Edmonton Minute: Bus Routes, Shisha Bans, and Much More Mosquitos
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
It's another very busy week at City Hall, starting today with a meeting of City Council at 9:30 am. Council has a 17-item agenda, including the effect of the federal budget on the City, a report on whether or not Edmonton residents should be able to drink in parks, Edmonton Arts Council grant recommendations, the Edmonton Economic Recovery Grant Phase 2, and more.
- On Tuesday at 9:00 am is the Agenda Review Committee, followed at 1:30 pm by a City Council Public Hearing regarding 29 zoning amendments. On Wednesday there will be the continuation of the City Council meeting, should it not conclude Monday, followed by a City Council Non-Regular meeting at 5:30 pm to discuss various board reports and work plans.
- On Thursday, there will be an Emergency Advisory Committee meeting at 1:30 pm, which will include a COVID-19 verbal report. Later on Thursday, starting at 4:00 pm and running until 9:30 pm, the City Auditor Recruitment Committee will meet to hear verbal reports from recruitment consultants. Astoundingly, if the City Auditor Recruitment Committee meeting doesn't finish in the five and a half hours allotted on Thursday, it will continue on Friday, from 10:30 am until 5:30 pm. In total that's more than 12 hours of secret reports being presented and secret discussions. Wow.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The City launched its redesigned bus network which removes 100 routes but increases frequency on remaining routes. The City also launched their new "on demand" transit service we mentioned last week. Riders in certain areas of the City can now use an app to summon a ride that will take them to a transit station in the area, which we guess will be handy if you live on one of the 100 removed routes. If you've used the new bus route or the on-demand system already, drop us a line and let us know how it was?
- Council's Community and Public Services Committee voted against allowing shisha lounges to again operate in the City. Edmonton once had around 45 lounges, but "temporary restrictions" saw most of these businesses close. The most recent decision is probably the final nail in the coffin for the 14 or so that remain. Councillor Knack said that he wanted to make sure that "no person who is there who doesn't choose to be there" will be exposed to second-hand smoke, by which he meant employees. But employees have a choice too. What's next, closing public pools to protect lifeguards who are allergic to chlorine?
- The City also announced that they've cut their pest control budget by about a million dollars and there will be no aerial mosquito spraying by helicopter this year. Apparently, Edmonton is home to 30 different types of mosquitoes and the City estimates not spraying them will lead to a 40% increase in mosquitoes. At least there will be more money for bike lanes, though. [Editor: For those who weren't clear last time, yes this is, again, sarcasm!]
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