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November 20, 2017
November 14, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Metro Line. Again.

Written by Jeff Samsonow

The Metro Line back in training days. photo: City of Edmonton

Back from the long weekend and we’ve got news about Edmonton’s continuing joke of an LRT extension — the Metro Line.

It was just a week ago that CBC Edmonton uncovered a couple of safety concerns with the perpetually delayed and slowed LRT line. Now, Corus Edmonton reports that the signalling system – the biggest problem over the years – failed and put two trains in a collision course for each other. The train operators saved the day though, and backed up one of the trains before disaster struck. The same problem occurred later the same day.

So, that’s not great.

While this isn’t on the agenda for city council’s meeting this week, I suspect there will be more talk around city hall about the cursed LRT line. Let’s hope that real fixes are brought in, because obviously nothing’s worked so far to get the train up to full speed and capacity, and we’re going on four years beyond original opening date.

It’s also important to get this line fixed because it’s too easy for people who don’t want to work on getting more people out of their personal vehicles to point to the Metro Line’s many, many failures as a reason to just build more and wider roads. 


At the Legislature

Alberta Legislature domeThird reading of Bill 24, the new rules to protect student privacy when they join a gay-straight alliance (GSA), should happen today, meaning this week will continue to be dominated by those decrying Alberta’s new right-wing party and its missing support for the kids. Rightfully so. This is an important bill and it will protect students, and potentially save lives. (And if this doesn’t knock the UCP right off your potential ballot choices you should probably feel a great deal of shame.)

Also this week at the Alberta Legislature, we should see a bill detailing more of the province’s plans for legalized marijuana. It sounds like Alberta will stick to the liquor store model and allow the drug to be sold by private operators. There will be an online sales component too, which will still be controlled by the provincial government.

Opposition parties will continue years of leadership races as Alberta Party leader Greg Clark steps down to launch a new contest in that party. This follows on a leadership election for the Alberta Liberal Party, and two different races for the old Progressive Conservative party and then the UCP. Much like Jason Kenney swung in to capture the PC Party’s leadership, and created a new, further-right conservative party, the thing to watch will be if disenfranchised PC-ers now swing over to take the Alberta Party for themselves. (Hey, it’s a great brand.)


Winter in the news

Whyte Avenue after a snowfall.

With that quick blast of everyone’s favourite season to hate, there’s plenty of winter in Edmonton news. Vue Weekly has their Cool Winter Guide, which even has food and drink recipes for those cold nights. 

If you’re looking for something to do, you can check out Taproot Edmonton’s festival guide or the Winter City Edmonton guide to events

The early winter has meant that our ski hills are already opening. Well, almost all of them. The Edmonton Ski Club’s lease with the City has been terminated because the club wasn’t planning on operating this year and what comes next still isn’t clear


Public engagement

It’s the first city council meeting of the new term! The meeting begins today at 9:30 a.m. and you can see the agenda online. The agenda includes some items related to the 2018 budget, neighbourhood renewal funding, funding for an international track and field event, beginning work on a code of conduct, increasing some parking fines, and motions from councillors on playground zone speed limits, an integrity commissioner, and exploring private company options in the new transit strategy.

Can you tell it’s the first one after the election? The meeting will stream live from council chambers. 

Tonight, the City kicks off a month of engagement activities around the city on a number of issues – including legalized marijuana sales – in what it’s calling a “festival of engagement”. The first event is at the Blue Quill Community League, 4 – 8 p.m., and the City wants you to RSVP through Eventbrite

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