· The Pulse
By and
  • City council voted 9-4 to approve a new bylaw requiring masks on transit, with councillors Sarah Hamilton, Karen Principe, Jennifer Rice, and Erin Rutherford voting against. The bylaw, which will end when the provincial order is rescinded, allows peace offers to issue tickets. Another bylaw that would have required masks inside city facilities failed in a 5-8 vote. "I'm still concerned that the province moved too fast, too quick on removing COVID protections," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.
  • The Edmonton Police Service is one of several Canadian police services participating in the new Task Force on Hate Crimes, which is co-chaired by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the RCMP. The task force will meet over the course of 2022 and 2023 with the intention of "increasing awareness of the scope, nature and impact of hate crimes across Canada" and "(creating) national standards to better support targeted communities across the country."
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is urging residents to avoid walking on the North Saskatchewan River. EFRS has responded to six calls in the past week due to children playing on the ice or people trying to rescue animals. "At this time of year, with the ice shelves shifting and moving currents, the river is not safe," said Bruce McWhinnie, chief of special operations.
  • The strange smell in the tap water is a result of yearly spring runoff introducing sediment and other material into the North Saskatchewan River. "Each spring runoff is its own kind of unique story," EPCOR senior manager Jeff Charrois told Global News, adding that the company has increased its use of activated carbon to remove odour-causing compounds. EPCOR says the water is safe to drink and has tweeted a helpful infographic about spring runoff.
  • Although Edmonton's housing market is getting hot, with average home prices hitting a record $411,464 in February, the affordability of older north-central and north-eastern neighbourhoods is still attracting buyers, Postmedia reports. Likewise, some experts expect that an increase in infill development could attract buyers to mature neighbourhoods like Westmount and McKernan. Meanwhile, downtown is seeing a minor exodus of young professionals, with many of them drawn to newer suburbs like Maple, Keswick, Chappelle, and Glenridding Ravine, which all saw significant residential development last year.
  • Edmonton author Todd Babiak became the world's first person to auction off a book as a non-fungible token (NFT). It was bought by local businessman Chris LaBossiere for two ether, the equivalent of about $8,000, and donated to the Edmonton Public Library. The irreplicable e-book edition of Babiak's The Daughters of Walsingham is now available for loan. EPL also released a YouTube video about how to access its first NFT book.
  • More than a dozen ecological advocates joined city council's community and public services committee meeting on Monday to oppose the use of pesticides to manage the mosquito population. Mike Boyce, a biology professor at the University of Alberta, said the chemicals introduce toxicity that spreads through the ecosystem at a time when insect-eating bird populations are declining, while Raquel Feroe with Pesticide Free Edmonton noted that many jurisdictions have banned aerial mosquito pesticides. Council will discuss the issue again in two weeks before making a decision.
  • Alberta's industrial and commercial real estate market will not see much impact from a rebounding oil and gas industry, according to CBRE. Since the pandemic started, the province has seen an acceleration in the diversity of tenants, with more cleantech and related industries occupying space and fewer oil companies needing space.