Edmonton Minute: Wildfire Evacuations, Transit Fines, and Ice District Rules
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
- Today, at 9:30 am, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. On the agenda are several public reports, including a Cyber Security Program Audit and a Grant and Subsidies Audit. The latter report noted that, while Edmonton has good governing documents aligning with best practices, program areas did not always follow these documents in awarding grants or subsidies. There were also some instances where the City did not properly justify why certain grant recipients were chosen. Also today, at 3:00 pm, there will be a meeting of the City Manager and City Auditor Performance Evaluation Committee. On the agenda is a verbal report from a consultant that will be discussed in-camera (in secret).
On Tuesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a Utility Committee meeting. The Committee will discuss approving $55 million in funding for the Blatchford Renewable Energy project in order to access additional matching funding from the federal government.
- On Wednesday, the Council Services Committee will meet at 9:30 am to discuss the roles and responsibilities of Council Advisors for the City’s nine Advisory Committees, which include the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the City of Edmonton Youth Council, and the Edmonton Historical Board, among others. Following this, at 1:30 pm, there will be a non-regular meeting of City Council to discuss an Intergovernmental Update.
Last Week In Edmonton:
- The City has pitched in to help wildfire evacuees, hosting people at the Edmonton Expo Centre. The City said that 185 brush, grass, or wildland fires of varying sizes have occurred since April 30th. Firefighters were called to extinguish fires in west Edmonton, Ellerslie and Wayne Gretzky Drive, and smoke has been drifting into the city from nearby wildfires. Residents of Strathcona County were forced to evacuate on Friday night on account of a large blaze.
- After violence and unruly behaviour during the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff run, Ice District watch parties put new rules in place, including adults-only admission, wristbands, and no re-entry. A family-friendly viewing location has been set up at City Hall. During the series between the Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings, barricades were broken when venues reached capacity, and there was a shooting across the street from the viewing area. Police say that, despite isolated incidents, fans have largely been having positive, fun celebrations. The current series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights is tied 1-1. The Oilers play tonight in Edmonton. The puck drops at 6:30 pm.
- Edmonton Transit Peace Officers handed out an 824% increase in fare evasion tickets between January and March of this year (157 tickets) compared to the same three months of 2019 when they gave out just 17 tickets. The $150 tickets were handed out in an effort to improve safety on transit, as rates of crime and social disorder continue to rise. In another effort to combat violent crime, the Edmonton Police Service said that 18 officers will be redeployed to work in the LRT system.
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