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December 16, 2017
April 25, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Don't give us mumps

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

Roll up your sleeves, Edmonton, it’s time for a vaccination rant.

No, we aren’t one of those news organizations that will give credence to the actual anti-vaxxers – we wholeheartedly believe so many of us are alive today thanks to vaccinations – we’re just disappointed that we can’t get our immunization numbers up.

And, obviously, in the last decade or more, this is thanks to a bunch of fear-mongering celebrities, pseudo-celebrities and health “experts” who have convinced enough people to keep their kids clear of needles that we now see outbreaks of diseases that literally make for headlines out of our past.

Since this is under provincial jurisdiction, it would be nice to see the Alberta government go a step further than it has and make vaccinations mandatory (with exceptions for people with health conditions that might preclude them from getting a shot). The Edmonton Catholic School District asked the provincial government to make it mandatory for students to be vaccinated but that was very quickly shot down in favour of the provincial government’s “education” efforts. Right now, when we have an outbreak of a disease, like whooping cough, if a student isn’t immunized the local health authority can get in touch with schools to let them know which students aren’t immunized. Health officials can also get in touch with parents and tell them about the benefits of vaccination, but it’s still up to parents to decide.

Alberta should follow other provinces and think about mandatory vaccinations for students.

If you want to know how your part of Edmonton is doing in terms of vaccination check the searchable chart at the end of this CBC story. (Way to go, West Jasper Place!)


So many people registered to speak about a proposed 80-story tower in The Quarters, that city council had to put the rest of its public hearing over to Wednesday. City councillors already approved sale of the land to the company asking for the zoning changes to allow it to build the tower on the top of the river valley. That happened after a closed-door discussion.

This tower’s getting a lot of attention for its location, both the river valley aspect and the fact it sort of flies in the face of the longer-term plan for the neighbourhood that has been kicking around for years. That plan’s development hopes certainly got diverted by glitzier opportunities on the other side of downtown around the new arena.

The land sale doesn’t mean council has to approve the zoning the developer (now likely land owner) wants. Stay tuned on this one this week…

Edmonton is considering an impressive design for a future recreation centre out on our western city limits.

How stinky is it? This is literally a question EPCOR’s Edmonton’s drainage department is trying to answer.

The provincial government is asking the City of Edmonton to clean up a pile of human and industrial waste that’s been sitting around for decades. Literally just sitting there. That’s been the plan so far.

Here’s our monthly oil spill report from Strathcona County. I’m not joking. Here are details on the February and March oil spills east of Edmonton.


At the Legislature

People who don’t have the money to pay fines for various minor infractions won’t have to go to jail in Alberta anymore. This is a big move to help break cycles of poverty. Although, keeping some people from registering a vehicle might be an issue that doesn’t help. Perhaps more emphasis on community service or payment plans needs to be in place instead of just taking away someone’s vehicle (especially in smaller cities or rural Alberta).

Edmonton’s domestic violence shelters and programs are seeing dozens of people in need of help, every single day. This is a a terrible sign of what life is still like for too many people in our city, and province. And, it is not an acceptable reaction to an economic downturn (which gets mentioned in a lot of such stories).

If you, or someone you know, is in need of help or services related to domestic violence contact WIN House’s 24-hour helpline, 780-479-0058.

If you’re someone who is struggling with your emotions and don’t want to choose violence, get in touch with the Edmonton Violence Prevention Centre.


Public engagement

City council’s meeting continues today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online. The meeting will stream live.

The Edmonton Public School Board’s trustees meet today too. You can see the agenda and live stream link online.

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