Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- Council is now on summer recess after wrapping up the debate on policing and community safety with an underwhelming decision. The key takeaways included an $11 million reduction to the police budget increase, spread over the next two years, and the establishment of a new task force.
- The Province announced up to $120 million to complete the expansion of Terwillegar Drive, despite the project not appearing on the list of prioritized, shovel-ready projects that the City submitted recently.
- The Edmonton Eskimos released another statement on the team’s name, this week. "We will be seeking further input from the Inuit, our partners and other stakeholders to inform our decisions moving forward," it reads. Now that the sponsors are speaking up (Belair Direct and Boston Pizza) maybe they’ll finally change the name.
- We spoke about the policing motion, COVID-19 financial update, and renewed calls to rename the Edmonton Eskimos in Episode 92 of Speaking Municipally.
- The Misericordia Community Hospital closed to new patients and cancelled all surgeries this week after an outbreak of COVID-19. At least six people have died at the hospital as a result of the outbreak.
- "From May 20 to July 6, Edmonton had 204 millimetres of rain, almost double the average rainfall of 107 millimetres for the time period," reports CBC News. Sounds like we can expect more of the same throughout the summer.
- Alpin Sun plans to develop a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm at the Edmonton International Airport. Slated to be operational by the end of 2022, the project will bring "an estimated $169 million in foreign direct investment to the Edmonton Metro Region."
- It’s official: Edmonton and Toronto are the NHL’s hub cities. Games are supposed to start August 1. Just don’t expect any sort of meaningful economic boost.
- Great question on the NHL hub city from University of Alberta public-health specialist Dr. Hakique Virani. We asked people to stop weddings, funerals, and other events due to the pandemic. “The question people may ask is, if we made sacrifices in the interest of the common good and public health, what is it about hockey that is more important than my family, my job and my life?”
- Edmonton’s unemployment rate was the highest among major cities in June at 15.7% according to Statistics Canada.
- They may have cancelled the e-bike rebate, but Council can’t cancel the enthusiasm people have for e-bikes. Local shops said the demand was extraordinary.
- ICYMI: Linda Hoang drove a ton of business to Yoshii Express, a new Japanese restaurant on Whyte Avenue. She followed that up with the #AdoptAShopYEG campaign to support small businesses.
- The Independent Council Compensation Committee is inviting input on the pay levels and benefits for City Council. An online survey is available until July 27.
- Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.
Whitemud Creek, photo by Kurt Bauschardt
Upcoming Events (July 13-19)
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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