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August 20, 2017
June 13, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Where are your ads?

Written by Jeff Samsonow

The City of Edmonton is now reviewing its advertising policies after finding its ads on Rebel Media. This is important, beyond the City, because without taking active steps to block hate sites like Rebel, the online programmatic advertising networks (like Google Ads) will end up putting a company’s ads there as they eventually follow around people with tracking tools, or enough people of a certain target group happen to visit the sites in question. The City is just one of many companies finding themselves on Rebel in the last couple of weeks, and finding themselves called out for it by the Sleeping Giants campaign. (This follows on their work doing the same thing to alt-right Breitbart in the U.S.)

Companies and organizations need to make sure they are being more deliberate with their advertising, and that includes on programmatic networks and when it’s handed over to third-parties like ad and marketing agencies. We know the kind of anger and hate that sites like the Rebel promote can and does lead to real-world hate and violence.

More of that hate is being found in Alberta, according to the latest stats. There’s always a potential upside in increased stats like this, of course. It might mean that more people are reporting the crimes. And it could mean that police are taking them seriously and investigating, perhaps even laying charges in cases they might not have years ago. It’s still not great news to hear that anyone in our cities and towns is being threatened though. Much like the campaign against Rebel Media we need to call this out when we see it to make people acting in racist, Islamist, sexist (and other ists) ways know it’s not welcome anymore.


Around the city

As a potential fight brews over which direction the LRT should expand next, councillors from north Edmonton are pitching a transit bridge as a short-term, is not possibly long-term, solution to moving people around the city without private vehicles. Once Edmonton finishes the LRT connections to Mill Woods and the west end, a leg through the Blatchford neighbourhood is about all we have confirmed. And with ever-expanding neighbourhoods in the southwest, that’s putting pressure on whether trains should head in that direction instead of northwest from Blatchford toward St. Albert. The bus bridge is a good solution either way, because it could be done alongside work to upgrade the Yellowhead and help with traffic no matter what happens with LRT planning.

The Enoch Cree Nation has 9-1-1 service now, thanks to a partnership with Parkland County. The story notes that Enoch may be one of the only First Nations in Canada to have emergency calls to 9-1-1.

The closer we get to July 1, the more we’ll be hearing about Canada 150 celebrations. It is not, of course, a celebration for many in our Indigenous communities.

Edmonton’s new Colombian coffee roaster has family ties to the country known for its coffee, and its conflict.

CBC Edmonton’s been highlighting some of our city’s major philanthropic donors in recent stories. They have a new one about the founder of Rousseau Equipment Ltd. giving millions to Edmonton healthcare.

A new baseball program is giving kids and teens with a variety of disabilities a chance to play, or keep playing, on the diamond.

DANDELIONS!

We understand that some people might not like the little yellow flowers. We get that a whole lot of them might make it a little slippy or difficult to play some baseball or soccer. But is it really front page news? Is it really emergency review worthy?

Is is time for a war on dandelions?

That all said, if the City is a few days behind mowing sports fields and you don’t want your kids running through fields of dandelions one could just mow the field clandestinely. We’re not telling you to do this, of course.

But maybe some parents just happen to bring along a lawnmower or two with the coolers and lawn chairs to the next soccer game. And maybe they just happen to arrive a bit early with time to get in a quick mow… We are, again, totally not telling you to do this.

The City is supposed to hear back in two days time on what some options might be to keep down the dandelions for the rest of summer. They are even considering using herbicides, which isn’t allowed in order to make parks or public areas look nicer, but might be called in here because of the “tripping hazard” the wildflowers are causing.

New motto: When life gives you dandelions, just make some fritters.


Public engagement

City council wraps up its meeting today. Anything leftover from yesterday starts at 9:30 a.m. and there’s an extra meeting at 1:30 p.m. Agendas are online. The meetings will stream live from council chambers.

The City has two interactive workshops happening at the Mill Woods Seniors and Multicultural Centre, related to the Edmonton Seniors Centres Strategy and Advancing Age Friendly Edmonton, both running 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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