Edmonton Minute: Council Break, Papal Monument, and a Disposable Items Ban
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
City Hall will be quiet for the remainder of the month as Council and its committees are on summer break. When the Councillors return next month, it will be a busy session as deliberations will begin on a new four-year budget.
The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is happening downtown in Churchill Square until July 17th. The festival runs from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm each day except Sunday, when it ends at 4:30 pm, and features performances by jugglers, actors, musicians, and more. Admission is free but attendees are encouraged to drop some cash in the performers' hats at the end of each show.
- Have your say on Edmonton’s upcoming budget until July 17th. The City’s "Balance the Budget" tool lets Edmontonians create their own version of the budget by testing out increases and decreases in spending in areas like transit, fire and rescue, neighbourhood renewal, and more. Unfortunately, the tool lumps wasteful spending into big broad categories that also contain useful work, and it also won't accept more than a 10% cut to any City activity (even the ones that should be cut 100% as they're not the job of a municipality at all). The City is only allowing a narrow window of “acceptable” feedback. We certainly have some other suggestions. Stay tuned!
Last Week In Edmonton:
The City announced an extra $4.7 million for speedier snow clearing. Edmontonians are being told this will provide a noticeable improvement for active pathways and roads, but Administration says even more money would be needed to improve how windrows, public spaces, and other paved pathways are cleared. So, if you had to pay a private contractor to remove giant windrows in front of your house last year, prepare for more of the same this year.
- In preparation for the Pope’s visit later this month, the Dove of Peace monument is getting a $441,000 makeover. The Dove of Peace, located in Gallagher Park, marked Pope John Paul II’s visit to the city back in 1984. The original monument was showing signs of corrosion and will have its lead-based paint removed before it’s repainted.
- Council gave first reading to a single-use item bylaw. The bylaw would prohibit single-use plastic shopping bags and force Edmonton retailers to charge minimum fees for reusable cloth and paper bags. That fee would be 15 cents for paper bags starting July 1st, 2023 and 25 cents after July 1st, 2024. The ban applies to single-use items made from materials other than plastic too, including alternative plastics that may be compostable or biodegradable, wood, bamboo, and paper. Styrofoam containers for take-out food and beverages will be prohibited. There will be a public hearing on a yet-to-be-determined date in September.
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