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City of Edmonton

Edmonton City Council deactivates face coverings bylaw – Masks come off July 1!

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City Council deactivates Mandatory Masking Bylaw

Edmonton City Council has decided to deactivate the Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings bylaw 19408. The decision means Edmontonians will not be required to wear a face covering or mask in indoor public places as of July 1. Council’s decision approved a bylaw (19783) that amends the previously adopted temporary mask bylaw (19408). The decision puts Edmonton in alignment with Stage 3 of the province’s Open For Summer plan, which begins on July 1.
The temporary mandatory face covering bylaw will remain in place, but will not be effective unless public health conditions deteriorate and Alberta returns to an earlier stage of the relaunch plan, or the Chief Medical Officer of Health issues an order mandating the wearing of masks in Alberta.
The amending bylaw will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2021. Until then, masks will be required in all indoor public spaces and public vehicles in the City of Edmonton.
“We know that Edmontonians have mixed feelings about the decision, with some eager for all restrictions to be lifted and others concerned that the reopening is happening too soon,“ said City Manager Andre Corbould. “We presented Council with several options for ending the City’s mask bylaw based on best available medical advice. The safety of Edmontonians is always our primary concern and we believe that this amending bylaw provides the right flexibility for responding to changing COVID-19 conditions.”
As part of the province’s Stage 3 reopening plan, it will still be mandatory for masks to be worn by Albertans when in public vehicles like buses, LRT, taxis and ride shares starting on July 1. This may provide some reassurance to those who want to manage their personal risk of transmission.
We acknowledge that some Edmontonians may be concerned about their safety in the coming weeks. We want to remind everyone in the community that voluntary mask wearing is a reasonable step that we should all respect.

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City of Edmonton

Edmonton’s Single-Use Item Reduction Bylaw to ban plastic shopping bags, force restaurants to serve in reusable cups and accept customer cups

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News release submitted by the City of Edmonton

City council passes bylaw to significantly reduce waste

The City of Edmonton is taking action to decrease the use of single-use items, which will help reduce the amount of waste being littered and ending up in landfills.
“This is an exciting first step towards climate resiliency. We’re beginning to change our course,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “We all have a part to play in preserving and protecting our environment, and participating in single-use item reduction is an easy way for all Edmontonians to commit to sustainability. I am supportive of this bylaw and know that together, we can build a greener and more climate-resilient future for all of us.”
On October 4, Council approved the Single-use Item Reduction Bylaw, which will go into effect on July 1, 2023. The bylaw aims to reduce waste by targeting items that can easily be avoided or replaced with reusable options, and by making those reusable options more accessible.
Edmontonians will see the following changes:
  • Single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned, and businesses must charge at least 15 cents for a paper bag and at least $1 for a new reusable shopping bag.
  • These minimum fees will increase on July 1, 2024 to 25 cents for a paper bag and $2 for a new reusable bag.
  • Styrofoam (foam) plates, cups and containers will be banned.
  • Restaurants must serve dine-in drink orders in reusable cups, and accept reusable customer cups for dine-in and takeout orders.
  • Accessories (like utensils, straws, pre-packaged condiments and napkins) will only be available by request or self-serve.
Approximately 450 million single-use items are thrown in the garbage each year in Edmonton, plus more that are recycled and littered. Through these measures, the City aims to reduce the number of regulated single-use items used in Edmonton by 20 per cent by 2027.
“Our goal is to reduce single-use items overall, not just to switch from plastic items to non-plastic items,” said Denis Jubinville, Branch Manager of Waste Services. “In addition to diverting more waste from landfill, this bylaw will also help residents think more broadly about waste reduction.
“Something as simple as bringing a reusable cup to a coffee shop may feel like a small step, but when a city of a million residents commits to small behaviour changes, the impact can be significant.”
The City will ensure businesses are well informed and supported through awareness campaigns and various resources, including plain-language guidelines for implementing the changes and customer communication tools.
The bylaw exempts registered charitable organizations, to ensure they’re able to maintain their focus on providing critical social services. Some types of businesses are also currently exempt from portions of the bylaw for safety or feasibility reasons.
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Alberta

Province demanded plan: Edmonton mayor outlines ways city will try to curb crime

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Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi highlighted provincial funding discrepancies between his city and Calgary to tackle homelessness as he outlined Thursday a plan to address rising crime in the downtown area.

“Currently, there are approximately 634 permanently funded emergency shelter spaces in Edmonton, compared to 1,758 spaces in Calgary,” Sohi said.

He added that Calgary also receives 40 to 50 per cent more in funding to support community efforts to end homelessness.

“I don’t understand the reason for this discrepancy when both cities are facing similar challenges,” he said.

“We’re asking the government of Alberta to immediately close this discrepancy and provide Edmonton the same level of support they provide to Calgary.”

Sohi’s comments come after the city published Thursday the final version of its safety plan for downtown, Chinatown and the transit system. The city abided by a deadline set two weeks ago by Justice Minister Tyler Shandro.

Shandro used his ministerial power to demand a report from the city on what is being done to get crime under control. In a letter to Sohi on May 26, Shandro also pointed to the recent killings of two men in Chinatown.

Sohi said he had been working on problems affecting the city’s core since he took office in October. He has said the areas of action that help address social disorder — mental health, drug addiction and homelessness — are mainly within the province’s jurisdiction.

“If (the province is) really and truly serious about safety and about the well-being of Edmontonians, then give us the same support that you give Calgary,” he said.

The plan combines immediate steps and longer-term initiatives.

In the short term, the city will put more police and peace officers on the street, fund private security to patrol Chinatown, implement programs to prevent and respond to drug overdoses, and increase responses to encampments and derelict homes.

There is also a plan to immediately set up an operations centre in Chinatown for police, peace officers and staff from social agencies. A location is yet to be determined.

Several initiatives call for cleaning streets and back alleys several times a day, adding more public washrooms in core neighbourhoods, and implementing a needle cleanup program.

Longer-term initiatives include decentralizing social services from core neighbourhoods and streetscape improvements.

Sohi also said the province should increase funding for Edmonton police to reflect population growth and inflation.

“In 2008, the province funded 105 police officers for our city, but capped the per capita cost to $100,000,” he said. “That funding has not been adjusted for inflation and, in 2022, the cost per officer has nearly doubled.”

Sohi added the city has made up that shortfall by increasing property taxes.

Shandro said in a statement Thursday that the plan has been submitted to his office and is being reviewed

“I am encouraged by the constructive discussions I’ve had with Mayor Sohi and the recent steps municipal officials have taken to improve public safety for Edmontonians — including city council’s vote to amend the municipal transit bylaw to ban loitering and drug use on public transit,” he said.

“There is still a considerable amount of work to do to address crime and violence in downtown Edmonton and make it safer for everyone, but these are positive steps in the right direction.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 9, 2022.

Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

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