April 8th City Hall E-News

  • LAUGH, CRY: April fools Joke Recap: The joke was funny. The provincial government funding cutbacks less so.
  • RSVP: Edmonton Live Show: Sandy And Nora Talk Politics: (3:00PM Saturday April 20th)
  • READ Suburban Developers have profited over $1 Billion in the last decade. We must curb sprawl.
  • SHOP: Pleasantview Les Causeries Playschool Fundraiser: Everything-For-A-Dollar Kids Clothing Sales
  • TUNE UPS!: Bike Day at Strathcona Community League - (Saturday April 13th)

Plus, more reading and videos from around town...

 

April fools Joke Recap:

As you likely know, Premier Danielle Smith and the UCP have failed to pay their property taxes on buildings in Edmonton. The back due is in excess of $60 million, soon to increase to ~$75 million. Result? Our collective property taxes must rise to fill their gap. On April 1st, we published a post suggesting that I would be seizing Government House for failure to pay taxes. It received a few laughs, a lot of support, and Edmontonians, including conservative UCP voters who wrote me are seeing how objectively unfair their treatment of Edmonton is.

Link to the Jokehttps://www.michaeljanz.ca/confiscation_and_sale_for_failure_to_pay_taxes_owed

You can also read the longer form letter Mayor Sohi shared, highlighting a dozen other examples of provincial cutbacks, including the fact that Edmonton must pay $17 million a year (equivalent to a 1% property tax increase) to pay for the care and feeding of the provincial highways, while in Calgary, the Provincial Government, NOT the City of Calgary pays the bill. Completely unfair!

Mayor Sohi Letterhttps://www.mayorsohi.ca/advocacy


RSVP: Saturday, April 20th: Sandy and Nora Talk Politics Live Show and Reception:

Reminder to get your tickets! Show at 3PM, Reception at 5PM! 

I think I mentioned in a previous newsletter that one of the first things I do each morning is listen to the DAILY NEWS episode (~10min) from Sandy and Nora Talk Politics. Nora curates five stories that you may not have heard in the mainstream media and highlights why they matter. I believe this podcast is the #2 political podcast in Canada. At a time when independent and local media is more needed than ever, here's a chance for us to show a warm Edmonton welcome. Tickets are very limited and I expect the show to sell out.

Come and listen to a live recording of one of Canada's most popular political podcasts. Sandy Hudson and Nora Loreto will talk about the state of the world: how citizens can get involved and fight to make things better, change policies and influence politicians. To learn more about the show, go to www.sandyandnora.com.

Ticket Link: https://secure.citadeltheatre.com/9090


Suburban sprawl is super profitable for big developers, but how profitable?

Urban Sprawl is bad for the planet, bad for our pocketbooks, and bad for municipal finances. However, some folks are making a ton of money off it it.

We ran the numbers based on assessment and taxation sales data and it turns out, we're talking Billions: https://albertapolitics.ca/2024/03/guest-post-michael-janz-says-sales-data-indicate-suburban-sprawl-has-created-profits-of-1b-for-edmonton-developers-over-a-decade/

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to curb urban sprawl coming up this June at City Council via a tool called "substantial completion" which I wrote about at michaeljanz.ca/housing


Pleasantview Playschool Les Causeries is hosting an Everything-For-A-Dollar Kids Clothing Sales.  
We are asking community members and families to donate kids clothing and shoes, which we will be collecting donations from April 2-May 2nd.  Drop off locations are the playschool (Monday-Thursday 9-11;15am) or DM on Instagram and we can provide a preschool parent to pick up or house to drop off at.  
We are looking for kids clothing NB-Size 12 kids.  Make sure clothes are clean, in good condition and stain free.    
The Sales will be on Saturday May 4th from 10am-6pm at the Pleasantview Community League.  We will have all items sorted by size and each item will be $1.  We are encouraging people to bring reusable bags and will be accepting cash or e transfer ([email protected])

SPRING TUNE-UP! Bike Day at Strathcona Community League Saturday April 13th

It’s Spring! Ready to ride? But maybe you need a chain lubed? A seat raised? Is there a clicking noise when you pedal? Is your tire flat? 

With support from Bike Edmonton, we are welcoming community members to come down to the Hall (10139 87 Ave) on Saturday, April 13 between 9am-11am to get your bike looked at by our volunteer mechanics. 


Reading from around town! 

Bloomberg: Austerity hurts all of us. Housing Crisis, Packed Hospitals and Food Lines: Even in Canada?

From Montreal to Vancouver, some residents are losing faith in a longstanding social safety net that is central to the country’s identity.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2024-canada-services-benefits-data/


Globe and Mail: Emergency rooms are overcrowded because of the provincial governments failure to manage housing, addiction, and mental health. Here's a cheaper and kinder solution:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-emergency-room-homeless-patients/


EDMONTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS badly need NEW SCHOOLS!

In the interest of working together and ensuring that you are aware of Edmonton Public's infrastructure needs I am sending along copies of our approved Three year Capital Plan and Ten Year Facilities Plan. 

Quick highlights: 

  • EPSB will grow by about 6,000 students per year for the next ten years.
  • The Division will reach 176, 000 students by 2033, which is a 53 percent increase
  • EPSB needs 50 schools built in the next ten years to address our space shortage and plan for the future. 
  • The Three Year Capital Plan aims to try and address the significant need for new student spaces to be funded over the next 3 years and beyond. 
  • The Three year plan includes a request for roughly 21,000 new student spaces, with a value of approximately $1.5 billion and features 19 new schools, 1 addition, 4 replacement projects and 5 modernizations. 

We remain in a climate emergency, and car dependency is not helping our planet or our pocketbooks. We need choices. 

•Cargo Bikes Impacting Car Ownership - Velonews

•It Costs $1300/month To Own A Car In Canada - Bloomberg

•E-Bikes Offer Excellent Fitness Benefits - Electrek

•Cargo Bikes As Are Transformative (podcast) - Ride This Out

 

Latest posts

May 8th City Hall News

EVENTS

  • Monday May 13th - Summer streets opening party!

  • Wednesday May 15th - Minding the Gap: Police Accountability in Alberta 

  • Saturday May 25th - Harbinger showcase and live podcast recording

  • Youth Council Recruitment!

 

NEWS

  • We Won! Protecting the public interest - public funds for public buildings

  • Ending Pay to play and bill 20: Halt big corporate money taking over City hall!

  • Naming Rights: What’s in a name? Stop the corporate rebrand of public facilities

  • The High Cost of Free Street Parking

May 2nd City Hall News

Events:

  • May 11th - Alberta Bike Swap
  • May 13th - Summer Streets launch party
  • Big Bin Events This Summer! 
  • Fire Hall open houses
  • May 25th - Harbinger Media Network Showcase
  • July 1st - Mill Creek Pool reopening

News & Views

  • Bill 20 is a disaster. Take action
  • Housing Crisis: What is the role of the University of Alberta?
  • What I'm hearing on the Old Strathcona Public Realm Strategy...
  • Understanding property tax increases
  • The Edmonton Police Commission is refusing to share its plans for auditing the local police department with city council. Councilor Keren Tang put forward a motion in December last year to have a look at the plan, which council approved. But now the EPC says it “owns the audit function” and does not “support sharing that responsibility with council.” 

  • Don't fall for privatization: Chicago doesn't own their own streets (Video)

Challenging the U of A: Leading with purpose in housing and land use planning

City Council recently approved a rezoning across the street from the U of A and it got me thinking about all the underutilized or unused space on the U of A main campus.

The expression I often hear at city hall is “highest and best use of city land” – in other words, land that brings benefit to the community (eg, a park or public space) or land that generates revenue for the city to offset taxes and pay for services (Industrial, commercial, residential in that order) 

But what if the University of Alberta could generate revenue and mitigate the housing and climate crisis? The university already has the vehicle: the U of A Properties Trust, an arms length development corporation that pays dividends back into the U of A through innovative developments and land leases.

Email:
Address: 1 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, 2nd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7