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September 27, 2023
May 2, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Safer cities have safe injection

Written by Jeff Samsonow


Edmonton is one step closer to having safe injection sites. After two days of discussion, which was moved up to try and speed the whole process along, city council voted almost unanimously to ask the provincial government to ask the federal government for the exemptions required to set up sites where people can use street drugs. (There are still a few steps to go, with all that asking of the next government up the line.)

Even though a lot of people in the areas to the north and east of downtown support the services, not everyone is happy about this.

We should hear back soon about whether or not the clinics can move ahead. Meanwhile… the mayor is asking for a holistic approach to health, drug and homeless issues in Edmonton’s inner city, so there are more services available being made available by these decisions than just safe injection.

Around the city

One issue spinning out of the 80-storey tower approved downtown is going to be whether Edmonton will have height restrictions again. Since the last flights landed at our old city centre airport there haven’t been any rules.

I can get behind the idea of sweeping and cleaning our busiest streets first.

City council is putting our history and heritage in a chicken and egg situation. If more people don’t demand to learn about our history, there won’t be funding for more heritage projects, but without that funding how will people learn about our history?

The LRT extension to Mill Woods kicks off summer construction this week. I would already start asking Bombardier if our train cars are going to be on time.

Edmonton won’t have as many usable skate parks this summer because of construction. So go easy on the kids skating in your parking lot.

This is more of a provincial government story, but I just think it’s funny that Metro Edmonton is literally using a photo of someone blowing a whistle.

Food business

Downtown Edmonton has seen its third grocery store come and go on 104 Street. Earth’s General Store expanded from its Whyte Avenue location, but hasn’t seen the kind of sales it needs to stay open. Downtown isn’t ready for that fully walkable lifestyle just yet. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means there aren’t enough people living there yet.

Although, 104 Street has had its share of failed and fleeing businesses. And I do wonder if the arena is going to force it to decide if it’s a neighbourhood main street or a future home of sports bars.

Closer to Earth’s General Store’s successful location, Ritchie Market is too popular! The market’s been open for just a few weeks but the intersection it sits at may need some help to keep things safe with all the new traffic. What a great example of a community revitalizing itself!

I am, obviously, going to be part of that new influx of traffic to the area to consume more milkshakes.

A post shared by Jeff Samsonow (@jeffsamsonow) on

Public engagement

The Urban Planning Committee meets today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online. The meeting will stream live.

There’s an open house for the 102 Avenue Bike Route tonight, 5-8 p.m. at the Robertson-Wesley United Church.

The City is also holding the first of its information sessions on a new public engagement strategy, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Mill Woods Seniors Association. Sessions will continue through early June.

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