Council swung back into action on Monday. There was no shortage of excitement this week, a few of the highlights are listed below:
THE NEXT SOCCER CENTRE
At Community and Public Services Committee a motion was passed to start looking into the development of two new soccer centres in the southwest, City staff will return with a business case on prices and locations for a new soccer centre. Edmonton Indoor Soccer Centres are currently strained due to high demand, and as a City we need to meet that demand to provide opportunities for recreation for kids and adults alike. The new complex would also accommodate other indoor sports. Here is the report for the new soccer centre.
Executive Committee unanimously passed a motion to endorse the City of Edmonton’s Youth Council’s letter to the Province about lowering the voting age in Edmonton for Municipal and School Board elections. Next week the issue will come up for debate at Council, check out the blog written by my Summer Research Assistant about it here. Lowering the voting age locally makes sense for a raft of reasons, outlined in the blog post. A few concerns I would like to address are regarding the legal implication and property tax arguments. I understand the concern that having the right to vote means one should be treated as an adult under the criminal code, and in Edmonton-where the voting change would happen-that would be the case. Currently, all Edmontonians are subjected equally to Edmonton’s bylaws and giving 16 year olds voting rights would still make them legally the same as someone 18 and up within the bylaws. It's true that most 16 year olds don't pay property taxes, but they do pay many other taxes, from employment taxes to GST. What's more, there are many in our society who don't pay property taxes who have and deserve the right to vote. Seniors citizens being taken care of by family, post-secondary students, homeless people, etc. Taxes are not the only way to determine who should be eligible to have a say in society, nor should they be.
On Tuesday, Executive Committee passed a motion to update our sustainable building policy to better reflect our commitment to a sustainable, energy resilient, and low carbon Edmonton. Since 2008, Edmonton has required that every new City building have a LEED rating of silver or higher. With this policy update we will review and update the minimum LEED certification level and energy performance requirement, address policy gaps for sustainable operations and maintenance of City buildings, include and advance sustainable building practices for buildings the City leases and funds, and ensure that the City leads by example in demonstrating the benefits of sustainable building practices. Administration will come back in the first quarter of 2017 with the policy update.
UPDATES ON ROGERS PLACE
With the completion of Rogers Place, there is a great excitement in our City around the arena itself, but also around the downtown core. Council was recently updated on Rogers Place and here are several key items: OEG will use the Parking Panda app for pre-booking and paying for the 18,000 parking stalls near the arena to ease congestion. As well, the City will be expanding the restricted parking in residential areas. There will be enhanced bus/train service on event nights, as well as increased bike parking around the arena. We’ve been working hard to accommodate the surrounding areas and there have been many successful developments with them. Be sure to mark down September 10th, the Public Open House on your calendars! For more information give us a call or click here.
Next week at Utilities Committee I will be making an inquiry into the Whitemud’s drainage system and how to improve it. Edmonton is on the cutting edge of Climate Adaptation and I hope for this to be another example of that.