Edmonton Minute: Anonymous Letters, Urban Reserves, and Covid Restrictions Loosened Slightly
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
The City's Executive Committee will meet today at 9:30 am to consider even further incentives to spur land development in 2021 after Council approved releasing $23 million from the City's remaining COVID-19 funding last week. Executive Committee will also consider a report aimed at shortening the timelines between community development and basic community provisions, and decide what to do with historic Hangar 11 in Blatchford.
- Tuesday kicks off at 9:00 am with the Agenda Review Committee meeting, followed by the Urban Planning Committee at 9:30 am. Urban Planning will consider whether to provide funding to the High Level Line Society which is a group that is proposing to make the top level of the High Level Bridge a walkable park. The Committee will also receive several reports on intermodal hubs, City Plan implementation, transit mode share, the 2019 report of development variances, and more.
- On Wednesday at 9:30 the Community and Public Services Committee will meet to consider alternative ways to fund the proposed Rollie Miles Rec Centre, to finalize the agreement between Baseball Edmonton and the City to both kick in money to fix Remax Field, to receive a report on supportive housing strategies, and to consider amending the graffiti bylaw. Lastly, on Friday the Utility Committee will meet to consider all things EPCOR, such as their 2021 operating plan, franchise fees, and, notably, considering adding the cost of fire hydrants - which are currently paid for by the general tax levy - to ratepayers bills starting in 2022.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- Edmonton's Mayor and Councillors received an anonymous letter from 23 City workers in the fleet and facility services department that alleges harassment and mismanagement. "The growing number of non-essential positions that have nothing to do with the nature of the bus maintenance operation yields zero meaningful impacts on the workers, Edmontonians, and their mayor and council," the letter read. It reminds us of the City Performance report which pointed out an extreme growth of management positions at the City.
- Councillors unanimously agreed to begin creating a strategy to plan an "urban reserve" within City limits. The agreement would see small pockets of Edmonton designated to Treaty 6 First Nations, starting with a small gravesite in the west side community of Glastonbury. It is also hoped that it would make it easier for First Nations residents of Edmonton to access services which they would otherwise have to travel back to their First Nation to access.
- The Province put forward a plan to re-open local restaurants and gyms next week, but there will still be many very strict limitations in place. Restaurants will be one household per table while gyms will be open only for one-on-one training sessions. The federal government also shut down travel to sunshine destinations and mandated more testing and a minimum three-day hotel stay for Canadians returning home. The hotel stays will cost travellers at least $2,000, while the flight restrictions will have major implications for Air Canada and Alberta-based WestJet.
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