The federal budget brings a few things Edmonton’s way, even if the finer details are yet to be worked out.
Public transit is getting a big boost, which means LRT expansion in Edmonton. The line to west Edmonton would be the biggest priority, followed by extending the Metro Line up to the new Blatchford neighbourhood northwest of NAIT and Kingsway Mall.
There’s more money for affordable housing. In Edmonton, it will probably help build some new units of housing, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to eliminate homelessness in just two more years.
The University of Alberta is also going to get money to help in its efforts to build Skynet, or whatever else you do with AI (artificial intelligence).
At City Hall
This year’s election might be easier to run in than the next one, if the City decides to increase the requirements for a candidate to file nomination papers. The city council elected in October will assess if it makes sense to increase the number of signatures of support someone needs to run, as well as the amount of money for a deposit. (It’s slightly misleading to say the next city council will decide this, since incumbents rarely lose and it looks like 10 councillors and the mayor are running this fall, most of whom will be re-elected.)
We shouldn’t worry about a few candidates who may not be as serious as others, or as pedigreed, and increase the barrier to running. While I’d be more open to the increasing of signatures, jacking up the price of running is a classist move.
It is an election year, so let’s all try to pay more attention to what our city politicians are up to. That goes for school boards too. It’s often the least exciting of the political levels we have in Canada, but also likely to have a daily impact.
The City and The Telus World of Science have a deal to preserve the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium. Heritage nerds rejoice! Space nerds rejoice!
Weirdly (for Edmonton anyway) this is the second historic building in our city to be set on the path of preservation and rejuvenation this week.
Around the city
For the second time this week the height of Old Strathcona is in the news. A 31-storey tower is being proposed for the Wild Earth Bakery/Food site on 99 Street (the old Bateman IGA). It is likely going to face a lot of opposition after the City’s approvals of Whyte Avenue towers offside with neighbourhood building rules. (That, and the fact it does appear to be well out-of-scope from anything around the site.)
A panel speaking on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination heard about the intersections of racism and sexism, often going hand-in-hand with anti-Muslim sentiment and actions.
A new website will try to highlight the best things about Edmonton’s walkable neighbourhoods.
A fantastic Edmonton business, Anthony At Your Service, is expanding into St. Albert. This is a great business because it employs people with disabilities with the goal of giving them actual work, and full pay for that work, as well as making sure they’re active members of society. If you need something picked up or delivered in Edmonton (or St. Albert!), this is the place to call.
Your night out watching an Oilers playoff game (!) at the bar might cost you a little more, as Rogers and Bell charge bars and restaurants more for their sports channels. “You might call it collusion, but at the very least there are cahoots involved.” (I suppose this could also mean you’ll see fewer restaurants showing sports on their TVs.)
If you’re interested in the North Saskatchewan river valley, there’s another open house for the City’s Ribbon of Green project tonight, 4-8 p.m., at the Clareview Community Recreation Centre.