Edmonton Minute: Mask Debates, Known Critics, and Alcohol In Parks Returns
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
City Hall kicks off the week with a 9:30 am meeting of the Community and Public Services Committee this morning. The Committee will receive four reports, two regarding vehicles for hire, one dealing with designated driver service options, and another concerning the Revitalization Community Development Strategy.
Tuesday will be a busy day, beginning with a meeting of the Agenda Review Committee at 9:00 am, followed at 9:30 am by the Urban Planning Committee which apparently will meet until 5:00 pm despite only having one item on the agenda. Finally, at 1:30 pm, there will be a Special City Council Meeting to discuss the contentious municipal mask bylaw. Given the provincial government is proposing legislation that will override any bylaw put in place, we are expecting the City to repeal the mandate altogether.
- Finally, on Wednesday, the Executive Committee will be meeting at 9:30 am to discuss the expansion of Terwillegar Drive, the implementation program for City-owned historic resources, and a few items pertaining to residential taxes and tax classifications. The expansion of Terwillegar Drive will include the rehabilitation and widening of the Rainbow Valley bridges.
Last Week In Edmonton:
Edmonton became the only municipality in Alberta to not lift its mask mandate when the Province lifted theirs. The provincial government indicated that it will soon be tabling legislation to change the Municipal Government Act so that Edmonton (and others) cannot create their own mandates. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi vowed to keep the mandate. We’re not sure why it’s inherently unsafe to be in Edmonton without a mask.
- Council, having voted in January to cancel the pilot program allowing alcohol consumption in parks, has now reversed course and voted to expand the pilot to more sites this summer. Proactive enforcement will not be included, unlike last year. Instead, bylaw officers will only respond to complaints. We think the City should just make it simple and let people drink in parks. It’s still illegal to be drunk in public anyway.
- The Edmonton Police Service said that they do not, in fact, maintain a list of known critics. The Edmonton Police Association had previously complained to the City Integrity Commissioner that a City Councillor was engaging on social media with known critics of the police. We don’t care if it’s a list or some type of weird Venn diagram, there shouldn't be an accounting of all people who disagree with the cops. City Councillors should be able to express their opinions on matters of public interest.
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