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August 18, 2017
March 26, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Monday, March 27, 2017

Time to buy solar panels

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

Welcome back from the weekend, Edmonton. Coming off the provincial and federal budgets, things have slowed down a bit in local news, but we’ve still found a few good stories to get your week going.

This is a good point to remind our newer readers that while we try to take a look at what all the Edmonton news outlets are producing and publishing, we won’t be sharing a lot of the blood and guts stories that make up too much of local news. This is not a “if it bleed, it leads” kind of place.

Too often, stories of violence and death don’t have enough substance to them, especially at the initial stages. It’s not usually until many hours or days later, or even at or after a criminal trial that the full story comes out.

That’s not to say crime and death can’t be part of stories that are important to hear. We’ve been trying to add our voice to those calling for safer streets, as one example. But crime and violence stories in local news tend to lack in-depth context, or don’t even lend themselves to much analysis. So, if you’re looking for a break from fear-based news, you’re in the right place.


Green energy

It should get easier to put solar panels on your house in Edmonton. The City is looking at changing the permit process for installing rooftop panels. (The provincial government is also offering rebates for those installing solar.)

This is the kind of thing we’ll be seeing more of in Edmonton and Alberta. And not just on houses. Our province is going to start to build major green energy infrastructure as we move away from coal-powered electricity.

The Beaver Lake First Nation is installing solar panels as a form of reconciliation and resistance.


Around the city

The City’s changes to property development in our older neighbourhoods could soon include an inspection once people are ready to move into new buildings. That’s something that should apply to all new builds in all neighbourhoods. This is hardly an issue only for new buildings going into mature neighbourhoods, as we’ve seen many of the “horror” stories of new condos needing massive repairs soon after construction.

Want to limit some weekend construction noise? Jump on the latest survey from Edmonton’s Insight Community and let the City know if you’d like a couple more hours of quiet time.

Edmonton is getting a new judge for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. One of four new justices announced by the federal government at the end of last week. This will be another key to fixing backlogs in Alberta’s court system, along with more money for Legal Aid Alberta and more money for crown prosecutor’s office. Here’s a little bit of background on Edmonton’s new appointee, Justice Ritu Khullar.

Reducing the stigma of finishing high school in four or five years is a good thing. The Edmonton Catholic School District is looking at a more formalized way of letting students know it’s an option (as well as, perhaps, squeezing out a few more dollars of provincial funding).

This story is jargon and buzzword heavy, but it appear the Edmonton Police Service is working at predicting some kinds of crime by leveraging technology and data they have. Obviously, any mention of a “predictive crime model” makes me think of Minority Report.

It may or may not tell you how your MP feels about people of the Muslim faith, but how they voted on Motion 103 could be an indicator of how seriously they take anti-Muslim hate and violence we’re seeing in Canada right now. (MPs are listed by their last name. If you don’t know who your MP is, check at the Parliament website.)


Good news

I was a little surprised to see a lack of coverage for the Women March Forward event on the weekend. This was the follow-up to the Women’s March here in Edmonton. The event was a “human library” where people could learn more about agencies in Edmonton helping to protect women’s rights, fight for parity on many fronts and where people could volunteer to help keep things moving in the right direction.

If you’re on the University of Alberta campus and notice a couple of brightly coloured benches, just know that “Yellow is for Hello“.

We’re all for inclusion of more people. This project, taking photos for stock images, is a great, local, effort to widen people’s understanding of beauty.