Edmonton Minute: Venture Capital, Transparency Audit, and a Common Sense Event
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- This morning, at 9:30 am, the Audit Committee will meet to discuss the City's Enterprise Performance Management audit (see below for more information on this). Also on the agenda is a report on the breakdown of spending increases by department, as a percentage, compared to inflation plus population percentages, for the period of 2012-2022. We’ll be closely assessing the report - particularly in light of some research we did in 2020 which showed that operating spending grew 36% above what could be attributed to population growth and inflation alone in the past 20 years.
On Tuesday, the Agenda Review Committee will meet at 8:30 am. Then, on Wednesday, there will be an Executive Committee meeting at 9:30 am. The agenda includes a potential amendment to the Edmonton Screen Media Fund subsidy agreement between the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Screen Industries Office Society to update the reporting requirements and uses for the Fund. Also up for discussion is a progressive property tax system.
- We are hosting a Pints & Politics event on Thursday in conjunction with our friends at the Alberta Institute. Please join us for some casual drinks and an opportunity for everyone to get together with like-minded Albertans to chat about politics. There's a lot going on, so there will be plenty of conversation topics! The event will be held at Brewsters Unity Square from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Please RSVP here.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- A new report found that the City’s “enterprise performance management policy”, which was implemented in 2018 to create transparency and hold Edmonton’s administrative staff accountable to City Council and the public, is not being followed or enforced. The report found the policy to be strong but concluded that only the Infrastructure department is meeting reporting requirements. Other departments either didn’t develop targets, or, when they did, failed to track progress toward those targets. The City Manager’s office was deemed the worst of the bunch. The report also found that public reports contain too much jargon, are confusing, and some had information that couldn’t be verified, such as how many residents participated in various engagement sessions.
- Local tech firm Jobber raised over $100 million USD in venture capital, the largest growth financing ever secured in Edmonton. The Jobber app helps people running a home services business, like plumbing, cleaning, or landscaping, track their time, manage invoices, and schedule jobs. The cash influx will be used on research, development, and customer acquisition. Always good to see a local company doing well!
- The Community and Public Services Committee has agreed to funding for five community organizations as part of the City's anti-racism strategy. The Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton region, the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Alberta Workers Association and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues will receive between $178,000 and $250,000 each to work on projects like helping undocumented people in Edmonton, helping distress line crisis responders give mental health support to victims of race-based hate, and more. This initiative and final approval will be given for these programs at a Council meeting on February 22nd.
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