Edmonton Minute: Hyperloop Project, Hate Symbols, and COP27 Conference Costs
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- It’s a slow start to 2023 as Council and Committees return from the holiday break. The Agenda Review Committee will meet at 8:30 am tomorrow. Other committee meetings will resume next week.
Hospitals in and around the city continue to reach or exceed capacity as influenza and other respiratory illnesses put a strain on the healthcare system. The Alberta Medical Association says that following holiday gatherings, there could be an uptick in viruses. Part of the cause of the uptick, according to some doctors, is the lack of primary and preventative care during the pandemic.
- The City is looking for a partner to help run a direct airport to downtown bus route. Council chose not to fund the $2.6 million that Edmonton Transit Service estimated it would cost to run the route. Instead, Councillor Anne Stevenson suggested the City look at cost-sharing scenarios. Administration is exploring options and will report back in the fall.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- Mayor Amarjeet Sohi took to his Medium blog to announce that a recent trip to Egypt for the COP27 climate change conference cost taxpayers $21,980.13. The cost included expenses for the Mayor, his Chief of Staff, and the Deputy City Manager. Sohi said it was important that he “represented Edmonton on the world stage”. The Province attended the conference as well, so it’s unclear why individual municipalities would feel the need to do the same.
- TransPod, the company behind a proposed hyperloop high-speed transit project between Edmonton and Calgary, has confirmed more details, including a stop in Red Deer. The company says that, since receiving investor funding, they have begun testing a prototype of the vehicle that could theoretically be used to travel between Alberta's largest cities in 45 minutes. Major details are still being worked out, including land acquisition near Edmonton's airport.
- The City announced a new tool for Peace Officers to use in tracking hate symbols. Developed with the Anti-Defamation League, an app will be used to photograph hate symbols in public places and note their locations. While we’re obviously opposed to actual hate, and some symbols are genuinely offensive, the ADL is notoriously “woke” - for want of a better term. Their database of “hate symbols” includes such offensive things as the "okay" hand sign, opposition to Antifa, the number “12”, and more such nonsense. Thank goodness City resources will be focused on this, rather than on violent crime!
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