Edmonton Minute: Ballooning Budgets, COVID Progress, and an Alcohol In Parks Pilot
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
City Hall will be quiet this week as Council is mostly on recess until June 7th to allow Councillors and staff to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities virtual annual conference.
- There will, however, be an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 9:00 am on Tuesday and a City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee meeting on Friday at 3:00 pm to discuss a City Manager Update and “City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Procurement”, both - of course - in secret.
- City patios, barbershops, and other personal services will be able to reopen tomorrow as Alberta moves to Stage 1 of the Province's latest reopening. Outdoor gatherings of 10 people will also be allowed along with an increase in permitted capacity for retail stores.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- Starting last Friday, it became legal for Edmontonians to drink alcohol at 47 picnic sites across the City. Yes, you read that right, just 47 sites, not 47 parks. Why a City of over 1 million people has only 47 legal park drinking sites we can only guess. It could be worse, we suppose - alcohol was actually outlawed in Edmonton for 8 years at one point, ending in May 1924.
- The City announced that it will be collecting some $2.2 billion in property taxes this year. That’s an astoundingly large number and makes it all the more confusing why City Hall can’t seem to find any substantial cost savings to make life easier for Edmontonians. To be clear, about $482 million of this will go to the Province to run schools, but that still leaves over $1.7 billion for Council use. What would you do with $1.7 billion?
- Lastly, the Mayor lashed out at the Province following a tragic night where 3 men died of an overdose in a central city park and another incident where a woman was killed and man seriously injured when they were tipped into a garbage truck, laying the blame on a lack of provincially-funded housing support. We agree that homelessness is a problem for the whole community to tackle, but passing the buck between levels of government never got anyone off the street or made anyone safer.
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