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August 21, 2018
February 9, 2018

Edmonton Headlines: Friday, February 9, 2018

Working together

Written by Jeff Samsonow

The EPSB’s Centre of Education, photo: WinterforceMedia

A bit of a slow week at city hall, but there’s still plenty to talk about (and there will probably be more coming out of city hall today too). 

The Edmonton Public School Board did have a meeting this week, and one of the big items was working with the City of Edmonton on a new school and public amenities down in Heritage Valley. There’s a new high school being built in the southwest neighbourhood and the idea here is to see if there can be joint-planning with the City on a recreation centre that’s supposed to be built soon after (a new library, LRT station, hospital and Catholic high school are also planned for the community). This could save both sides some money and allow the building(s) to be complementary and better serve neighbours.

The plan was approved by the school board.

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We saw some updated information on LRT plans this week.

It’s becoming clearer where we might see some buildings removed for the Valley Line West extension from the downtown to Lewis Farms. And we got our first look at the likely future map of a “central connector” LRT line along Whyte Avenue, between the new Valley Line Southeast station at Bonnie Doon and the University of Alberta (and connecting to the downtown, possibly even to the west-end). More on this one at open houses through the month

Centre LRT map. image: Connect2Edmonton

St. Albert’s moving to fill in its own missing middle of housing, adding new options for duplexes and multi-unit homes and also allowing people to build garage and garden suites. This is part of the city’s work to hit new density targets set out by the Edmonton Metro Region Board (EMRB).

Speaking of the EMRB… it voted this week to look at ways to preserve farmland around Edmonton. A new task force will start meeting next month to identify agricultural land in the Metro Region and how to protect it.

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And Westmount Presbyterian Church worked with the Right-At-Home Housing Society to build a new church that also sees a new community centre and 16 net-zero affordable family homes at the site. Great to see a community embrace affordable and family housing!


Business news

You’ve probably seen a story or two (or a billion) about Aurora Cannabis recently. The company is building the world’s largest (legal) marijuana facility at our airport, and they are happy to call Edmonton home. This is part of a growing number of companies setting up large operations around the Metro Region. Edmonton is going to be home to a major hub of marijuana production (and jobs) as the drug becomes legalized this year.

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Remedy continues its growth of the last few years, looking to add more shops around the city before heading out beyond the Henday for even more chai-fuelled expansion.

There are a couple more columns from Graham Hicks over at Postmedia about some businesses to watch, including RAM Elevator and Lifts and the $30-million Cheemo perogies headquarters.


Around the city

The Edmonton Police Foundation wants you to give money to help build a digital surveillance system which doesn’t sound at all like something out of Minority Report. We could, of course, be raising millions of dollars for after-school programming, community supports, job training and other social interventions which could actually eliminate crime, but this does sound like something Batman would have and that’s neat.

When the Audit Committee meets today they’ll be talking about that report that uncovered our waste management system is nowhere near the world’s best (which we tend to claim). Just to make things worse, our entire province is bad at recycling too.

Over at the landfill… a new artist-in-residence has begun her work.

And, speaking of environmental stuff… details are now coming out about an international conference Edmonton is hosting about cities and climate change.

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There continue to be questions about the money given to a corporate event here in Edmonton, and whether the City may have breached its own rules, not just in this case but in others we haven’t heard about.

Beaumont’s town council is less diverse after a by-election.

Edmonton’s first safe consumption drug site will open later this month, just a little behind schedule. A new site in Calgary has already been saving lives

Not too far from Edmonton’s planned drug sites, neighbours and business owners are fighting a new bar in McCauley because of the kinds of attention it might attract (and the location has attracted). 

The City is offering up community garden plots on some of its land, starting February 12. 


People stories

The human rights complaint related to an Edmonton girl being allowed to use the washroom at her school has reached a conclusion. The school already let her use the washroom of her choice, but this more official part was still winding its way along until this deal. The Edmonton Catholic School District also released new guidelines for supporting students and treating them and their families with respect.

This is the second year Alberta officially recognized Black History Month. One way some youth will be celebrating is at a crowdfunded screening of Black Panther. We’ve got more events in a post all about Black History Month in Edmonton.

Our colder winter has meant a lot more calls about people in distress. If you see someone who doesn’t appear dressed for the weather, call 2-1-1 to get them some help. (Call 9-1-1 if they are unresponsive.)

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Edmonton is well-represented in this year’s Juno nominations.

We’ve also got a number of athletes in South Korea for the Winter Olympics (which start today).

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