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October 22, 2017
April 30, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Monday, May 1, 2017

Public engagement has to improve

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Courtesy Kennedy Create architects

Truth be told, we’re not sure we’ll ever be done talking about that 80-storey tower just approved for Edmonton’s river valley. The reasons go beyond its height and location (at least they do for us). It’s a question of process and just how the heck anyone knows what can or can’t be built in Edmonton.

Right now, it’s truly an unknown what our city administration might support and what our city council will approve. This comes as the mayor admits Edmonton needs more rules for buildings like this. And the city is launching new public engagement strategies, which feel like they don’t apply to this current council.

Alright, that’s the last time this week we’ll talk about that 80-storey tower. (Probably.)

Speaking of public trust in planning… some in St. Albert don’t consider resurrecting a planning commission as “business-friendly“. Which seems like the most pertinent issue when it comes to how a city gets built? It will be interesting to see how the vote goes on this one, and whether or not people living in the city could benefit from more time and debate over planning decisions.


Around the city

Edmonton’s Donate A Ride campaign was very successful again this year. Which is great, but shows how much need there is for our low income transit pass to help take some of the pressure of fundraising like this.

It feels like Edmonton Police, and the RCMP, are starting to keep more information from the public when it comes to those involved in crimes and now internal and disciplinary investigations.

Some things, however, are generally agreed to be private. Strathcona County Council is censuring one of its councillors, after he recorded closed-door meetings that were off-the-record.

On the other side of the communication spectrum, there’s going to be more communication between workplace safety investigating bodies from the provincial government and police forces. The Edmonton area’s latest workplace fatality was just last week.

Edmonton was one of many cities around the world taking part in climate marches this weekend. It sure feels like since the U.S. elected a fascist we’re all taking part in more marches.


People stories

With the Oilers back in all of the spotlights, the team’s decades-long relationship with Joey Moss is getting attention again too. It’s a bright spot that the hockey team has remained loyal to Moss over all the years (even in not-so-bright seasons), but I hope the point of a story like this doesn’t get too bogged down in “inspirational” connotations. It only seems heroic when a business succeeds with employees who have disabilities because it’s not how enough businesses operate. Joey Moss is obviously a good employee, and the Oilers did a good thing hiring someone with a disability, now let’s hope more business owners do it. (That’d be even more impressive than some Oilers decals in a shop’s front window.)

An Edmonton family is reunited after a long, long, long immigration ordeal.

And a local story that garnered international attention and even spun-off a movie, has quietly concluded in Edmonton.


Public engagement

The City’s Community and Public Services Committee meets today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online.

City Council is also holding a special meeting, at 3:45 p.m., to discuss safe injection sites. That (brief) agenda is also online.

Both of these Edmonton city meetings will stream live.

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