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December 10, 2017
March 13, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Monday, March 13, 2017

Street safety topping the news

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

If you were out driving in the snow this weekend on Yellowhead Trail, parts of St. Albert Trail (between 156 Street and the Yellowhead), or Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard (from 19 Avenue to Whitemud Drive), did you notice the driving was any better than usual? The City is using those stretches of road to test new a anti-icing spray. (Speaking of the snow, there’s a parking ban on in Edmonton, so don’t park your car on a bus route street.)

Jasper Avenue, through the Oliver neighbourhood, is going to see some test options this summer, in preparation for a better mix of transportation uses. Wider sidewalks should encourage more street-level business activity and the reduced importance of passenger vehicles could improve safety for everyone traveling to and from downtown and to local shops and homes.

An Edmonton police officer who killed a woman in a car crash is going to be in a new training video about safer driving in police vehicles.

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The City doesn’t know if it will have much control over marijuana dispensaries, but it’s preparing just in case municipalities are asked by the federal government to help with of create regulation of these new shops.

Related, workplaces are going to have to figure out what to do about certain policies as both medicinal marijuana use increases and recreational use is potentially decriminalized or legalized.

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The City of Edmonton is checking on backyard chickens this winter to make sure owners are doing the right things to keep the hens happy and healthy. We should hear later this year if the pilot project will continue, or expand options for more foul inside city limits.

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Habitat for Humanity is already gearing up for their largest build in Edmonton’s history.

Somewhat connected, at the City’s Community and Public Services Committee meeting today there’s going to be an update on where the plans are at to end homelessness in Edmonton.

Alberta Legislature dome

Provincially related

Both sides of the debate over funding private schools are now claiming to save education dollars. The argument the last few weeks is that putting limited provincial money into these schools costs public schools. The private schools are saying they save money by keeping kids out of public schools. That argument, however, would require just about every single private student to transfer to public schools if funding was cut, which is not what’s happened in other provinces who cut or limit funding.

Many of Alberta’s hospitals are in need of some upgrades or expansions. This op-ed cautions that Edmonton hospitals could get busier if Red Deer’s hospital isn’t upgraded.

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Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd is telling his provincial colleagues that if they appear on Rebel Media, or support its events and rhetoric, they are telling Muslim-Albertans and Albertans of African descent that they do not stand with them. This is a needed calling out of politicians who would use the far-right and hate-filled platform (or any other similar outlets and organizations) to try and boost their profile or whip up angry supporters.

There are some folks asking the Alberta government to revoke the Rebel’s media credentials for provincial events and the Legislature. While their hearts are in the right place, this is really a job for the Alberta Legislature press gallery. As we saw when the Rebel first got its credentials, it shouldn’t be up to the government to decide who is media and who isn’t (we see this in the U.S. with the disaster that is the Trump White House too).

But, there’s nothing stopping the press gallery from exerting some pressure on the Rebel to hold itself to some level of journalistic ethics for a sustained amount of time. Let’s see if they do it. (I actually don’t think they will, unfortunately, since they had the opportunity after the “lock her up” rally on the steps of the Alberta Legislature.)


Police killing

A witness is reporting that the Edmonton police officer who shot a man to death at a traffic stop told him that he had fallen over after the driver approached him holding a knife, and shot at him from the ground. This death is being investigated by the provincial organization that looks into all deaths and serious injuries involving police.


Good news

So many people showed up to an event to try and find a bone marrow match for an 8-year-old boy with cancer that Canadian Blood Services ran out of swab kits to collect stem cell samples. If you’re between the age of 17 and 35 you can contact CBS for a stem cell swab and register to be on the list for similar matches in the future.


At City Hall

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