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August 20, 2017
February 27, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Monday, February 27, 2017

Turmoil at the Catholic school board

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

There’s a good longread from the Edmonton Journal on the dysfunction of the Edmonton Catholic School District’s board and trustees. Make sure to set aside a few minutes to read this, since it is an election year.

As noted in the story, and in our own recent look at stories in the local news, there is increasing pressure to de-fund Catholic schools in Alberta (if not find other ways to reduce duplicated costs of education dollars). This kind of story won’t help show the worth of a separate school board at a time when it might need it more than it has in a long time.


Open more sidewalks

The City of Edmonton is considering more fees for blocking sidewalks during construction.

This has been a problem in Edmonton for years. It will be good to see more action from our city administration to keep sidewalks (and traffic) moving during building construction. For the most part it’s an easy thing to do; just cover the sidewalk instead of blocking access. That’s still the rarity in Edmonton though.


Black History Month

Alberta’s first official Black History Month is winding down. It’s important to recognize this part of our history, though maybe it could happen outside of just 28 days each year.

A couple of stories that popped up just before the weekend looked at a fur trader who was one of the first-ever African-Americans to come here, and our growing African Fashion Week.

I had mentioned this excellent overview of some of Edmonton and Alberta’s Black history back in a post about events happening February. It’s still worth a read.


Housing Follow-Ups

The City is far behind on building supportive housing – homes for people who need some kind of extra medical help or counseling. One such building we do have is doing exactly what this kind of housing is supposed to. We need more of this in Edmonton and it has to be an absolute priority for the city (and province and federal government).

We mentioned last week about a jobs program at Boyle Street Community Services that was finding itself less and less able to take on people for training. The story linked to last week didn’t make it clear why that was the case (mentioning provincial funding, which implied that maybe it was cut?). Metro’s got a story of its own and it sounds like the program is trying to provide more kinds of training than it has previously, which is eating up more time and resources. There are also more people showing up, which means more are turned away. The ultimate result is that fewer people can take the program each day.


In other news…

This sounds like a fantastic and well-rounded program for sex education in our city’s public schools. Incorporating issues like consent, healthy relationships and abuse is much-needed alongside talk of pregnancy and STIs.

Save our Stadium! Edmonton’s great baseball park in the river valley continues to hang on by a thread, getting its latest lease on life. It’s really quite a nice ballpark, so I recommend taking in a game this summer (and eat the perogy hot dog!). It would be wonderful to see the park and old power station become the centre of a more accessible and walkable riverside park one day.

As Edmonton moves forward with transit changes, it does need to consider seniors and those who rely on public transportation. It’s very easy, as it’s mostly able-bodied folks who take transit, to forget that as efficient as main-street routes could be, eliminating winding, residential routes completely (or without proper gaps filled) will leave people out of the loop.


At City Hall

Community and Public Services Committee, at 9:30 a.m. See the agenda online, and you can watch or listen to the meeting live through the City’s streaming service.