· The Pulse
By Kevin Holowack and Mack Male

  • The Edmonton Police Service has launched its new Community Safety Data Portal in an effort to improve transparency and facilitate community engagement. The portal displays crime statistics across the city as well as overall trends and occurrences of crime at LRT stations and transit centres. EPS said this first version will evolve over time and that it is actively seeking feedback from users.
  • The city is rolling out an initiative called Business Friendly Edmonton to better support people who are opening or expanding a business by adopting a "customer service" focus. It's part of the 10-year Economic Action Plan and will be presented to city council's executive committee on April 13.
  • Nolan Crouse, former mayor of St. Albert, wrote an op-ed advocating for regional collaboration as the key to municipal progress. Crouse notes several regional success stories from the past several years, including efforts by the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board and the Regional Transit Services Commission, but laments that the latest provincial budget included no support for regional efforts.
  • Wild Heart Collective announced its Al Fresco on 4th event series will return again to 104 Street downtown this year, running for ten Saturdays from June 25-Aug. 28. Applications for vendors are being accepted until April 30.
  • Postmedia has published Part 3 of Toxi-City, a three-part series on the toxic drugs crisis in Edmonton. In this instalment, reporter Lisa Johnson sat down with Mike Ellis, Alberta's associate minister of mental health and addictions, to discuss what the province is doing to combat the crisis.
  • The province announced that six proposals will look at developing carbon capture and storage hubs in the Edmonton region. Sonya Savage, Alberta's minister of energy, said that if deployed the projects "will help meet the increasing demand from industry and help significantly reduce emissions."
  • Alberta has stopped collecting the 13-cent-per-litre provincial fuel tax as of 12:01am today. Premier Jason Kenney said the government has told retailers to pass the savings on to drivers. "We'll be watching like a hawk," he said, adding the government is "prepared to resort to using legal tools to protect consumers."
  • The UCP has ended a six-year wage freeze impacting more than 3,700 Alberta government managers and non-unionized employees. Finance Minister Travis Toews said the decision was taken to "remain competitive" and to "retain and attract competent staff," CBC reports.