Edmonton Minute: Affordable Housing, FIFA Funding, and a Massive Tax Increase
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Monday at City Hall kicks off with the Community and Public Services Committee meeting from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. On the agenda is the final update and development plan from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry. The Aerial Mosquito Program and alternative landscape options for boulevard and turf will also be discussed. City administration is recommending that Council approve $507,000 in funding for the mosquito spraying program.
Tuesday will begin with the Agenda Review Committee meeting from 9:00 am to 9:30 am followed by a continuation of last week's Council meeting. Council did not finish their agenda within the two days previously allotted, so the continuing meeting will run from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm or until completion.
- Wednesday at 9:30 am, the Executive Committee will meet to discuss, amongst other things, the “Edmonton Economic Action Plan - Mobilization of Capital and Red Tape Reduction.” We are certainly interested in hearing more about plans for red tape reduction. Lastly, on Friday at 9:30 am, there will be a Utility Committee meeting to discuss the EPCOR 2022 operational plan.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The City quietly increased a “special tax for Alley Lighting” by almost 40% last week from $1.58 per assessable meter to $2.21 per assessable meter for houses benefiting from alley upgrades. While the total amount of money in question is not a lot (about $2 million) the question remains as to why the City thought it appropriate to increase a tax by that much during these tough economic times. They claim there was an "unanticipated change in process". If anyone out there knows what that means, let us know!
- Edmonton’s Mayor Amarjeet Sohi raised a ruckus about the provincial government's lack of support for Edmonton’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup. Vancouver recently backed its bid to host the games by $5 million. Given that FIFA makes host cities exempt them from all taxes (see our Facebook post back on December 29th of last year) we’re not sure about this. What do you think? Should international sporting events get taxpayer funding?
- Speaking of funding, the federal government announced $24 million to fund an affordable housing project. The project will be in the Heritage Valley and have two-bedroom suites with rents priced just over $1,000 per month. If you're thinking that that doesn't sound very affordable, you'd be right. Rent prices aren't high because the government hasn't built enough houses, rent prices are high because there haven't been enough houses built, full stop. Instead of getting distracted spending taxpayer money on building just a few houses, the government should focus on making it easier and cheaper for the private sector to build many many houses, which would bring down the price.
Common Sense Edmonton doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Edmontonian knows what's really going on at City Hall.