Edmonton Minute: Budget Process, Tree Removal, and No World Cup
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
There will be a meeting of City Council this morning at 9:30 am to discuss a high level process for the 2023-2026 operating, capital, and utility budget deliberations. The proposed timeline suggests that the capital budget will be released October 20th, the operating budget on November 3rd, and the utility budget on November 10th. The City will also discuss several new and amended bylaws, most of which pertain to financing improvements around Falcon Towers. On Tuesday, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 9:00 am.
On Wednesday, there will be a Council Services Committee meeting from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm to discuss the Council Calendar Feedback Report as well as a confidential addendum to the HR policy for Councillor’s staff. There will be a City Council Public Hearing from 1:30 pm to 9:30 pm to discuss several zoning and land use amendments. These types of meetings may become a thing of the past as the City is considering a new zoning bylaw to accommodate a wider range of development.
- If Monday’s City Council meeting doesn’t wrap up by end of day, it will continue at 9:30 am on Friday. Also on Friday, at 1:30 pm, there will be a Non-Regular City Council meeting held entirely in-camera to discuss budget planning.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The City's Urban Planning Committee considered a bylaw to prevent the removal of trees from private property. The City has a goal of adding 2 million trees to its “urban forest” yet has also expressed a commitment to infill and high-density development. Preventing tree removal could hinder this development. A bylaw was recently passed protecting trees on public property - drafting another and creating yet another permit process would require funding and additional bureaucracy. We’re in favour of protecting trees, but people should be able to do as they wish with their own property.
- Edmonton lost its bid to host games during the FIFA 2026 World Cup. While this is bad news for soccer fans, it's good news for the City and provincial budget. The net cost to the City was expected to be in the hundreds of millions, while the Province was on the hook for about $110 million. We all like fun stuff, but maybe we could try having people pay for their fun stuff themselves, rather than using taxpayer money to subsidize it, for once?
- Following the recent spate of violent crime in Chinatown, the City’s Executive Committee directed administrative staff to include infrastructure upgrades for Chinatown in the 2023-2026 capital budget. Items under consideration are revitalizing Mary Burlie Park, installing a new Harbin Gate (the old one had to be removed for LRT construction), and upgrading the railway underpass. Business owners said they welcome the development, but expressed concern that construction might drive away customers.
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.