City Hall E-News Feb 5th

A healthy city is a happy city. How we care, or fail to care, for the most vulnerable among us directly impacts the healthcare available for the rest of us.

This week, one of the big agenda items is a conversation with Dr. Chris Sikora, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Edmonton. He's joining our Community Public Services Committee on Tuesday morning at 0930AM. I invite you to attend, speak, watch online, or submit questions you would like me to ask. REGISTER:

Some of the general topics I would like covered are:

  • What are the negative impacts of the housing system on the broader health care system? (e.g. emergency wait room times)
  • What are we doing to prevent medical discharge into homelessness?
  • How are deaths or injuries to those with no fixed address tracked? How are deaths reported?
  • How are amputations or other traumas tracked and reported to the public?
  • How are Emergency rooms coping? Including the Children's hospital?
  • How do young people under 18 get supported with health care needs?
  • How many folks in Edmonton have serious medical conditions that are in need but are houseless (diabetes, cancer, other)?
  • How are unhoused pregnancies supported?
  • How are burn treatments handled when someone can't be safely discharged for care?
  • What is the wait time for addiction recovery beds? How many recovery beds are available?
  • What is the plan for discharge after completing recovery treatment? Back onto the street or is there a bridge program?

Please let me know if you have other suggestions.

City Hall E-News February 5th, 2023

  • WATCH: "Building Hope: Substance Use in the Trades" - New Film added to our Feb 16th event
  • READ: Are bigger and heavier vehicles a threat to public safety?
  • READ: Living Local with local recreation centres
  • ADOPT: A heritage chicken and receive eggs for a year
  • READ: Mansion Tax: Taxing the 4800 homes over $1,000,000 an extra $60/month would raise an additional $5.3Million
  • READ: "With the UCP's help, Edmonton's police chief is out to undermine the mayor"
  • CITY PROVOCATIONS from around the internet
  • You can read last week's newsletter here:


WATCH: Did you know that of those who were employed at the time of a drug-related death, more than half were working in the trades. I had no idea that Men account for around 3 out of 4 of overdose deaths in Canada. I'm excited to share we will be starting our Feb 16th event (RSVP here: Love in the Time of Fentanyl) with a special screening of "Building Hope: Substance Use in the Trades." (We're at 250 RSVPs, and would love to have you join us!)

READ: Are bigger and heavier vehicles a threat to public safety? “We, As a City, Are Spending Money Picking Up the Slack for Somebody Else.” As council talks about enhancing paths and crosswalks, bigger and bigger vehicles are seen as an issue

READ: Live local and invest in repairing our existing assets. Coun. Michael Janz warned that the city is looking at about $900 million in needed maintenance and repair fees to existing rec facilities. He warned that, if Edmonton doesn’t address this maintenance deficit, we could be looking at more decisions like that the one made earlier this year to close Scona Pool, which was done because the costs to fix it were prohibitive. “We need to learn from Scona Pool. We need to learn from the closure,” Janz told council. The fact is, people who don’t live near a rec centre or well-maintaned fields often have to spend a lot of time in their vehicles. 

ADOPTDo you want to adopt a University of Alberta Heritage Hen and receive eggs for a season? The University of Alberta has a collection of “heritage” breeds of chickens on South Campus. This program began 30 years ago and has some genetic lines that go back 100 years. These breeds are maintained for purposes of maintaining genetic diversity, germplasm preservation and they are used as “benchmarks” in research trials to see how birds of today have changed. They are a very valuable resource as they are rare.  Once they are gone they are gone.  We do not want to see that happen. Maintaining antique chickens is more costly than maintain antique cars, as they have the be cared for and reproduced each year. To offset the costs, we have offered the opportunity for the public to adopt a hen (with eggs) or a rooster (sorry, no eggs here) to help us keep the program.  It is time to adopt birds for 2023.  Egg pick ups are on a 2- week cycle and take place at South Campus. There are various options available and yes, you can name your hen or rooster.  Adopters receive newsletters and an opportunity to take a short course in chicken raising. Please follow this link below for adoption information and egg pick up schedules  Home - Heritage Chickens (  If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected] 

READ: Mansion TaxTaxing the 4800 homes over $1,000,000 an additional $60/month would raise an additional $5.3Million. The report outlines the option for the city to create a residential subclass, an idea Janz hopes to discuss with colleagues at an executive committee meeting Feb. 15. Janz also noted that some people in Edmonton own several homes, "I think we need to treat the people who are using housing as an investment commodity to make money and have a return on investment — we need to treat them differently than people who need a home for shelter and belonging." 

READ: Progress Alberta: "With the UCP's help, Edmonton's police chief is out to undermine the mayor." "The chief is of the opinion that housing first isn't the right priority. You can't have housing without safety first, he says (with the implication that more funding for his police department will deliver it.) As one Edmonton councilor Andrew Knack pointed out on Wednesday, that argument is a bit of a canard given that the provincial government hasn't even tried to fund any meaningful amount of supportive housing in a decade. Over the winter, and just like last winter, more and more people in Alberta’s capital city have been driven to shelter from extreme cold on buses, trains and in transit centres; that’s put more and more folks in contact with a side of the city they had until now blissfully ignored, and social disorder is becoming a contentious political issue here.


City Provocations from around the internet:

LISTEN: Sandy and Nora Talk Politics: Daily News. I'm a huge fan of podcasts and I have a handful that I listen to every morning. Moving to the top of my playlist is the "Daily News" from Sandy and Nora. I find it captures many of the stories that I miss elsewhere. Just search "Sandy and Nora" or check out

LISTENChoosing Commuter trains: I had a great meeting this week with the Rail For Alberta Society. They are a non-profit, non-partisan society dedicated to advocate for the establishment of passenger rail connections between communities in the province. There's huge potential and cost savings to be had working with existing rail infrastructure and connecting the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor where the vast majority of Albertans live, work and play. As an Edmonton City Councillor, imagine the potential to connect the U of A and our economic opportunities and save an enormous amount of money on future expansion plans for the QEII:

READ: There was a great piece on police act reform and how the recent UCP changes still fall short of what police experts and activists are falling for in terms of training, transparency, and accountability. "Policing [in Alberta] continues to remain an occupation … which we generally treat as a set of manual skills that can be acquired with a Grade 12-level education, and about six months and two weeks of training," Oriola said. "With all due respect, it is rather inadequate for 21st-century policing."

READ: Cost of choosing to drive a car instead of riding a bike.

READCouncil to tackle catalytic converter thefts. Calgary city council unanimously approved a plan to address catalytic converter thefts in the city, although questions are being raised about increased workload for bylaw officers. A motion by Coun. Peter Demong asked city administration to use the city's business licence bylaw to regulate the possession of catalytic converters. The devices, which are part of most vehicle exhaust systems, are made with rare earth metals and can fetch hundreds of dollars as scrap metal. Thousands of Calgarians have fallen victim to thieves, who cut the devices from under parked vehicles.

Latest posts

Do you have a spare bedroom or basement to rent?

Like a game of musical chairs, every bedroom that we can provide helps improve housing affordability, reduce pressure on the housing market, reduce the leverage of big landlords and may put money in your pocket!

Learn more about secondary suites, home share, and various small-scale, immediate steps that can improve housing affordability.

May 8th City Hall News


  • 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!



  • 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

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