The Pulse: Dec. 4, 2023

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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  • 6°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light near noon. High 6. Wind chill minus 9 in the morning. (forecast)
  • Black/Yellow/Blue: The High Level Bridge will be lit black, yellow, and blue for the Celebration of Independence for the Republic of Barbados. (details)

The number 52 bus drives on 107 Street in downtown Edmonton.

On the agenda: District planning, truth and reconciliation, transit improvements

By Stephanie Swensrude

This week will be the last of committee meetings in 2023, with councillors set to learn more about the city's progress on its truth and reconciliation efforts, district planning, and improving transit.

Community and public services committee will meet on Dec. 4, urban planning committee will meet on Dec. 5, executive committee will meet on Dec. 6, and a special council services committee will meet on Dec. 6. A special evaluation committee for the city manager and city auditor will round out the week, also meeting on Dec. 6.

Here are some of the central items on the agenda:

  • The city has completed or taken action on nearly all of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action that it determined it could accomplish as a municipality. The city said it identified 39 of the calls and has started work on or completed 34 of these, according to a report that will be presented to councillors on Dec. 4. The city has not started work on the call to waive costs for name-change processes for families whose names were changed in the residential school system, and has not fully implemented Jordan's Principle. Actions the city has yet to start involve other governments, specifically to eliminate barriers to the creation of Indigenous healing lodges in the correctional system, to require denominational schools to teach Indigenous spiritual beliefs, and to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act.
  • The city has revised proposed district planning documents after public engagement, which will be presented to councillors at urban planning committee on Dec. 5. The node and corridor policies now support low-rise and mid-rise buildings through the entire node and corridor area, while taller buildings will be directed to sites along major roadways, near mass transit stations, and major intersections. Other changes include adding priority growth areas, where more residential and commercial development is expected. The district planning policy is scheduled for public hearing in the second quarter of 2024.
  • The Edmonton Transit Service Advisory Board put forward several recommendations to improve rider experience. The board suggested increasing cleanliness by hiring dedicated cleaning staff and enhancing the perception of safety by better understanding how riders feel in transit spaces. The board wants council to continue funding the on-demand transit service, demand for which tripled since September 2021. Another report that will be considered at urban planning committee on Dec. 5 details how on-demand transit could be co-mingled with DATS for efficiency, as some smaller municipalities did during the pandemic when demand was lower. The city said it's unsure whether a similar approach could work in a city the size and layout of Edmonton.
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Headlines: Dec. 4, 2023

By Mariam Ibrahim

A person with long dark hair, wearing a denim jacket and a purple shirt, standing in front of a grassy hill.

Coming up this week: Dec. 4-8, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

This week's events include stories on global responses to HIV, insight into the experiences of refugees, a roundtable discussion about the bioenergy sector, a social impact demo day, and a discussion about the relationship between buffalo and the land.

Find even more things to do in Taproot's weekly roundups. And don't miss Taproot's holiday market roundup.

Photo: Tasha Hubbard will moderate a panel discussion on the connection between Indigenous peoples and the buffalo. (University of Alberta)