Edmonton Minute: Remembrance Day, Climate Conference, and Police Communications Staff
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- There is just one short meeting at City Hall this week. The Agenda Review Committee will meet from 9:00 am to 9:30 am tomorrow.
Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, his Chief of Staff, and the Deputy City Manager for Urban Planning and Economy, are off to Egypt for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) conference. They will attend as part of a provincial delegation from November 8th to 12th. Sohi says this is a good opportunity to show what mid-sized cities are doing to fight climate change. He will be on a panel of municipal leaders discussing net zero emissions. Edmontonians are, of course, footing the yet-to-be-disclosed bill for the trip.
- Friday is Remembrance Day. The team at Common Sense Edmonton would like to express our heartfelt thanks to those who have served or are currently serving. There are several ceremonies taking place in and around the city.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The City released its proposed 2023-2026 Operating Budget. If the budget is passed in its current format, property taxes will rise 3.9% each year for the next four years. For a single-family detached home assessed at $400,000, property taxes in 2023 would be about $2,872. The City will also take on debt for large projects like the High Level Bridge rehabilitation and the replacement of LRT cars. Debt servicing costs are going up - the increase for debt servicing from 2022 to 2023 is roughly $30 million.
- It was revealed that the Edmonton Police Service has 19 communications staff to help manage its image. In addition, EPS hired an external firm this year for additional strategic communication support at a cost of $70,500. The most significant spend of the nearly $2.7 million communications budget went toward messaging surrounding the legalization of cannabis, followed by the bike index and hate crimes awareness.
- More than 12,000 students were absent from Edmonton schools due to respiratory illnesses in recent days. The absentee rate for Edmonton Catholic Schools was almost 10%, while for public schools it was just over 7.5%. It's important to note that less than 1% of students reporting sick (ie: 0.07% of all students) were sick with COVID.
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