Edmonton Minute: Blatchford Audit, Rolling Blackouts, and Budget Blame Game

Edmonton Minute: Blatchford Audit, Rolling Blackouts, and Budget Blame Game


Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics


This Week In Edmonton:

  • This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Community and Public Services Committee. The Committee will discuss the City Centre Optimization Pilot Project, along with the Assisted Snow Clearing Pilot Program. Administration will also present a response to Councillor Cartmell’s request to detail all social agencies helping homeless individuals in the Boyle Street, McCauley, and Central McDougall neighbourhoods. Councillor Cartmell requested that the report include what services each agency offers, how many clients they serve, and the amount of financial support they receive from the City. As it turns out, there are 17 organizations, 10 of which are funded by the City to the tune of $3.3 million annually, in addition to one-time funding of more than $10 million in both 2022 and 2023.

  • On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting followed by an Urban Planning Committee meeting at 9:30 am. At the latter meeting, the Committee will consider the Zoning Bylaw 2024-2025 Work Plan, Collaborative Highway 2 Roadway Beautification, and a suite of omnibus amendments to Business Licence Bylaw. One of the proposed amendments is to change the wording of “Exotic Entertainment” to “Erotic Entertainment” in order to advance the City’s Anti-Racism Strategy. Apparently, the word exotic “has racist undertones and does not reflect language currently being used in the industry”.

  • The Executive Committee will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 am. The Committee will consider the Nighttime Economy Strategy, an Edmonton Sport and Cultural Attraction Plan Update, and Destination Marketing and Attraction Activities by City-Funded Entities. Finally, on Friday, there will be a Special Meeting of City Council at 11:00 am to discuss a City Auditor recruitment update. Much of this meeting will be held in-camera.


Last Week In Edmonton:

  • After Premier Danielle Smith said she had financial and stability concerns about the goings on in the City of Edmonton, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi responded by releasing a six-page letter in which he detailed the ways the Province could help. As usual, Sohi blamed the Province for the City’s financial woes, saying that Edmonton isn’t getting its fair share of provincial funding. “The current financial challenges we face are mainly caused by the lack of consistent and equitable support from the government of Alberta…” he said - presumably forgetting Council’s own bizarre priorities which include buying electric buses that don’t work, spending on frivolous items like the funicular, and blowing the budget on bike lanes, all while neglecting core priorities.

  • Thousands of Edmontonians faced rolling blackouts for about half an hour on Friday due to a natural gas power plant going offline, triggering a provincewide grid alert for the second time in three days. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared the alert at 6:49 am on Friday due to "tight supply," which lasted until 11:15 am. AESO cited factors like planned generation unit outages, wind generation falling short by 900 megawatts, and a sudden loss of 400 megawatts from a natural gas unit going offline at 8:49 am.

  • An audit found that building the Blatchford community might take longer and be less profitable than expected due to a lack of evidence supporting the City's timelines and profit projections. The City’s in-house audit team found that the Blatchford redevelopment office doesn't have a good system to track its goals. While the goals are well-designed, the audit found no substantiated data for estimated profits and timelines, leading to uncertainties in land sales projections and profitability targets. Recommendations from the audit emphasized the importance of regular data collection, analysis, transparent reporting, and corrective action plans to track progress accurately. Council's Audit Committee will review these findings on April 15th.




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  • Common Sense Edmonton
    published this page in News 2024-04-07 22:05:09 -0600