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December 16, 2017
May 25, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Thursday, May 25, 2017

The state of the city

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Mayor Don Iveson held his annual State of the City address at the Shaw Conference Centre Wednesday, citing Edmonton’s ability to bounce back through recessions as the reason to keep diversifying our economy and keep building new businesses and ideas. We may have gotten through the last ones OK, but we always have to be ready for the next one, and the best way to weather those economic storms is to have as many strong industries as possible. (sorry/not sorry oil and gas)

Pitching himself into the election race, the mayor talked about building on successes Edmonton has seen to launch and nurture new businesses, taking more of them global if possible. He also mentioned the work done to build out our transportation networks for more than just people driving and cutting back on sprawl by building more homes in our older neighbourhoods. This is what’s been happening, somewhat slowly, the last term of council and this is what the mayor is predicting to do more of if he’s elected again in October. (So far, nobody is really running against him, so… seems likely.)

Iveson also mentioned the (new) collaboration of Northlands and the EEDC (Edmonton Economic Development Corporation), at least when it comes to events at the Shaw Conference Centre and the Expo Centre. They’ve been voluntold!

You can read the mayor’s speech at the City’s website.

Oh, and the mayor highlighted Edmonton’s emergence as a hub for work on artificial intelligence. It may still be a secret to some, but if you’ve been following our Headlines for a little while you know we always include the latest Skynet AI updates, often from the University of Alberta. They will indeed build a robot to rule us all one day. Talk about economic diversity!


Around the city

Edmonton is moving forward on work to identify the best place for a transportation hub. Basically, a place we could put our Greyhound bus station that doesn’t have people walking all night in the hope they see a transit bus or cab. (Thanks a lot, downtown arena.)

The hub could include out-of-town buses, trains, high speed rail, city transit, any number of connections. The airport also threw its hat into the ring as a potential location, since it has space set aside for a future LRT station. This planning is still more than a year away so, until then, prepare to walk if you get home late on a Greyhound bus.

The provincial government tabled new labour rules in the Alberta Legislature and it could mean we catch up to the rest of the provinces. What progress! The legislation is the first labour law update in 30 years (thanks for nothing, Boomers) and includes unpaid time off for sickness and family emergencies, without you losing your job, no more pay discrimination for people with disabilities and a minimum of two weeks vacation each year. Critics on the left and right have problems with the legislation, which probably means it’s hitting the perfect middle ground. See more of the changes for yourself.

People are still panning for gold in the river valley. Yes, our river valley.

Meanwhile… other discoveries in our river valley include remnants of our Indigenous heritage. The story focuses on a couple of arrowheads but really skims over the fact bones were found.

And finally, Edmonton’s Blues Hall of Fame is about to induct its latest artists and supporters. Of course it will be followed by some music.


Public engagement

The City is hosting a second drop-in information session about Century Park rezoning today, 4-7 p.m., at the William Lutsky YMCA. (This plan goes to city council on June 12.)

The City’s Evolving Infill workshops continue tonight in Mill Woods. It’s 6-9 p.m. at the Mill Woods Recreation Centre.

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