Edmonton mayor aims to tackle racism

Edmonton mayor aims to tackle racism

Social Issues in 2022

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi has an ambitious plan to curb racism and tackle the city's social and drug issues as he looks ahead to his first full year as the city's 36th mayor. Two weeks after the fall municipal election, council approved the city's first anti-racism strategy, which includes grants for community and cultural groups and amendments to the city's public places bylaw to ban hate symbols. Sohi emphasized one of his priorities is to help Indigenous people dealing with systemic racism in the city. Under the anti-racism strategy, grants to community and non-profit groups totalling $215,000 are divvied up among 16 groups for projects involving arts, education, workshops and sessions. During its budget deliberations in December, council also redirected $3.75 million to community and sports groups under the Community Investment Operating Grant Program. Council redirected money from the police budget to the community initiatives. One of Sohi's goals is to improve the city's relationship with the Alberta government. He's met with Premier Jason Kenney and cabinet ministers for what he called "very productive conversations." Safe injection sites were another issue the city and province disagreed on. Sohi was clear that he believes safe injection sites are part of the solution to the drug problems.


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