Edmonton Minute: Auditor Appointed, Budget Billions, and Stage Three Soon
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
City business starts on Tuesday at 8:45 am when there will be the Agenda Review Committee, followed at 9:30 am by a City Council meeting to discuss approval of some expropriations for the Yellowhead Trail Conversion. They will also discuss a budget approval of over a billion dollars (!) to begin construction of Capital Line South LRT, as well as an update to the mandatory face-covering bylaw. If the meeting doesn't conclude on Tuesday, it will carry on on Wednesday at 9:30 am and if still more time is needed, then it will continue on Thursday at 9:30 am.
- On Wednesday at 9:30 am, the previous day's City Council meeting will likely continue, followed at 1:30 pm by a City Council Public Hearing to discuss 28 items - mostly zoning amendments, partial road closures, and a sale of a small piece of City land. On Thursday at 9:30 am, City Council may have to continue again, while at 1:30 pm there will be a non-regular meeting of the Community and Public Services Committee to discuss appointments to the City of Edmonton Youth Council.
- Finally, on Friday at 9:30 am, the Utility Committee will be meeting to deal with 11 items including EPCOR's responses to questions by the public, and its new rates set to come into effect on April 1, 2022, and last for 5 years.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- Alberta hit the 70% first-dose target that meant that the two-week waiting period before Stage 3 started. Coincidentally, that threshold was hit on June 17th, meaning most provincial restrictions will cease on July 1st. The Province hasn't yet officially clarified what they mean by "most restrictions", so we'll keep you updated.
- The City finally appointed a new City Auditor. Mr. Hoa Quach was previously the Chief Audit Executive at Alberta Blue Cross and prior to that worked as an auditor in the provincial government. We wish Mr. Quach the best in his quest to rid Edmonton of wasteful, inefficient spending and, with a budget of over $2 billion a year, we know there is a lot to do!
- The City announced plans to spend another $5 million on a "Downtown Vibrancy Strategy", to help the downtown recover from COVID-19. We all know that COVID has caused many difficulties for businesses, but we're not quite sure how increasing their taxes even more in order to pay for things that politicians think will help is actually better than just leaving the money with the businesses in the first place. The full plan could cost upwards of $28 million but, on the bright side, even that sounds downright cheap compared to Calgary's $450 million plan!
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