Edmonton Minute: Budget Updates, Union Jobs, and Shelter Capacity Expanded
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Today, City Council will meet from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm to discuss a 23-item agenda. One item of note is the capital and operational budget updates. Administration is recommending the City increase its capital budget by a net $21 million, while operations are set to decrease from the previously proposed 2022 budget by about $63 million. This is, of course, subject to Council approval. If the recommendations are accepted, the property tax increase will be 1.8% next year. So much for any chance of a tax freeze!
Tuesday promises to be busy with an Agenda Review Committee meeting from 9:00 am to 9:30 am, followed by a City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee meeting from 9:30 am until 12:00 pm, and a City Council Public Hearing from 1:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Once that’s done, Council is not in session for the rest of the week.
- Vignettes Design Series is back with a new event, this time showcasing six local businesses that will test their products and services in pop-up retail spaces at the Capital Apartments on 108th Street. The stores will be open Tuesday through Saturday.
Last Week In Edmonton:
City Council announced its intent to reverse the former Council’s decision to privatize bus cleaning jobs, thus ensuring about 100 union jobs remain. The City say they have found equivalent cost savings elsewhere, but haven't detailed what those savings are. It also makes us wonder, if it was so easy to find equivalent costs savings, why weren't those cost savings already made as well?
- The Alberta government announced new investment programs to fund Edmonton's homeless shelters. Total bed capacity at the shelters will be upped to 1,282 from the current 773. The City will be receiving $7.2 million for existing 24-7 shelters at the Northlands Spectrum building and four south-side locations operated by The Mustard Seed. In addition, the City will receive $1.5 million for a temporary 24-7 shelter at Commonwealth Stadium with 200 beds.
- AUMA held its annual convention in Edmonton from November 17-19. The AUMA represents municipalities that are home to about 85% of Alberta’s population. One of the hot-button issues discussed over the event was the sorry state of Alberta’s ambulance system. The AUMA passed a resolution urging the provincial government to make improvements to the “delivery and improvement” of the Ambulance systems.
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