Edmonton Minute: Provincial Budget, Committee Recruitment, and Permanent Park Alcohol
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a non-regular Executive Committee meeting, held mostly in-camera. The agenda focuses on recruitment to the Assessment Review Board, the Edmonton Salutes Committee, the Energy Transition Climate Resilience Committee, and the GEF Seniors Housing Board.
On Tuesday, at 8:30 am, there will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting followed by a non-regular Urban Planning Committee meeting at 9:30 am. The agenda for the latter meeting focuses on 2023 recruitment for various boards and committees that fall within the purview of Urban Planning, such as the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, the Edmonton Design Committee, the Edmonton Transit Service Advisory Committee, and the Naming Committee. Finally, on Friday at 1:00 pm, there will be a City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee meeting. On the agenda is an in-camera verbal update.
- The City is conducting an Assessment Customer Satisfaction Survey. The survey, which is open until March 24th, asks residents who have contacted the City regarding their property assessments whether they were satisfied with the timeliness of the response they received and the quality of the overall response itself. Property owners can write in their suggestions on how to improve property assessment and property assessment inquiries.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The provincial budget was presented last week in the Legislature. There were a number of important announcements for Edmonton, including funding for a new school to be built in the southwest Glenridding Heights neighbourhood. There will also be $8 million for the Misericordia Community Hospital Modernization Program, $1 million for planning for a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital, and $35 million for the planned Southwest Edmonton Hospital this year along with $300 million in each of the next two years to construct that facility. It will be Edmonton’s first new hospital since 1988. Edmonton can expect funding for the Valley Line West LRT expansion and Terwillegar Drive Expansion too. Overall spending for the city will be about $8.8 billion in 2023 - an increase of just over 4%.
- Mayor Amarjeet Sohi welcomed the Province’s infrastructure investment into Edmonton but complained that his wish list wasn’t entirely fulfilled. Although the provincial government promised more than $1 billion in funding for several affordable housing initiatives, none of them were Edmonton-specific, prompting the Mayor to remark that the Province wasn't taking the homelessness and addiction crisis seriously enough. Sohi had also wanted money for downtown revitalization, Commonwealth Stadium modernization, and climate resilience.
- After a two-year pilot project, Councillors voted in favour of permanently allowing alcohol in designated parks. A survey showed that 80% of residents support the move and parks crews did not report any significant incidents as a result of the pilot project. Some Councillors who were originally skeptical about the idea were surprised that there were no complaints or incidents - turns out Edmontonians are a responsible bunch! In the coming weeks, crews will put up signs in designated areas showing where and when alcohol can be consumed. Why not just allow it in all parks, instead of having bureaucrats decide where?
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