On the agenda: Affordable housing, alcohol in parks, and the Edmonton Elks

· The Pulse

This week, community and public services committee meets on Feb. 27, urban planning committee meets on Feb. 28 (though there was nothing on the agenda as of Feb. 26), and executive committee meets on March 1. There are also two meetings scheduled for March 3: a council services committee meeting in the morning, and a code of conduct subcommittee meeting in the afternoon.

Here are some of the key items on the agenda:

  • The city's draft Rapid Housing Initiative Investment Plan would see 351 new units of supportive and affordable housing created using $72.6 million in federal funding and $37.3 million in new city funding. Edmonton is expected to receive about $12.5 million for the third round program in the "Major Cities Stream" and plans to apply for another $60.1 million in the "Projects Stream."
  • No significant incidents were reported during the expanded pilot that allowed alcohol to be consumed across 18 parks from May to October 2022. Public opinion research suggests that 80% of Edmontonians agree drinking should be allowed in parks. With the pilot now complete, alcohol consumption in parks will no longer be allowed unless council directs administration to implement a similar program for 2023 and beyond.
  • The existing agreement between the city and the Edmonton Elks for the use of Commonwealth Stadium expires on March 31. A new five-year agreement, covering a base licence fee, advertising, concession, and ticket surcharge revenue, could net the City of Edmonton about $5 million. The Elks have requested a licence fee waiver for 2023 and 2024 "in consideration of the team's post pandemic recovery strategies and financial position of the football team."
Two workers install a sign at an Edmonton park picnic site

A pilot program allowed the consumption of alcohol at one of 124 picnic sites across 18 parks from May 1 to Oct. 10, 2022. (City of Edmonton/Twitter)

Here are some of the other new agenda items:

Meetings are streamed live on YouTube on the Chamber channel and River Valley Room channel.