Keith Gerein, Edmonton Journal

Keith Gerein

Edmonton Journal

Edmonton, AB, Canada

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Past articles by Keith:

Keith Gerein: An Edmonton of two million needs aggressive plan, political discipline

With the coronavirus spreading and energy markets tanking, Edmontonians could be forgiven for having trouble right now focusing on any time horizon beyond the short term. Though it’s on everyone’s mind, trying to predict how COVID-19 might affect our lives and livelihoods is a fool’s errand at the moment. Similar uncertainty applies to the oil […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Social disorder better solved with housing investments than discrediting consumption sites

Leaving aside the troubling political agenda at play in the provincial government’s review of supervised consumption sites, there were still a few themes that emerged from the report warranting further thought. In particular, the review focused on a pattern of social disorder in areas around the sites — provocative words like chaos, feces, and debris […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Parade cancellation latest signal of trouble for K-Days, Northlands

When it comes to longevity, there’s not much in this part of the world that can measure up to the staying power of Northlands. The entertainment and agricultural non-profit has a history that dates back to 1879, which, for context, was the same year Thomas Edison was credited with developing the first commercially viable lightbulb. […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: City efforts to control short-term rentals must be surgical, but not invasive

For the last couple of years, I have lived across the street from a bungalow that operates exclusively as a short-term rental. Though some neighbours have worried, I’m not aware there has ever been a serious problem. This has been reinforced when I’ve talked to some of the guests I’ve met on the sidewalk. One […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Strathcona County steers into cynicism with refusal to get on board regional bus plan

At one point early in my journalism career, I was part of an office lottery pool in which everyone who put in their weekly $5 received the right to share in the millions sure to come our way. There were close to a dozen people involved at various times. But of course it wasn’t consistent. […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Lower residential speed limits a good idea, but how far is too far?

If an award was given out for the organization that best exemplifies the phrase “You can’t please everyone,” the city’s office of traffic safety would be a contender every year. That’s because it’s hard to find a subject that fires up Edmontonians more than traffic. Everyone, it seems, has opinions on what should be done […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Edmonton must bring rules around civic petitions into the digital age

Back when I was in grade school, there were occasions when “petitions” would be circulated around the hallways by a handful of my mischievous classmates. The exact topics escape my memory, but they were likely about some desperate need to make the school uniforms cooler, have a longer morning recess or remove square dancing from […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: So long Baccarat. Now here's five other buildings that could also use the wrecking ball

Though it’s said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I sometimes wonder if eyesores tend to be more universal. I ask because most Edmontonians keen to architectural aesthetics seemed relieved to see bulldozers begin to rip down the old Baccarat Casino this week. It’s a building that has been pilloried as one of […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: 'Noisy' street preachers offer test of how we balance public expression, disturbance

Any Edmontonian who has spent time near busy intersections on Jasper Avenue or Whyte Avenue is likely to have encountered Dale Malayko at some point. He’s a retired firefighter and lifelong Edmontonian, though most people probably know him only as “that street preacher guy.” Many days of the week, you can find him and a […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Council's move a recognition that free parking only exists in Monopoly

We’ve all seen the behaviour. Many of us have even engaged in it. You know, the seemingly endless circling at West Edmonton Mall during the Christmas shopping rush. Arriving ridiculously early to a festival or game to grab a coveted bit of curbside real estate. Interminable idling at Costco, cursing the drivers who have somehow […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Ay caramba! Gondola project really could be an Edmonton idea

The first time I heard about the proposal to build a gondola across Edmonton’s river valley, I confess I couldn’t help but think of a memorable episode of The Simpsons in which the residents of Springfield decide to build a monorail. For those who’ve never seen the episode, it’s a quintessential piece of satire that […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Why Edmonton could be an ideal solution to the royals' residence problem

Here’s a domestic dilemma to which we can all relate. You’re sixth in line to the British throne, constantly harassed by tabloid media to a degree incommensurate with your importance in the world, and you’ve had a bit of a row with your powerful family. As such, you’re looking for a new place to live […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Council's search for the next city manager is no time for caution

Wanted: One city manager for Edmonton. Hours: Long, and sometimes unpredictable. Pay: The role is compensated with a very healthy salary of between $300,000 and $400,000 a year, but comes with a high degree of responsibility, stress and near impossible demands. Expectations: The successful applicant will find themselves in a largely thankless role having to […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: No shortage of challenges ahead as Edmonton braces for 2020

In a place like Edmonton, there is perhaps no more bracing reminder of the inevitability of change than the sudden arrival of a winter deep freeze. As the temperatures have plummeted and the snow has swirled this week, change, you could say, is literally in the air to begin the 2020s. In that vein, change […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Jan. 8, a day of unspeakable tragedy for Edmontonians. Never forget it.

The arrival of a new year, it is said, brings both change and challenge. But it wasn’t supposed to be like this. As many Edmontonians were fighting the arrival of winter’s fury on our morning commute Wednesday morning, one of the most shocking tragedies in the city’s history was unfolding 10,000 kilometres away. For me, […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: NDP's day of blunders giving the official Opposition a bad name

Hey Alberta, get ready for the province’s newest political sensation, the Progressive Coalition Party. Or not. The would-be movement is one of four party names currently reserved with Elections Alberta. And organizers, whoever they are, have until next March 23 to officially register as a party by collecting enough signatures on a petition, or else […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: AHS's $1.4-billion gambit to transform the health system begins in Edmonton

Imagine having a garage filled with a motley collection of bicycles, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades. There’s a shelf of old sneakers and maybe even a Segway in the corner, a one-time impulse buy that you now take out three times a year to amuse the neighbours. Then imagine you are given a new Mustang with […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Budget restraint needed, but cuts hit Edmonton

Governing is about choosing, Premier Jason Kenney told us Wednesday night in his televised address. He and his UCP government have certainly done that with their first budget, and it’s fair to say many of those choices are going to be controversial. Take one of the big headlines from Thursday’s budget — hidden under the […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: Climate strike again demonstrates how our politics is failing our kids

They came with signs, songs and a lot of spirit, thousands upon thousands of them all across Canada, including one of the largest rallies I’ve ever seen outside the Alberta legislature. “Economics are cool, but the Arctic isn’t,” read one of the placards from among the masses of young climate change strikers who showed up […] → Read More

Keith Gerein: UCP faces stiff test to deliver budget cuts without burning services

Here’s a fun fact about Oct. 24 from the annals of insignificant history. It was on that date, way back in 1836, that the first American patent was approved for the self-igniting match, which made it far easier to light candles, cook food, burn documents or commit arson, depending on your particular proclivities. For my […] → Read More