Starstruck, Albertan Style

At the ECVO AGM today, I got the chance to see Allison Redford speak. While she has certainly been controversial, I was definitely a little starstruck.

And I wasn’t the only one. During the Q&A period, I heard way more accolades than questions, which were of the softer variety. For a crowd that would typically be much more hostile to conservatives, this was definitely a little surprising.

Maybe Alberta is finally starting to move forward?

Much love ❤ Source: Globe and Mail

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A New Urban Future for Alberta?

Dave Cournoyer (a.k.a. Daveberta) recently published a great article, alison redford and her new cabinet could lead a new urban agenda.

He argues that the loss of the PC’s socially conservative rural seats to the Opposition Wildrose Party provides the ruling PCs with a unique opportunity to re-invest in Alberta’s growing cities. For a party that has traditionally feared urban centres and their love all of things orange and red, this could be a refreshing change.

They’re not Detroit?

I certainly love a comeback.

Despite all the hate for Cleveland recently, the city is finally taking an aggressive approach to curb its decline. According to The Atlantic CITIES, the 2010 U.S. Census showed the slightest population growth in the city’s core. Moreover, Downtown Cleveland now boasts a 95% occupancy rate.

This recent population shift truly represents the impact of North Americans’ evolving lifestyle preferences. My parents never even considered raising a family in the inner city, and my generation is now flocking to the neighbourhoods that were neglected for most of the postwar years.

In D.C., my friends and I spent long nights on the U Street Corridor, a neighbourhood that was once home to drug traffickers and the 1968 race riots. Older generations were once told to never step outside after dark on U Street, and now even the New York Times is calling it “new and hip.”

The same phenomenon is happening in Toronto’s once-derelict Parkdale, New York’s Harlem, and even Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Hopefully the trend catches on in Edmonton, as our downtown could certainly use a facelift.

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Another Sad Day for the Arts

I stumbled across this great article by blogger Michelle Boyd on the end of the fine arts program at Fort McMurray’s Keyano College. Ignoring the expletives, it demonstrates the sad reality that we’re living in a province that places an increasingly greater value on the “hard” sciences (a.k.a anything that helps extract oil from sand) and ignores the merits of anything remotely creative.

Richard Florida would certainly be disappointed.

Hidden Hunger

Since accepting my job at the Campus Food Bank, the most common question I get from Boomers is, “Really? Student hunger is a problem?”

Well, yes, Baby Boomers, since tuition grew 267% between 1993 and 2003, many students can no longer afford to feed themselves. For many students, poverty has become  so commonplace that it now provides enough material to fill this year’s Indira Magazine, a parody prepared by the U of A student newspaper that essentially compares University President Indira Samarasekera to Oprah Winfrey.

Not only does the Atlantic throw great parties at the Watergate Complex that were regularly frequented by us interns, they apparently write great articles. They even published a great primer on the growing problem of student hunger in the United States, which I stumbled across at work today and is definitely worth a read.