· The Pulse
By Mack Male

  • A survey of 1,500 Edmontonians conducted by Advanis for the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) found that Edmontonians feel less safe in 2021 than they did in 2020, with 23% saying they worry about crime most of the time or almost always. Just 37% of Edmontonians think police are doing a good job, according to the survey, with older respondents more likely to be satisfied with EPS. On Nov. 19, the provincial government announced $600,000 for EPS' Human-centred Engagement and Liaison Partnership (HELP) which police chief Dale McFee said offers vulnerable Edmontonians "an off-ramp into supports to end the arrest, remain, repeat cycle completely."
  • A judicial review of the EPCOR solar farm, located next to the E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant, was heard in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench on Nov. 19. Though construction began this summer and solar panels are slated for installation starting next month, the Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition would like to see the project approval deemed invalid and returned to city council. Justice George Fraser is expected to release a written decision.
  • The Alberta Court of Appeal has dismissed three cases brought by the Edmonton Public Library against cannabis store approvals located within 200 metres of branch locations. The city's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) had previously granted a variance for all three stores. Of the 213 cannabis development permits issued by February 2021, 15% were granted variances by the SDAB.
  • Approximately 45 troops and 20 vehicles from Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), based in Edmonton, left for B.C. on Nov. 20 to support relief efforts from recent floods and landslides, joining a team of 120 soldiers already working as part of Operation LENTUS.
  • Ahead of city council's budget discussions, the Downtown Recovery Task Force has written a letter to the mayor outlining recommendations aimed at enhancing safety and security, increasing downtown vibrancy, and spurring private sector investment. "Now is the time for bold, clear action...to support the recovery and resiliency of downtown Edmonton," the letter concludes.
  • Premier Jason Kenney sounded upbeat following the United Conservative Party's first in-person convention in two years, held in Calgary over the weekend. "I feel more confident about my leadership today than, frankly, I have in a very long time," he said during a news conference. His 38-minute speech on Nov. 20 received two standing ovations throughout.