City proposes per-trip fee for taxis and Uber
On Thursday, city officials proposed a new deregulated fare structure for Edmonton taxis and Uber that would allowdrivers to charge any price for a pre-arranged fare as long as the customer agrees to it. Customers who call for pickup can price-shop between companies based off the cheaper fare cost. The new model would also provide opportunity for discounts and loyalty programs for frequent riders, but there would be surcharges on busy nights. This new fare structure would not apply when someone is getting a cab at a taxi stand in which then the metered rate would go into effect. If the bylaw passes, the new model would be implemented June 1, 2016 so that city officials could prepare Edmontonians of the new fares.
Saucier + Perrote to design Lewis Farms Recreation Centre
One of the top architecture firms in Canada, Saucier + Perrotte, have been asked to design the $180-million Lewis Farms Recreation Centre. The architectural firm was offered the Lewis Farms contract, which are still being signed, with local firm Architecture Tkalcic Bengert. The project will be the first one in Alberta for the Montréal-based company. The closest work is the pharmacy building at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, which has won national and international awards. In an attempt to emerge as a place for high-quality design, Edmonton has been encouraging design through competitions for park pavilions, sponsoring local design awards and changed the bidding requirements for major city projects to favour firms that win peer recognition. Often, local firms will seek national industry leaders to bid with them in creating libraries, rec centres and other civic projects. The firm is renowned for its “detail-oriented design that plays on space and light and material,” says Shafraaz Kaba, former president of MADE (Media Architecture Design Edmonton). Saucier + Perrotte are committed to sustainability, creativity and innovation. Its designs are integrally linked to the landscape by focusing on the physical and symbolic importance of the project site.
Some other architectural firms that have confirmed building in Edmonton are:
– Vancouver-based Patkau Architects who will design the future Capilano Library
– Montreal’s Atelier TAG is designing the Calder Library
– MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects from Halifax is designing Edmonton’s new emergency control centre
– Teeple Architects of Toronto have designed the Clareview Recreation Centre and is currently working on the re-design of the Stanley Milner Library downtown.
– Schmidt Hammer Lassen from Denmark have designed the Highlands Library.
WestJet to suspend some Edmonton and Calgary flights
Due to the low dollar and oil-price slump, WestJet will be suspending some of its regularly scheduled flights from Edmonton and Calgary. WestJet has announced five fewer flights per day from the Edmonton airport to various locales, while Calgary will have six fewer flights. WestJet will be cancelling daily service between Edmonton-Nanaimo and Edmonton-Kamloops. There will also be reduced services from Edmonton to Abbotsford, Grande Prairie and Calgary. Flight capacity is being shifted to focus on international flights and other parts of Canada. WestJet’s summer schedule will include more flights between Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal, increasing the frequency of Toronto-Fredericton flights and Halifax-Ottawa flights. More flights will be going to Florida and Mexico as soon as March. All of the changes will come into effect on March 5, 2016.
La Loche school shooter to appear in court
The 17-year-old suspect in the La Loche Community School shooting is making his first appearance in court today. The accused, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and unauthorized use of a firearm after a shooting rampage took place last Friday in the La Loche community in northern Saskatchewan. The victims have been identified as teacher assistant Marie Janvier, 21, and teacher Adam Wood, 35, and brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine, aged 17 and 13 respectively. La Loche is a Dene community of approxmiately 3000 people located on the shores of Lac La Loche.
Scholarships awarded to “virgin” women
In the Uthukela district in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, 16 women were awarded college scholarships for remaining virgins. The young women who applied for the scholarship, which was introduced this year, agreed to have regular virginity tests to keep their funding. Funding will continue “as long as the child can produce a certificate that she is still a virgin,” said Dudu Mazibuko, mayor of Uthukela.
28 dead, 65 wounded in Cameroon
Four suicide bombers have attacked a town in Cameroon’s Far North region on Monday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 65 others, officials report. Explosives were detonated at a market, while two others blew themselves up in the town of Bodo. General Jacob Kodji, a Cameroon troop commander, announced today that Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is suspected for the bombings.