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October 22, 2017
February 14, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: February 14, 2017

The news in Edmonton.

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Premier Rachel Notley speaks with reporters at the Alberta Legislature. Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta

The premier of Alberta is being threatened. Actually, let me re-phrase that. The premier of Alberta is receiving more than one threat every day. When we see real chaos from bad government in the U.S. it makes one wonder what Rachel Notley and her government is doing to warrant such negative reaction.

She’s a woman, so there’s that. A lot of people blame the NDP government for the world price of oil tanking, so there’s that. A lot of people don’t understand how the carbon tax works, so there’s that. And, well… there’s that.

This is not OK. Threatening people for doing their job is not OK. Anyone who thinks it’s OK needs to seriously consider what is happening with their life because there’s some pain there that’s not being dealt with. And, no, being unemployed or not having the same job you did a year ago isn’t an excuse for this.

If you want to complain or criticize something a politician or government is doing, that’s OK. Write about it on your website or social media (without threatening anyone), start a petition and/or organize people to take action. Be sure to include what you would do differently and how your idea would help more people in the city/province/country/world. If your plans don’t include how it would help protect, include or better serve more people than existing policy or law, then you may just be acting out of misunderstanding or selfishness and I recommend you take another crack at it.

Also, this kind of garbage reaction from people is the reason you don’t see comments on our posts here at Edmonton Quotient. We don’t have time to moderate comments right now and there’s no way we’d let the kind of hate and idiocy other media outlets allow be posted, let alone stay up for all to see (and in turn encourage more sexism, racism, hate, conspiracies, lies and misinformation).

The newsrooms and media organizations allowing these kind of hateful comments on their sites without moderation and deletion aren’t helping. (I will spare you a link to any of that.)

And conservative and right-leaning political parties and organizations which encourage anger at the premier or her party aren’t helping either. They need to do more than say it’s not OK after the fact. They need to start shutting people down online and in real life because this sort of hate will not result in productive discussion and they don’t deserve our support if they won’t stand up for what’s right.


Transit news

We talked a little yesterday about some the changes Edmonton Transit was going to be asked to consider. Councillors at the Community and Public Services committee are pushing those ahead.

Among the changes that come with promises of greater customer service are turnstiles at LRT stations and smart card payment options.

More driver training in accessibility is going to be part of the new plan too. That’s a great improvement. Though, some of the other changes coming to transit, including potentially reduced service in suburban neighbourhoods may become an accessibility issue.


In other news…

It’s time. Time to get in your thoughts on a survey on whether we should stick with daylight saving time.

Another premier was in the news yesterday, as Dave Hancock had his official portrait hung in the Alberta Legislature. Hancock was Alberta’s 15th premier, stepping into the role after Alison Redford resigned and before Jim Prentice won the next Progressive Conservative leadership race. (For anyone new-ish to Edmonton, we had more than 40 years of PC government in Alberta – longest-serving in Canadian history – so choosing the new PC party leader basically became the way to choose a new premier.)

Sticking with the province’s history, it was 70 years ago that Alberta’s fortunes changed when we hit oil.

Edmonton photographer Amber Bracken has won a World Press Photo award for her work capturing images of the water protectors at Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The new U.S. president means the fight in Standing Rock isn’t over.

A post shared by Amber Bracken (@photobracken) on


Following Up…

A new website to track hate incidents wasn’t yet launched when we talked about it last week, but now it’s up and running. The website is meant to be a place to track incidents related to threats, slurs, vandalism, and graffiti in regards to race, sexual orientation, disability or another characteristic. You can see the heat map these logs create at stophateab.ca.

It’s a good reminder, with so much news coming out of the U.S. right now, that Canada has plenty of its own problems to continue to tackle when it comes to racism and hate.


Good news

If you haven’t heard of Valour Place, this is a great story to get you introduced. It’s a “home away from home” for members of the military, veterans, RCMP, first responders and their families when one of them is in Edmonton for medical treatment.

The University of Alberta has a new, larger, prayer space on campus. It opened right after the terrorist attack in Quebec, so it’s been a good place for the university community to come together in faith and healing.