City to inspect state of convention centre after 5 months as homeless shelter

EDMONTON — In an effort to demonstrate there’s not, as the mayor says, “anything other than wear and tear” on the Edmonton Convention Centre after it served as a winter homeless shelter, media will be given a tour of the facility Friday.

A day earlier, security on site denied CTV News Edmonton from reporting on the centre’s exterior grounds, citing direction from the entity that manages it, city-owned enterprise Explore Edmonton.

Explore Edmonton’s marketing director, Lauren Andrews, said the guards were following safety protocols put in place when construction at the building began. A copy of those protocols were not shared with CTV News Edmonton.

The condition of the site has been questioned by some councillors who say they did not have a chance to see it either during its operation as a shelter or afterwards.

“The idea that something is being withheld here or that there’s anything other than wear and tear on the facility, I have real concerns with the premise of that,” Mayor Don Iveson said Thursday.

He estimated repairs to the centre – consisting of due renovations, and “cosmetic work” like replacing glass or other fixtures – would cost fewer than six figures and had been budgeted for.

“Out of a $10-million effort to save lives over the winter and try to route people into housing where we could using referral services and make sure people’s basic medical needs were attended to… that was always assumed and planed for.”

Last month, Iveson criticized the police commission for inviting councillors for “unannounced walk through(s)” of Tipinawâw Shelter, which the police union’s president called political pandering.

With files from CTV News Edmonto’s Dave Ewasuk

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