Edmonton Minute: Election Results, CFL Kickoff, and Hawrelak Park Renovations
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a Community and Public Services Committee meeting. During an in-camera (secret) session, the Committee will discuss the 2023 Membership Report and Reappointment Recommendations for the City of Edmonton Youth Council. On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Agenda Review Committee, followed by a Code of Conduct Sub-Committee meeting at 9:30 am. The latter meeting’s agenda includes feedback on potential amendments to the Council Code of Conduct. Also on Tuesday, at 3:00 pm, there will be a meeting of the City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee. The entirety of this meeting will be held in-camera.
On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Non-Regular Meeting. On the agenda is an in-camera intergovernmental update. Though no information has been provided, it’s pretty likely that this update relates to the election results. (See below for more information on that).
- The Edmonton Elks kick off their CFL season on Sunday, taking on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The unfortunate Elks have lost their last 17 home games at Commonwealth Stadium - a league record. Management is getting creative to get fans in the stands, offering “guaranteed win tickets”. Some tickets are being sold with the guarantee that you’ll keep your seat until the team finally wins at home.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- Danielle Smith and the United Conservative Party won a majority government in the provincial election, but Edmonton did not elect a single MLA from the governing party. Instead, there are 14 NDP MLAs. Notably, Kaycee Madu, former Minister of Justice, lost his seat in Edmonton - South West. Overall in Edmonton, the NDP received almost 62% of the popular vote to the UCP’s 35%. Across the entire province, the UCP received almost 53% of the popular vote to the NDP’s 44%.
- Smith announced she would create a council of defeated UCP candidates to advise her on Edmonton issues. Mayor Sohi, while noting he looked forward to working with Smith and offering his congratulations, criticized her plan. Sohi said that Smith’s potential council members do not have a mandate to speak on behalf of Edmontonians and that she should consult municipal Council members instead. While we agree that the Premier should consult Council when appropriate, it's also interesting to note that the UCP actually received more votes in Edmonton (127,991) than Mayor Sohi did when he ran for Mayor in 2021 (105.683) - just goes to show how low turnout is for municipal elections!
- It was announced that renovations at William Hawrelak Park will proceed as scheduled, despite concerns about the impact on trees in the park. The park is undergoing major infrastructure upgrades that will see it closed for three years, and an arborist’s report showed that 700 trees may be damaged and up to 112 cut down in the process. Council claimed that the report was not made clear in the first environmental impact assessment, or when construction funding was approved, and Administration says it’s a lesson learned regarding transparency. New trees will be planted during the renovation.
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