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December 10, 2017
March 8, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

You know how we keep saying school boards have dominated the Edmonton news over the last month? Well…

Edmonton Public School Board trustee Michael Janz is going to ask his board to push the Alberta government for more money, or, more transparency around how money decisions are being made, rather. As he points out, the funding, especially in terms of new schools and infrastructure, doesn’t seem to line up with how many people are Catholic in Alberta, or appear to support that school system. So, make no mistake, he’s after more money for public schools.

This comes after weeks of public questions around whether there’s more that can be done between public and Catholic schools to collaborate, and stretch provincial education dollars further. Janz himself began raising those points, and has some support from at least one trustee of the Edmonton Catholic School District.

When you consider two schools are being built where we might only need one (albeit a little larger) you can begin to see where the cost savings could come in. This will be an issue when the provincial budget is announced next week, as it’s expected to have money for new schools in it.

We’re should just start an education-only version of the Headlines…


At City Hall

The City of Edmonton is saving about half of its surplus money from last year. The other half may get saved, or may end up being spent on projects that didn’t get cash in the original 2017 budget. Councillors will decide in April (so start lobbying them for your favourite unfunded items).

Meanwhile… some councillors want to make it harder to get in the race against them. There’s going to be debate around how many signatures and how big a deposit should be in place to run for council.

I think I’d rather the number of signatures needed to become a candidate increase, instead of the amount of the cash deposit. Although a signature change would require the provincial government’s help.


International Women’s Day

There is plenty happening in Edmonton today in celebration and support of IWD 2017.

You may not see as many women around your regular daily routine though, if they’ve got the ability to strike for the day. You can also wear red today, in solidarity with women striking around the world.

The Alberta government was at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) to announce a new bill that would give people who are victimized by sexual and domestic violence more time to file lawsuits. The bill would remove the two-year limit on when someone has to file a claim in civil court, allowing more time for people to heal before they have to decide if they want to sue for damages. (This is separate from any criminal proceedings which might also be connected to the assault.)


Neighbourhood news

Flood mitigation could mean reductions in sports fields and affect some park space. Councilllor Mike Nickel is asking the three departments responsible to work together to limit the losses and use neighbourhood green spaces as effectively as possible.

Does the City of Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Renewal construction have to mean only freshly-paved streets and sidewalks, or can it mean new ways of connecting those streets and sidewalks? That’s the question Strathcona will be asking as it begins the work of preparing for its Neighbourhood Renewal in two years.*

Urban gardeners, beekeepers and chicken farmers have some new rules, aiming to make all of these activities easier in Edmonton.


Civic Engagement

City Council continues today, at 9:30 a.m.. See the agenda online. Watch and listen live to council and committee meetings through the City’s livestream service.

The Edmonton Public School Board is hosting an information meeting for the community and parents of students at Britannia, Brightview, Mayfield and Youngstown schools, to talk about the future of the schools. 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Britannia School.


*Disclosure: Jeff Samsonow is a member of the Strathcona Community League and volunteers with the Neighbourhood Renewal committee.