 91 of Speaking Municipally.
- Council voted 10-1 to transfer four parcels of land to Homeward Trust to building roughly 150 units of permanent supportive housing. Only Councillor Nickel opposed the decision.
- The City is reopening recreation centres this month, starting with fitness centres and gyms at five locations on July 6. Pools and other facilities will reopen later this month.
- Edmonton Police are going to start monitoring some streets with CCTV cameras this summer. Eight have already been installed.
- You’ve got to check out Linda’s post about Yoshii Express and the incredible response to her social posts about the new restaurant.
- The Edmonton Public Library will offer a new "Library Express Checkout" option at the Clareview, Lois Hole, and Mill Woods branches.
- Rumor has it that Edmonton and Toronto have been selected as the NHL’s two hub cities, but we’re still waiting for the official announcement. I like the Oilers and I’ll definitely watch on TV, but there had better not be any public money spent on this.
- The Edmonton Eskimos have released wide receiver Christion Jones for a homophobic tweet he posted last weekend.
- New fire chief Joe Zatylny will focus on mental health, wellness, and increasing diversity and inclusion, reports the Edmonton Journal.
- John Rose, the City of Edmonton’s chief economist, has died.
- Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.
Upcoming Events (July 6-12)
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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