Edmonton Minute: Vaccine Passports, School Masks, and One Million Edmontonians
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
There is no Council meeting this week but there are several committee meetings. Today at 9:30 am, the Community and Public Services Committee will meet to discuss the City’s anti-racism strategy. On Tuesday at 9:30 am, the Urban Planning Committee is meeting to hear several reports. Topics include mass transit, the Bike Plan Implementation Guide, and the ETS Fleet Storage and Maintenance Facility Project.
The last meeting of the week will take place on Wednesday with the Executive Committee scheduled to meet at 9:30 am. Taxation is on the agenda, with several items set to be discussed including an adjustment to residential tax classifications, and overdue and uncollectible taxes.
- The Provincial Government announced a repeal of the mask mandate for K-12 students. Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, Trisha Estabrooks, expressed frustration with not being consulted about the policy. Apparently, the Edmonton Public School Board would like to keep COVID-19 policies in place forever?
Last Week In Edmonton:
Councillors voted 9-4 against implementing a citywide vaccine passport. When the Provincial Government cancelled the Restrictions Exemption Program, Edmonton City Council decided to take matters into their own hands, voting unanimously in favour of a motion to direct City Administration to research options for implementing a municipal system. Ultimately, however, at a Special Meeting of Council on Friday, common sense prevailed. City Manager Andre Corbould reported that a vaccine mandate would not be an effective tool for enhancing public safety. Rather, it would offer “more of a perception of safety”.
- Edmonton surpassed one million residents according to the latest Statistics Canada census data. The numbers pointed to a 1.1% decrease in residents living in the City's core, however, this was disputed by the Downtown Edmonton Community League due to the boundaries used. Edmonton remains the country's sixth-largest city.
- The City approved an $18.3 million dollar plan to turn the former Coliseum Inn into supportive housing. About $7.3 million will come from the City while the remaining $11 million will come from the federal government. The Inn will require renovation to add kitchenettes to suites before they can become permanent housing, although they have been serving as temporary accommodations since 2020.
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