Edmonton Minute: Fiscal Restraint, Extreme Weather, and Completely Unacceptable Mass Surveillance
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
Starting today, restaurants and gyms will finally be able to reopen in Alberta, having been closed for in-person dining or working out since December 8th. While this tiny slice of good news is welcome, restaurants are still restricted to only members of the same household at each table, while gyms are only allowed to offer one-on-one training sessions - no individual or group fitness allowed.
- City Hall kicks off the week with a City Council meeting today at 9:30 am, continuing on Wednesday at 9:30 am if required. Some of the items on the 24-item agenda include reviewing the recommendations of 13 committee reports (many of which we've detailed in the last few weeks) and approving a $31 million dollar new streetscape for a portion of Jasper Avenue. The City will also likely formally recommend the sale of historic Blatchford Hangar 11 to a private developer at this meeting.
- On Tuesday, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 9:00 am, a rare Council Services Committee meeting at 9:30 am, and a City Council Public Hearing at 1:30 pm. On Thursday, there will also be a meeting of the Audit Committee at 2:00 pm featuring, amongst other things, the City Productivity and Performance Audit, Part 2.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- City Council, in a rare bit of fiscal restraint, decided not to fund creating a linear park on the top level of the High Level Bridge. While some Councillors were sympathetic to the idea, overall Council (correctly, in our opinion) recognized that perhaps now is not the time.
- On Thursday, with a polar vortex on the way, the City activated their extreme weather response plan, a collaboration between the City and more than 25 agencies working together to ensure Edmonton's most vulnerable people are safe during adverse weather conditions.
- The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Daniel Therrien, said the use of Clearview AI's software by some Canadian police forces (including the Edmonton Police Service) was "completely unacceptable", and said "What Clearview does is mass surveillance and it is illegal. It is an affront to individuals’ privacy rights and inflicts broad-based harm on all members of society." Clearview AI was used by Edmonton police, despite it not being approved.
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