Edmonton Minute: Staircase Snow, Plastic Ban, and Transit Property Reporting
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- This morning, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Public Hearing to deal with several minor zoning amendments, including allowing more low-rise and multi-unit housing on Spruce Avenue. The upcoming zoning bylaw renewal, coming into effect in January, will hopefully limit the need for these types of meetings. There will also be an Agenda Review Committee meeting on Tuesday at 8:30 am.
There will be a meeting of City Council on Tuesday at 9:30 am. This marks the beginning of several days of discussion regarding budget adjustments. Edmontonians are facing a proposed tax increase of over 7%. Watch your inbox for more information as the debate unfolds.
- Edmonton creeks and rivers have low water levels due to an abnormally dry start to November. Clearwater River, Sturgeon River, and the Whitemud and Blackmud creeks currently have water shortage advisories. This could negatively affect fish life as contaminants increase in concentration during low water levels.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- After the Federal Court ruled that Ottawa overstepped in enacting a single-use plastic ban, we renewed our call for the City of Edmonton to repeal its ban as well. The City has even more stringent restrictions than the federal government mandated, and if the federal restrictions were deemed unconstitutional, Edmonton’s definitely are. While keeping plastic from the ocean is a noble goal, the silly rules and regulations set by the City - and Ottawa - will not help to achieve that aim. Instead, they just make life more unaffordable and inconvenient for people.
- The Canadian Constitutional Foundation said that Edmonton’s policy requiring journalists to ask permission to report from public transit property is unconstitutional and should be rescinded. The CCF says the policy is “unjustifiable”, and likely exists to prevent negative reporting of transit conditions. Speaking of safety, if you haven’t yet signed our petition to declare a public transit safety emergency, click here to do so now. Things aren’t getting any better - and journalists should absolutely be able to report on what’s really going on.
- The City of Edmonton posted several signs around staircases that lead into the river valley, saying that “no winter maintenance” will be occurring there this winter. The signs are new but, according to the City, failing to keep these stairs cleared of snow and ice is not. The City said that, while no service levels are changing, in previous years some staircases were “cleared in error”, including 7 that were regularly cleared in previous years. As a result of the snow clearing audit last year, the stairs will not be cleared this year because they connect to granular paths or weren’t ever supposed to be cleared. The City also says someone else other than themselves may have cleared the stairs. Confused? We are too.
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