Monday News Roundup: April 4, 2016

Edmonton reveals plans for Queen Elizabeth Park redevelopment

The City of Edmonton has released phase two of the redevelopment plans for Queen Elizabeth Park. The designs, which were on display at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market on Saturday, reveal a new attraction that features Canada’s first outdoor Indigenous Art Park that will showcase artwork by Canadian indigenous artists. Other improvements and additions in the upper park will include: shared-use paths, a new parking lot, a shade shelter, picnic tables and a commemorative wall acknowledging the former site of the old Queen Elizabeth pool. The Queen Elizabeth Master Plan was approved by City Council in August 2013. Construction for phase two will start late this year.

Development permit signs mandatory in Edmonton

Infill projects in mature and established neighbourhoods will now require a development permit sign approved by the City of Edmonton. Infill projects approved on or after April 1, 2016 will require the sign to be posted near the sidewalk of the development within 14 days after it has been issued, and it will remain posted until final occupancy is granted by the city. The signs are said to help residents stay informed about what is being built in their neighbourhood.

Edmonton proposes road tolls and distance-based fares

Edmontonians could start paying for transit based on how far they go. On Friday, the City of Edmonton proposed the idea of both road tolls and distance-based fares for transit users, which would use a Smart Fare system to apply different pricing models based on the distance a person goes. The system would encourage more people to live downtown over suburban areas, which would mean a higher cost for suburban dwellers. The city will hold a public debate on the issue on April 12.

Alberta launches Islamophobia hotline

The Alberta Muslim Affairs Council has set up a new hotline for reporting Islamophobia, which encourages people to call in with reports of discrimination or harassment against Muslims. Citizens can call the hotline at 1.800.607.3312. Council members will assess the calls and determine whether police should be brought in to investigate the incident further.

Thirteen candidates disqualified from next Alberta election

Thirteen people who ran in the last provincial election have been disqualified from running in the next election due to failure of filing paperwork on time or not all, said Elections Alberta. Five candidates from the Liberal Party, four independents, three Alberta Party candidates and one Wildrose Party candidate have been declared ineligible to run by Elections Canada. The candidates will be disqualified for up to eight years. The current list contains more than 60 names of candidates who cannot run in future elections.

Air France crew to wear headscarf on Iran flights

Air France announced that all female cabin crew employees must wear a headscarf on the new weekly flights from Paris to Tehran, Iran, which start April 17, as well as wear the uniform’s long-sleeved jacket and trousers over a knee-length dress.

North Korea blocks Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in North Korea has announced via an online post on the country’s main mobile service provider, Koryolink, will block Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and South Korean media websites in a move to stop the spread of online information. While most North Koreans do not have Internet access, foreigners had formerly been able to access the Internet with almost no restrictions. The new policy will affect foreigners as well, meaning it will make it difficult for them to post real-time information on North Korea to the outside world. Gambling and “sex and adult websites” will be blocked, as well. Those who try to hack onto those blocked websites or distribute “anti-republic” data from those sites will be punished under North Korean law.

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