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Alberta

City of Edmonton has a spending problem

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2 minute read

From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Kris Sims

Between 2014 and 2023, total spending at the city went from $2.2 billion to an estimated $3.4 billion, a spending increase of about 54 per cent. The population of Edmonton increased by about 17 per cent over that same period.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Edmonton City Hall to rein in its salaries and spending splurges in the wake of its 6.6 per cent property tax hike.

“Ordinary working people didn’t get a nearly seven per cent pay increase this year, so what makes Edmonton city hall think these folks can afford this property tax hike?” asked Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “The city clearly has a spending problem and it’s wasting taxpayers’ money on electric buses that don’t work.”

Edmonton city councillors passed a 6.6 per cent property tax increase at city hall Tuesday afternoon.

Budget documents show spending at Edmonton city hall has jumped.

Between 2014 and 2023, total spending at the city went from $2.2 billion to an estimated $3.4 billion, a spending increase of about 54 per cent. The population of Edmonton increased by about 17 per cent over that same period.

Meanwhile, the city has a growing list of spending issues.

Reports show Edmonton spent about $60 million on a fleet of electric buses, but about 75 per cent of them are stuck in maintenance bays, needing constant repair and adjustments. The company that manufactures parts for the electric bus fleet has since gone bankrupt.

Last year, Edmonton City Hall decided to spend $100 million on bicycle lanes, in a city that can see snow on the roads from September to May.

After taking a raise this year, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi is paid a salary of $211,488 per year, while the city’s 12 councillors are each paid $119,484. The premier of Alberta, by comparison, is paid $186,180 per year.

“The people of Edmonton should remember they have the option of recall legislation and they can force a byelection for their city councillor if they think they’re doing a bad job,” said Sims.

Alberta-owned independent media company. We specialize in local, regional, and national news and information. We promote events, businesses, organizations in the Edmonton region. Contact us at [email protected].

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Alberta

Premier Smith announces plan to boost Alberta’s Heritage Fund to at least 250 Billion by 2050

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From CPAC on YouTube

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith delivers state-of-the-province address

In a televised address from Edmonton, Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, delivers an update on her government’s vision and legislative priorities.

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Alberta

Alberta looking to ban electronic vote tabulators ahead of next provincial election

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.

The conservative Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has confirmed she is looking to ban the use of electronic vote tabulators in future provincial elections after issues with them in the 2023 election saw massive delays in the tallying of votes.  

Smith, according to a report from True North, while speaking to a United Conservative Party (UCP) fundraiser on January 26 in the community of Bonnyville was asked if she would “end the use of voting tabulators across the province?” 

Smith replied with a firm “yes.” 

The 2023 Alberta provincial elections held in May saw Smith and her UCP win a majority, although a slim one, over the left-wing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP).

Elections Alberta used what is called a Vote Anywhere Service, which allowed anyone to vote at any voting place regardless of which riding (jurisdiction) they were actually voting in. While paper ballots were used for the election, electronic tabulators were used to count the votes from all hand ballots. A form was then printed out with the result of each riding from the tabulators count of the hand ballots.  

However, the electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.  

Elections Alberta noted in June 2023, per True North, that “[w]e did not use any electronic data transfer from the tabulators, as the tabulators used for advance voting were never connected to a network at any time.” 

“As a result, it was a manual process to verify and enter these results.”  

As for Smith, before the 2023 election, she noted that she was confident in Elections Alberta’s plan to use electronic tabulators, as “we have the ability to do a hand count as a follow up in the event there are close results, I believe that’s going to be sufficient.” 

“That’s, I think, something that people expect in democracy – that you should be able to verify a vote if results end up very close,” she added.  

Elections Alberta, however, has pushed back on returning to hand counting ballots, saying it would increase the manual workload of employees.

There were many close results on election night, with the NDP losing a few seats by only a handful of votes in some Calgary ridings.  

Smith gave no timeline as to how or when she would make the change.

Many large municipalities in Alberta, including the province’s two biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, use electronic tabulators for ballot counting.

Issues surrounding electronic voting machines as well as tabulators came to a head in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which saw Joe Biden declared the winner over Donald Trump. 

A report published by LifeSiteNews last year documented how a computer programmer, Clinton Eugene Curtis, who had previously testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines, warned lawmakers in Arizona to never trust them.  

“Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election,” said Curtis. 

“There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe.”  

Of note is that Curtis is a Democrat who had worked as a programmer for NASA, as well as the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

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