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December 16, 2017
May 31, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Two steps forward...

Written by Jeff Samsonow

It was a packed agenda at city council this week, so there’s plenty to dig into and plenty to think about as Edmonton moves toward big plans, and fall elections.

The City is moving ahead with new rules for building homes and redeveloping property in our older neighbourhoods. There’s also a goal to have new infill development built to a net-zero goal by 2030. Some of the details are yet to be finalized before the new Mature Neighbourhood Overlay takes effect in September, including how front driveways might work in these communities.

Council’s also got some time to think about what to do about Northlands Coliseum, “the arena Edmonton forgot”. There is a plan to turn the arena, or the arena site, into a multi-rink complex, possibly with the inclusion of Hockey Canada. The cost of retrofitting might be way more than tearing down and starting new, which throws everything into flux. If it’s cheaper to build a new complex, why not do it somewhere else that might work better (or be even closer to some of the single-sheet rinks that will soon need to close)? And that’s to say nothing of utilizing a large space sitting beside an LRT station for potential residential infill. We do have infill targets to meet… This one is back after Northlands presents its business plan in June.

The provincial government announced some details about our city’s new hospital in the southwest. This work will happen over the next decade, as the southwest fills in with more residents and neighbourhoods. This is also good news for LRT planning, since the location of the hospital can be taken into account for extending our train through the southwest.

Moving Forward

Much to the chagrin of lots of (old) white men, our city council decided not to bring back the “City of Champions” slogan to welcome signs around the city. Whether or not a city needs a slogan, this one didn’t make any sense to keep around. As much as people claim it’s not about sports, it’s about sports. And many other cities have the same slogan, so where’s the originality to that? If anything, it’s time for the city to embrace “Make Something Edmonton” as our ethos and slap that on more signs and marketing, or come up with something else that actually means something about the people who live and work here and use that as a call to action. Unfortunately, the champions aren’t going anywhere, which leads me to believe we may actually be a city of sore losers.

Alberta is committed to pushing ahead with expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, even in the face of what might be a hostile NDP-Green government over in British Columbia, where the pipeline happens to end.

A new bill tabled in the Alberta Legislature would make it mandatory for all deaths of children and teens in government care to be investigated by the Children’s Advocate. Although there are questions on whether more of the death details would be kept private.

Corus Edmonton’s radio websites have gone Global. You’ll now see the same website, and content, when you check out stories at Global TV Edmonton, 630 CHED and iNews880. The newsrooms were already sharing resources. While it’s lamentable that local news coverage fits into an obviously smaller pool, I like that I only have to check one website instead of three for the Headlines. So at least we have that?

One of these things is not unlike the others.


Public engagement

The Recreation Facility Master Plan has a pop-up event today at the Whitemud Crossing branch of the Edmonton Public Library, 4-8 p.m.

The City’s Planning Academy begins a new session of classes tonight. You can still sign up for future classes. The program runs at Edmonton Tower.

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