Edmonton Minute: Community Meeting, Bear Spray, and Downtown Safety Pilot
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- On Monday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Public Hearing, with several rezoning items up for discussion. On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting, followed by a Community and Public Services Committee meeting at 9:30 am. The latter Committee will review a report from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) regarding incidents involving bear spray. EPS is asking Council to regulate the handling and possession of bear spray.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Urban Planning Committee. There is just a single agenda item - Residential Boulevard Gardening Guidelines.
- The Silver Skate Festival kicks off at Hawrelak Park on Friday. In addition to skating, there will be snow sculptures, Indigenous storytelling, lantern making, culinary treats, and more. The event is free to attend although donations are appreciated. This will be the last event at the park as a major reconstruction project will be beginning this spring, including the planned removal of 220 trees for utility reconstruction.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- A community meeting was held in Edmonton's Ritchie neighbourhood to discuss a proposed health hub operated by Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS). It was a packed house and residents displayed plenty of passion on both sides of the argument. The proposed health hub will include a supervised consumption site and recovery and treatment services. 800 people have signed a petition against the proposed location of the health hub due to concerns about an increase in crime and a decrease in public safety. BSCS still has to apply for a licence to operate the supervised consumption site.
- The Province announced a 15-week pilot project to combat social disorder in downtown Edmonton. The project is a partnership between the Province, Edmonton Police Service, and Alberta Sheriffs, and will see more resources deployed in the downtown area. Twelve sheriffs will join EPS on patrols in inner-city neighbourhoods, extending from five days a week to seven and providing 20 hours a day of coverage.
- The Edmonton International Airport announced a 109% increase in passenger volumes in 2022 over 2021. Several metrics increased along with passengers - there was a 7.2% increase in cargo with 52,000 tonnes moved, and a 38% increase in aircraft movements for a total of 97,496. In May, YEG became Canada’s first airport to integrate drone logistics into daily operations, and 300 commercial drone flights were used. Four new destinations were added to the roster of more than 50 non-stop destinations - Moncton, Charlottetown, Nashville, and Tucson. Hopefully, this means no more airport bailout cash!
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