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October 22, 2017
April 11, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We like shiny new things

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Yes, the MacDonald Lofts are back in the newsThe historic building was something we talked a little bit about a couple of months back, when the writing was going up on the wall about its future.

The building has been home to people in need of affordable housing, and other social supports. Unfortunately it fell into disrepair. The building got bought up by some of the same folks connected to that big shiny arena next door. And then… well, gentrification of the worst kind. The people in need of a place to live are being evicted. While it’s unknown what will happen to the building, I think we’d be kidding ourselves not to bank on it being flipped into high-end condos or something else that people in need of affordable housing won’t ever see the inside of.

The real shame in all of this is that dozens of people are being added to the already thousands-long list of people in Edmonton looking for affordable housing. And we can see there was never a plan to help make the most of downtown revitalization for people who can’t afford Oilers tickets.

Speaking of Edmonton never having a plan… We’re wondering what’s going to happen to the old Remand Centre that sits not too far away from the arena and MacDonald Lofts.

We still don’t quite know what’s going to happen to the other arena we still have.

Our new downtown museum is opening without any idea what will happen to the old one, which sits just outside of the downtown.

There’s never been a plan for how Edmonton can fund two major convention centres that don’t seem to work together.

So, instead of just being about the poorly thought-out downtown plans pushing people of lower classes out, today’s theme is actually Edmonton getting distracted by building new things without ever knowing what to do about the old things.


Municipal issues

The Alberta government’s tabled some changes to the Municipal Government Act which will have an impact in Edmonton and other towns and cities. There’s nothing too exciting in the changes (like, say, all kinds of new taxing powers) but there is a push to have municipalities craft parental leave rules, which should encourage more women to run for council.

Edmonton City Council is talking about the potential sale of drainage operations to EPCOR this week, and there are some folks who don’t think it’s a good idea to take such a step toward privatization of public utilities.


Sweet stuff

If you live anywhere near the Italian Bakery, you probably already know it’s re-opened. This has been news one year in the making since the beloved north-side business had a fire that forced it to close.

As Edmonton expands its opportunities for urban beekeeping you might notice a few more hives around the city. You’ll also start seeing neighbourhood-specific honey for sale at markets this summer (which has really intrigued me, I must say!).

You know what bees will really enjoy? The new Islamic garden at the University of Alberta botanic gardens.


Public engagement

Edmonton City Council continues meeting today, at 9:30 a.m. See the agenda online. You can watch or listen live.

The Edmonton Public School Board is back from spring break today, at 2 p.m. You can see the agenda online. This meeting also streams live.

There’s an open house for the Victoria Trail bridge rehabilitation project today, 4:30 – 8:30 p.m at South Clareview Hall.

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