Edmonton Minute: Police Overtime, Student Consultation, and Illegal Parking Lots
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
The week at City Hall begins with a Community and Public Services Committee meeting at 9:30 am. The Committee will consider a drug-checking program which would allow street drug users to get their drugs checked for harmful substances such as fentanyl. The Committee will also reconsider funding for EndPovertyEdmonton, after a damning report was released last week noting that the organization was not able to show its impact on poverty and didn’t have a way of measuring its success. This is the same group that we raised concern about less than a year ago when - with very little scrutiny at all - Council voted to give them an extra $2.1 million for "anti-racism and urban wellbeing" work, and we'll have more to say on this later in the week.
The Agenda Review Committee meets on Tuesday at 9:00 am followed by the continuation of the previously mentioned Community and Public Services Committee meeting from 9:30 am until noon, if required. Following that, there will be an Urban Planning Committee meeting at 1:30 pm. On the agenda is a discussion about the Bike Network and Digital Signage, among other items. The City had previously considered speeding up the building of its bike network, but a report prepared by Administration shows high costs associated with an accelerated timeline.
- On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be an Executive Committee meeting to discuss Municipal Tax Relief for Affordable Housing and priority projects for the Clean Energy Improvement Program and Climate Mitigation, among other items. We continue to believe it would be better to make all housing more affordable by reducing the cost of construction, and increasing the supply of housing, by cutting govt red tape and interference, rather than offering subsidies. On Thursday, at 1:30 pm, the Code of Conduct Sub-Committee will meet to discuss updating the Council Code of Conduct. Administration is recommending that the ability to impose sanctions be removed from Councillors who are judging their peers and instead have that responsibility sit with the City Integrity Commissioner.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The Edmonton Police Service spent $164,000 on overtime during six Freedom Convoy protests held in the city. A police spokesperson said that the “adequately resourced police operation over six weekends resulted in no injuries, no mass arrests and no riots.” The largest protest, on January 29th, saw the participation of more than 5,000 vehicles and 9,500 pedestrians.
- Councillor Ashley Salvador raised the alarm over “illegal” parking lots downtown. Several lots in the east end of downtown are unimproved, unpermitted lots that are taxed as vacant land. The City is pushing to revitalize downtown and have these lots developed, but skeptics of the plan say that pushing developers to build just anything may backfire and that a long-term plan is needed.
- The Court of King's Bench ruled that the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology failed to consult students when it raised the cost of tuition in some programs by 10% or more. The Court noted that, though the school was within its rights to do this, it constituted a “breach of procedural fairness” as the school did not meaningfully consult with the NAIT Students’ Association beforehand. The two parties have 60 days to find a resolution to the situation.
Common Sense Edmonton doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Edmontonian knows what's really going on at City Hall.