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· The Pulse
By Mack Male and Doug Johnson
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  • Unions representing local peace and transit officers are blaming the city and police for a "crime wave" on Edmonton transit. "Our transit peace officers experience a constant barrage of weapons-related and drug-related offences all day every day on the system," said Steve Bradshaw, president of the ATU Local 569, one of the unions. He suggested the problems stem from years of underfunding and a lack of support from police. A spokesperson for the Edmonton Police Service said, "the suggestion that EPS officers are ignoring criminal activity is baseless."
  • City Manager Andre Corbould said the city's extreme weather response will end today after 27 days of activation. While he expressed "deep concern about the news that two Edmontonians experiencing homelessness were outside early Tuesday morning for several hours during the extreme cold," Corbould said that an internal review found all extreme weather protocols were followed. "It is clear they did not work for everyone," he added.
  • Students across the province return to in-person learning today. Edmonton Catholic Schools is upgrading its ventilation systems to use filters with MERV-13 efficiency ratings, while Edmonton Public Schools is still weighing its options.
  • The Edmonton Oilers placed five players and six support staff in COVID protocol on Saturday and added two more players on Sunday. Monday night's game against Ottawa has been rescheduled to Jan. 15 at 8pm.
  • After the federal government suggested that provinces will need to make the call about whether or not to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, Premier Jason Kenney said that Alberta will not be reopening the debate. "Alberta's legislature removed the power of mandatory vaccination from the Public Health Act last year and will not revisit that decision, period," Kenney tweeted Friday.
  • Alberta could see COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to nearly 1,000 in two weeks, according to the low scenario of the AHS COVID-19 early warning system. The high scenario would see more than 1,500 Albertans in hospital. According to provincial data, hospitalizations peaked on Sept. 27 at 868.
  • A leaked memo has revealed that Alberta Health Services is asking union and non-union nurses to volunteer for redeployment to various urgent roles, due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. The memo also stated that AHS will be increasing the number of staff on standby for pandemic-related care and clinical support.