Edmonton Minute: Gang Crime, Fire Fleet, and Urban Village Delay

Edmonton Minute: Gang Crime, Fire Fleet, and Urban Village Delay


Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics


This Week In Edmonton:

  • This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Public Hearing to discuss several zoning amendments. Some items up for discussion include allowing for larger scale parks and amenities in Edgemont, Rosenthal, and Glenridding Heights, as well as allowing for medium scale housing in Windsor Park.

  • There will be a meeting of the Agenda Review Committee on Tuesday at 8:30 am, followed by a City Council meeting at 9:30 am. On the agenda for the Council meeting is the Spring 2024 Supplemental Operating Budget Adjustment (City Hall code for raising your taxes, again!) There are proposed tax increases of 8.7% in 2024, 7.0% in 2025, and 6.4% in 2026. Council will also discuss a plan for replenishing the Edmonton Police Service Operating Reserve. In 2023, the reserve had a deficit of $1.1 million, necessitating a plan for repayment. There are a number of private reports on the agenda too, including one regarding collective bargaining, and several regarding appointments to Boards, Committees, and Commissions. Should Council not finish this meeting on schedule, there will be a continuation on Wednesday at 9:30 am. Then, on Friday, at 1:30 pm, there will be a meeting of the Special City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee. There is one private report on the agenda regarding a Consultant Contract Update.

  • Edmonton is hosting the Alberta Spirits and Cocktail Festival this weekend. On Saturday at the Edmonton Convention Centre, there will be 30+ Alberta based food and liquor vendors sampling spirits and food bites. There will also be flair bartending shows, live entertainment, a chance to meet distillers, and tutorials on how to make the perfect cocktails. There are two “sessions” available, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm or from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Tickets are available online.


Last Week In Edmonton:

  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) said they are facing a significant budget shortfall of $1.9 million due to rising costs for replacing old firefighting equipment. Fire Chief Joe Zatylny mentioned that costs have increased notably over the past few years, including fuel and maintenance expenses due to higher call volumes and a growing population. The EFRS is currently reviewing its budget and considering adjustments to equipment lifecycles in consultation with the City of Edmonton’s fleet services branch to manage these escalating costs.

  • Council heard that the urban village project at Ice District in central Edmonton, which is supposed to include 2,500 residential units and a public park, is facing a delay of at least three years due to various challenges. Construction was supposed to begin this year, but the Oilers Entertainment Group cited impacts of the pandemic and a slow real estate market as reasons for the delay to the project's timelines. Over the past decade, OEG has undertaken development activities in the area, including the arena, two office towers, a hotel, residential units, the plaza, and the Ice District Fan Park.

  • The Edmonton Police Commission heard that there has been a significant uptick in crime within Edmonton, fueled by "pop-up" gangs originally from British Columbia. Firearms and air gun seizures increased by 33% over the past four years, and the city has seen a rise in shootings from 158 in 2019 to 221 last year. In response, the Edmonton Police Service has restructured its approach, forming a second gang suppression team and a new gang response and intelligence program (GRiP) to better handle the fluctuating gang landscape.




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  • Common Sense Edmonton
    published this page in News 2024-04-21 22:23:43 -0600