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· The Pulse
By Mack Male and Doug Johnson
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  • Freezing rain on Thursday morning led to 107 property damage collisions, 12 hit-and-run crashes, and four collisions causing injury. In a Twitter thread, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi addressed the concerns and frustrations he's heard from Edmontonians about road conditions. "Our policy and service standards must adapt to the ever-changing weather patterns and I am committed to exploring better ways to improve service," he said.
  • Edmonton will see nearly 100 km of expansions, fixes, and fill-ins to missing sidewalks throughout 2022 and 2023 thanks to the $4 million approved by city council during last month's budget deliberations. Construction could start this spring.
  • According to the Canada Office Figures Q4 2021 report from CBRE, Edmonton's downtown office vacancy rate is 21.1%, fourth-highest in the country among major metropolitan areas. Calgary has the highest downtown office vacancy rate at 33.2%, followed by the Waterloo Region at 27.1%, and London at 26.1%. The national average is 15.7%.
  • In a new report on the Bus Network Redesign, the city said "ridership is steadily climbing and is currently at the highest level since the onset of the initial pandemic restrictions in March 2020." No changes to the new bus network are recommended while data analysis continues.
  • Much lauded restaurant P.F. Chang's is opening its first Alberta location in the Currents of Windermere. The location is more than 6,000 square feet, and joins a rapidly growing retail district in south Edmonton.
  • Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones will also serve as the team's defensive coordinator this year. Defensive line coach Demetrious Maxie and linebackers coach Cam Robinson — both of whom were with the team last season — are returning.
  • Alberta Education's E-Tutoring Hub videos have some educators less than pleased. The videos, launched last Tuesday, are designed to help young students who missed school catch up, but some teachers believe they're poor quality and a waste of money in an already cash-strapped field.
  • As the province is mandating that people using supervised consumption sites need to provide their personal healthcare numbers, Moms Stop the Harm, the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society, and 10 allied groups, are asking Ottawa to intervene. In an open letter, the groups asked Minister Carolyn Bennett to write to her Alberta counterpart to "assert federal jurisdiction over the regulation."
  • After Quebec announced it would levy a tax on unvaccinated people, Premier Jason Kenney announced Alberta would not be following suit. Though he conceded that unvaccinated people are a burden on the healthcare system, he said that taxing them would be "completely rubbishing the whole principle of universality of health care."