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October 22, 2017
July 19, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alberta stories lead today

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Alberta Legislature dome

There are a couple of provincial stories leading the local news today. Those would be the meeting of Canada’s premiers here in Edmonton, especially as new trade negotiations got an outline to start this week.

The other story everybody is covering is the latest report from Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate, which looks at the deaths of three young children. The kids were returned to their family homes before coming to untimely ends, and the Advocate is asking Alberta’s government to ensure more social services are available after a child is back home, so the transition isn’t just the end of the intervention and care. Much like previous reports, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate would like to see the government take up the recommendations to prevent future deaths.


Around the city

A new community hub is being proposed for a surplus school site down in southwest Edmonton. The hub would have a library and seniors centre, replacing previous plans for affordable housing. The proposal is a mix of new ideas – community hubs where people can spend time and meet neighbours – and a bit of a push against affordable and infill housing – this is a compromise position from the community instead of housing.

Community hubs are a great idea, but not necessarily when they clash with the plan for more affordable housing in every part of the city. This also highlights the divisive issues some neighbourhoods have over these surplus school sites. It will be interesting to see where the conversation on community hubs goes over the next year or more, especially as it relates to surplus school sites and affordable housing proposals.

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The report is in and Fort Saskatchewan’s city council is not working together very well. This includes such code of conduct breaches like “…post-council meeting parking lot confrontations.” It sounds like it’s actually a good thing they’ve got an election coming up with a chance to start over in October.

People walking feel safer using a new scramble crosswalk in St. Albert (when one of the cycles allows you to cross in any direction, even diagonally, and holds all vehicle traffic). But people driving have been having a hard time with not turning right on red lights. How can you even wait a whole 90 seconds???

So, of course, the people driving get a change to benefit them, while reducing the safety of more vulnerable road users. Coming just weeks after a child was killed on that city’s streets, it’s a sign that traffic safety isn’t a real concern.

Post-secondary presidents and top executives are going to have their salaries and benefits reviewed. Right now, Alberta’s university presidents are the best paid in Canada. One of the highest paid executives at the U of A last year is actually their former president. This follows reviews of salaries and bonuses at Alberta’s boards, agencies and commissions.

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