The fallout continues this week for an Edmonton restaurant and music venue, after sexual harassment and assault was brought to light.
The Needle is now closed (indefinitely), but we soon heard more about how this goes beyond one former employee’s experience. Lots of band performances were pulled from the venue in the first 24 hours or so, and some of the performers will be on stage Sunday raising money for people who have been sexually assaulted.
It’s absolutely crappy that people working at The Needle are out of work because of how the owners handled sexual harassment and assault reports. And, sure, I guess it stinks that musicians have lost a stage to perform on. To be clear though, the “social media reaction” only appears to have come months after the biggest item we’re hearing about. The venue didn’t close because of a former employee or social media “mobbing” it closed because of how Edmontonians feel about the owners dealing with claims of sexual harassment and assault. It’s no different than all the other cases we’re hearing about in the #metoo campaign. And it likely won’t be the last in Edmonton either, in the arts, bar business or other industries.
And that, also, won’t be social media’s fault. Though social media may bring things to light.
The Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE) continues to see more people asking for their resources in the wake of Hollywood and entertainment outing of sexual harassers and predators. Speaking up about assault and abuse can help, and it’s unfortunate we have such long waiting times for these kinds of resources.
A new national housing plan has been announced, with potential housing money predicted to come in a few years. This is good news for Edmonton’s plans to end homelessness within five years, which needs a lot more money from the federal and provincial governments to accomplish the goal.
A lot of the money, and actual housing, is being put off until after the 2019 federal election. So, we’re going to have to keep waiting to solve homelessness in our city. Most of the reaction from politicians and those working on homelessness is positive though.
Somewhat related, a new report from the Edmonton Social Planning Council points at Alberta’s need to secure more stable revenue *cough* sales tax *cough* in order to provide programs that help lift people out of poverty.
Leaders at all three levels of government now say Edmonton’s football team needs to listen to Inuit and Indigenous peoples about the CFL club’s name and make a change. The current name is a racial slur and if we don’t change it, we show that we aren’t really a city that’s up for acts of reconciliation that challenge our white fragility.
This goes back beyond the CFL playoffs, of course.
And, if you want to help us show the team how easy it is to make the change, shoot us your new name for the team and we’ll see about mocking you up a logo.
Edmonton’s Chinatown business owners are challenging most of the safe injection sites soon to open in and around the neighbourhood. Drug consumption sites were never going to be opened without a fight, but this continues to be contentious with community members saying the consultation wasn’t good enough and there are too many sites too close together. (On that last point, we could use a few sites in other neighbourhoods too. Though I know that’s not exactly the point being made.)
Beaumont’s new city council asked one of their newly-elected members to resign, and she has done that. She missed some tax and utility payments and shouldn’t have been able to run until paying, which nobody caught until after she had won a seat. There will be a byelection.
Edmonton might get looped into Calgary’s potential bid for the Olympics. Don’t drag us into your crazy schemes, Calgary!
After the health minister sent dentists back to the drawing board on a new fee schedule, we got a bigger decrease in recommend prices for all kinds of dental procedures. Still going to be the most expensive around, but at least you can compare what your dentist charges to the recommended fees. (Dentists don’t have to charge what the guide says.)
A couple of arts stories to wrap up the week seems like a nice way to do it.
Edmonton’s new writers-in-residence are ready to go for 2018 at libraries in the city and around the metro region. One of them will be extra busy as the year wraps up, promoting his annual short story advent calendar.
Also, this week marks 90 years on the air for CKUA. The formerly public broadcaster is one of Canada’s longest-standing radio signals and the station continues to support Alberta music. And if you get the chance, check out their new(ish) building in the old/new Alberta Hotel down on Jasper.
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