2016 Year in Review

This has been a busy year for Edmonton and City Council. From major infrastructure projects to local community issues, we’ve accomplished lots this year. Below is an update on some of the key projects I’ve been a part of in 2016.

Budget

City Council has just completed its 2017 supplemental budget deliberations. We’re entering the second year of our three-year Operating and Utilities budgets, and the third year of our four-year Capital budget. While these budgets are set in advance, Council has the opportunity to make adjustments each fall, which allows us to be responsive, promote more long range budgeting

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Budget 2016-2018: Compromise and Economise #yegcc

Edmonton City Council has just passed its first multi-year operating budget. The challenge was to limit the property tax increase for the 2016-18 years, without sacrificing the important services that keep up with Edmonton’s ongoing growth. To achieve a balance between the necessary programs and services for Edmontonians, and the fiscal reality of the regional, provincial, and Canadian economies was always going to require compromises.

The approved budget limits the tax levy increase to 3.4% in 2016 and 2017, and 4.8% in 2018. The numbers mean a homeowner with a $401,000-house will pay approximately $2,305 in 2016, which is $82 …

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Southwest Ribbon of Green: Envisioning the future for River Valley Oleskiw and Big Island #yegcc

Over the last two years, I have worked to champion the cause of the west-end river valley and ravine system. In supporting new projects such as the footbridge and west-end trails development, and pushing for increased accessibility, parking, and staging facilities, the key concern has been to ensure that west-enders can be connected to the river while remaining sensitive to the environmental impact.

On Wednesday, Council approved a motion I put forth to provide limited funding for the Southwest Ribbon of Green plan. In a year of tough budget considerations, I believe it’s also important to look ahead, to …

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A Team by Any Other Name … ? #yegcc

After an eventful game, the Edmonton Eskimos are celebrating their fourteenth Grey Cup win – and we, as a city, are celebrating them.

While there is much in the team’s history to celebrate, this week the spotlight has also been placed on the team name: does it reproduce our colonial past by referring to Inuit peoples in a potentially offensive way?

The issue is not new to major league sports, as continuing controversy over several NFL and NHL names, logos, and mascots illustrates.

The calls for change have come from diverse sources: Justice Murray Sinclair, in his recommendations to the …

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Vehicle For Hire Update – part deux #yegcc

The issue of private transportation providers (PTPs, or transportation network companies) and the challenges posed to our City’s bylaws and traditional taxi industry, has been under the microscope for nearly a year. Since last December, when app-based multi-national Uber began (illegal) operations in Edmonton, the City has been working with stakeholders on all sides of the issue to resolve concerns over insurance, licensing, and public safety. It has also re-examined the regulatory framework for taxis in order to approach a level playing field between taxis and PTPs.

The draft Vehicle For Hire Bylaw which as resulted from these considerations is …

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Photo Radar, Traffic Safety, and the Automated Enforcement Reserve: How it Works #yegcc

 

The topic of photo radar is always a heated one: while many people feel the sting of fines, others support the role enforcement plays in making our roads safer. But photo radar isn’t just a punishment for bad driving behaviour – the revenues generated go directly towards traffic safety and community programs through the Traffic Safety and Automated Enforcement Reserve.

The fund, established last year by Council, must have a minimum balance of 5% of actual Automated Enforcement Revenue (the amount generated by tickets and fines).

 

So if you’ve gotten a ticket, where does the money go?

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