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November 20, 2017
November 7, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What we're reading

Written by Jeff Samsonow

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) comes to Edmonton this week for community hearings

Edmonton comes right in the middle of hearings that have been scheduled across the country, expected to continue into next year. The Inquiry is supposed to find some ways forward on savings more lives, examining the systemic and institutional sexism, racism and classism (among other intersectionalities) that contributes to the violence Indigenous women and girls suffer. The Inquiry is also seen as a potential way for some people to heal old and open wounds

The hearings are open to the public (although some testimony will be in private), taking place at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre (the former Ramada on Kingsway).

APTN continues to have extensive coverage of the Inquiry, and will also be live-streaming the hearings from Edmonton.

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NorQuest College is doing a lot to build reconciliation into education, including opening a “legacy room” honouring people who were sent to residential schools.


Community and Public Services

It was a busy agenda for the first committee meeting after the election. 

The Edmonton Police request for millions of dollars to add annexed land in Leduc to their patrols got kicked over to next year. The annexation is expected to be approved for January 2019 so this will be back in budget discussions in 2018. This might lead to some different kinds of policing and enforcement, since the EPS is asking for about four times as much tax revenue as the entire annexation is supposed to bring in through taxes and won’t likely move ahead as-is.

Community leagues are hoping for clearer rules around projects like gardens and neighbourhood recreation, so volunteers aren’t bogged down in red tape, too many meetings with City staff and conflicting advice. Engaged neighbours may also get a small boost in funding to help with Abundant Community initiatives

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If you didn’t hear the news, it’s goodbye Capital Region, hello Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Anyone caught calling it the Capital Region will promptly be slapped by the mayor (we assume).


Private/Public Health

photo: The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

An in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic operating out of the Royal Alexandra Hospital is going to be closed by the Alberta government, leaving Edmonton with one private clinic offering the services.

This story’s got a lot of interesting angles. The clinic at the hospital was publicly funded, but IVF isn’t actually covered by provincial healthcare. There’s no guarantee the private clinic will keep its fees in line with what was being charged by the public clinic now that it’s the only game in town.

The closure raises a lot of questions about funding too, like whether IVF should be publicly funded like other medical procedures, and whether bringing IVF fully into public provision could save the healthcare system money. 


Doing some good

As winter hit Edmonton suddenly, there was a call from shelters to get homeless Edmontonians warmer clothing. That call continues as the first wave of donated clothing heads out onto the streets

If you’re going through your own winter gear this week as you prepare for winter, consider donating anything you won’t be wearing to those in need. You can even have #bundleupyeg come by and pick it up from you.  

If you’re in the donating mood, there’s also a drive on right now to collect feminine hygiene products for Edmonton women who are homeless.  


Public engagement

Edmonton’s Executive Committee meets today, starting at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online

Items on the agenda include public engagement, damage to homes and buildings during construction, and whether we’re closing roads in the most efficient way during street construction. The meeting will stream live

There’s a community update on the Plan to End Homelessness, 1 – 6 p.m. at the Royal Alberta Museum (the old location). When the new plan was rolled our earlier this year it was in response to some successes we’ve had, and some failures to actually end homelessness in the ten years we had planned to. The new plan is a good one, it just needs lots of money from provincial and federal governments to actually build homes.

There are open houses for two different park master plans today. If you’re interested in the Queen Elizabeth School Park and Glengarry District Park Master Plan, you’ll want to be at the Glengarry Community League, between 4 – 7 p.m. If you want to offer some feedback on the Oleskiw River Valley Park Master Plan, head over to the Westridge Wolf Willow Country Club Community League, 4 – 8 p.m.

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