Posts Categorized: City Wide Issues

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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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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Street Noise and Amplifiers #yegcc

I recently put forward a motion to consider a bylaw limiting the use of amplifier equipment on sidewalks and public spaces for the purposes of preaching and other activities.

The City currently has no bylaw to deal with the excessive noise generated by amplifiers specifically. While the majority of people busking, preaching, or otherwise expressing themselves publicly do so with consideration for others, it is necessary to create a bylaw that gives the city some teeth on the really rare circumstances where they do not.

The Community Standards Bylaw states generally that “A person shall not cause or permit any

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Liquor Stores Minimum Distances to be Reconsidered

At Monday’s Executive Committee meeting, the minimum distance required between liquor stores was debated, and some of the complexities and shortfalls of the current regulations were raised.

In the past, minimum distances were established for social reasons – fears that a proliferation of alcohol sales in one area could promote increased crime, disorder, and moral degradation. Recent studies show these concerns to be – largely – unfounded.

Most provinces in Canada maintain direct control of alcohol sales through liquor control boards (or successor agencies), which limit the number, size, and location of retailers. Alberta is unique in having a completely …

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