The big news in Edmonton over the weekend was from a little further south. Coverage was focused in Red Deer for the Wildrose Party’s unity vote, then Calgary for the PC Party results, with an eye on the Alberta-wide story. Yes, the province’s two conservative parties voted to become one.
Along with figuring out what the new party is all about, who’s in charge of what and starting over with fundraising (the parties can’t transfer money to the new party), there will be a new leadership race. And you thought all the fun of those was over!
While the ultimate result of all this will have an impact in Edmonton, a lot of the action is going to be outside of our city until the Alberta Legislature sits again in the fall. Conservative battlegrounds are mostly in rural Alberta (with a bit of Calgary), so there probably won’t be a lot of wooing going on here from this new party. There will, however, be some wooing from all the “progressive” conservatives who fled the PC Party before, during and after Jason Kenney’s march to its leadership.
After the paperwork is filed here, from right to left, Alberta will have this new united conservative party (UCP), the Alberta Party (which may be backed by the fleeing PCs and their cash), the Alberta Liberal Party (also with a new leader) and the governing NDP. Unless another party forms next week!
The two things I find most interesting about the vote are that the PC Party of Alberta will disappear, just like the two governing parties before it, Social Credit and the United Farmers of Alberta. Alberta, it seems, just doesn’t like a loser.
And the second is, after the new leadership race wraps at the end of October, it will hopefully mean Alberta’s conservative parties and politicians start to focus on government policy and the future of our province, after more than two years of complaining about the NDP, whining about “accidental” governments and scrambling around for the best way to grasp power. One can hope, anyway.
Around the city
Holyrood is in the news a bit recently because of a big transit-oriented development planned near a new LRT station in the community. But is it too much for a sleepy mature neighbourhood that’s in need of some renewal and densification? It’s been in the works for a while, so it would be a shame to be derailed over problems that could easily be worked into the plans.
You can lock your bike to any City of Edmonton sign post, as long as it’s not interfering with flow of people. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This latest hiccup in Edmonton’s slow expansion beyond cars shows we’re going to need more bike racks downtown (and probably in other places too) to make it worthwhile for people to keep riding.
The last of the fur traders is returning to the north. It’s always interesting to be reminded of Edmonton’s link to the territories and northern Canada, which is our unique position being such a large city this far up in southern Canada.
Metis philanthropist and business leader Herb Belcourt was remembered at a large ceremony in Sherwood Park on the weekend. He’s obviously leaving quite a legacy in Alberta.
As Edmonton expands efforts to get more people into the river valley, and the North Saskatchewan itself, it will be interesting to see if police start to increase their time in the water. Right now, the police boat is only out on weekends and during holidays and events.
Edmonton business news
Edmonton’s home to one of the world’s biggest gluten-free bakeries, and has been for many years. Kinnikinnick is now expanding to more kinds of allergy-free foods, and credits a lot of its successes to our city’s co-operative business environment.
What could be the world’s largest legal marijuana production facility is jumping on the Toronto Stock Exchange this week. This is the Aurora Cannabis facility that keeps making the news, and will likely continue to do so, as we move toward legalization.
More Edmontonians are making something and making those things into businesses or some side gigs.
Here are a couple of other links I found interesting. This article about couple’s counselling is a good entry to thinking about this as part of any relationship. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a psychologist or counsellor (I’ve done it for years) and it’s great to see this article put that in front of people thinking about their marriages and partnerships. It’s another reason it would be great to have more mental health supports and services covered by the government (regular counselling can be a bit pricy and private health insurance plan coverage will vary).
And Vue Weekly’s Best of Edmonton is back! If you’ve got a few minutes you can let our city’s alt-weekly newspaper know what businesses, organizations and people make Edmonton a great place to live.
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