If you haven't RSVP'd to hold a seat for this Thursday evening, our Community Conversation and films Love In The Time Of Fentanyl, please RSVP today at www.michaeljanz.ca/littof as we are expecting full capacity for this event.
Come early, because the program is "inverted" with the reception starting at 5:00PM then heading into the film and respondents. Starting off at 6:20PM I'm excited to announce we are showing three mini-films. The first is "The Three Bs" -- an adapted peach kulcha presentation by my friend and colleague Councillor Ashley Salvador on how we can focus on making Edmonton a healthier, happier place to call home for generations to come. You can sneak a preview here:
The second is a teaser trailer for our TRANSIT CAMP 2023 event with one of my favourites, author James Wilt, who is flying into Edmonton March 18th to speak at our event:
After that we're showing the short film which I referenced last week, Building Hope: Substance Use in The Trades which highlights the particular risk that men, and men in the trades face.
So all this to say, join us on Thursday for what will likely be a very powerful evening.
ACTION: Transit Camp 2023 - RSVP - Building a Community Movement for Better Transit: A Community Summit on safer, more frequent and better public transit.
Convened by Ward papastew City Councillor Michael Janz, in partnership with many others including ATU 569, University of Alberta Sustainability Council, Climate Justice Edmonton, Migrante, and the Parkland Institute.
You are invited to be a part of a community conversation about advocating for better public transit in Edmonton. You will be joining employers, business leaders, academics, community advocates, seniors, parents, students, and a cross-section of the Edmonton Community.
There have been major changes over the past year to public transit. How are we doing?
- Has the Bus Network Redesign proved successful?
- Are people returning to public transit post-covid?
- How are safety concerns on the LRT being addressed?
- How can we grow public transit ridership, reduce traffic, and meet our climate goals?
- What investments were made in the 2023 municipal budget?
- Is there a future for public transit in the age of Uber, Google and Elon Musk?
We expect that these learnings will be an opportunity to learn, connect, and advocate with other public transit users. Our goal is to get organized and build a better transit system for all riders! Raise your voice!
Get on Board: Public transit is a critical component of transportation mode shift and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set out in The City Plan. The City Plan envisions a vibrant and prosperous city with an integrated transportation network, providing residents with convenient and equitable options. A robust transit system is foundational, including an evolved mass transit network that supports mobility and connects all areas of the city.
Teaser trailer for TRANSIT CAMP 2023: author James Wilt, who is flying into Edmonton March 18th to speak at our event: https://youtu.be/4hgNB9CY5VA
READ: Discussion this week: Mansion Tax / Progressive Taxation Options
"Those who can pay a little bit more should pay a little bit more,"Coun. Michael Janz said in an interview with CBC News last Friday, citing the city's limited means to address the ongoing affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Last summer, he urged the city administration to present proposals for the city to establish a higher tax level on properties valued at $1 million or more.
However, according to Janz, tax reform might help lower-income people for whom rent or mortgage payments take a big bite out of their monthly budgets. 'If there's a way that we can reduce taxes for them by recouping more revenue from those in the two, three, $4-million home range… then we should do so," Janz said.
Everyone pays the same rate of property taxes under the city's present system, but the amount is determined by the assessed value of each home. Raising the rate by ten per cent on Edmonton's estimated 4,800 million-dollar properties is projected to bring in $5.3 million annually. For properties below the threshold, that equates to a 0.3% tax cut.
That tighter tax focus on the 700 residences in Edmonton with assessments of over $2 million is estimated to save households under $1 million 0.09% in taxes or $1.65 million a year.
WATCH: Homeless Edmontonian at greater risk of facing health challenges
A new report suggests those experiencing homelessness in Edmonton are at greater risk of facing health challenges. As Laura Krause reports, stable housing could be the solution.
Alberta emergency rooms fill up more and more patients, Edmonton city councillors discussed ways they might help alleviate the pressure. A report presented to council shows people living rough are at higher risk for health problems, and focusing on supports could save money and lives. Sarah Komadina has more.
According to Smith, there is a severe lack of detox beds in the city for those looking to fight their addictions. She said once the client decides to get clean, they have to line up for a bed and may get turned away and asked to come back the next day.
“When you’re in active addiction, that decision to go to detox is a really difficult one,” Smith said.
Smith said she hears from clients and partners who provide detox beds that sometimes 30 people will be lined up for three beds and staff have to triage, meaning 27 people don’t get a chance to detox.
“We hear that from our clients as well: ‘Today’s the day I want to detox, but there’s nowhere for me to go,’” she said.
Sikora said there are 42 detox beds at Alberta Hospital that are full with a waitlist and a handful more in the community.
READ: City of Edmonton restricts hiring, travel, spending on consultants
Corbould clarified that only part of the city’s $3.3-billion annual expenditure budget would be impacted, as some items such as debt repayment and legislative obligations cannot be reduced. About 20% of the city’s budget is spent on agencies, boards, and commissions external to the City of Edmonton, so that’s another area that will not be impacted automatically. Once those and other constraints are removed, Corbould said the required $15 million per year in savings is about 1% of the resulting budget.
Council will decide at a future meeting whether to ask external organizations, such as the Edmonton Public Library and the Edmonton Police Service, to undertake a similar cost-savings exercise. Coun. Andrew Knack noted that the Edmonton Police Service budget is a significant part of the budget, and suggested perhaps it should undertake a similar review.