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October 22, 2017
February 23, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Safe injection coming to Edmonton

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

Edmonton could see its first safe injection sites open in the next year. There are four sites planned, in neighbourhoods bordering the downtown.

The benefits of such sites are well-known, including safer drug and needle use by those using the clinics, addiction treatment, detoxification and mental health supports for those seeking it and fewer needles left lying around communities.

Tuesday was just a National Day of Action for changes to drug policy, where some other ideas were being proposed to help improve the health and safety of many. And we are talking about many people. Not just stereotypical drug users. A lot of people use drugs, and we shouldn’t try to hide that.


Build up, not out

Edmonton hit its infill goals last year. The goal is to have 25% of all new development happen in mature neighbourhoods (those built prior to the middle of last century). We hit 24%, thanks mostly to a couple of big towers downtown.

Speaking of towers downtown… the proposal for an 80-storey tower on the top of the river bank in The Quarters (Southeast downtown) is delayed right now while the developer works out how a land sale with the City might go down. A public hearing on whether to zone the location for such a tower is also delayed.

Interesting take here from a Riverdale resident on the proposal, citing that “The river valley is everybody‚Äôs neighbourhood, but the developer does not have to ask permission from any of us.”

The City is moving most of its staff currently in a number of buildings downtown into its new tower in the arena district. If you’ve been looking for office space, I bet you could get a real good deal in the buildings becoming more vacant.


Your choice doesn’t matter

Do you support public schools or Catholic schools on your property tax form? It doesn’t matter.

It hasn’t actually mattered since the mid-90s. The provincial government collects property taxes, mixes it with other funding dollars and then allocates it to schools based on how many students they have. The Edmonton Public School Board will hear a motion next week to have the Public/Catholic boxes removed from property tax forms because of the confusion it could cause when people think they are supporting one or the other with their tax dollars.


Oil and gas safety

There’s a new website from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) where you can see which oil and gas companies have the most spills and leaks. If you do check out the site, some of the energy companies don’t want you to get the wrong idea about how serious they take safety.

You can see the report online.

The AER was recently in the news when a research claimed that it did not have an accurate idea of how much oil and other liquids leaked during such incidents in Alberta, or how much actually gets cleaned up.


Hey, is this your chicken?