Headlines

· The Pulse
By Kevin Holowack
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  • The city is getting a financial boost of $66.9 million from a broader $159 million federal and provincial funding package to support 26 Alberta municipal transit systems. Edmonton's allotment is less than the $81.6 million requested by council, but Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the funding will still help by ensuring "ridership rates return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, making us the first municipality to accomplish this." Another $2.5 million will go to other communities in the Edmonton region, including $1.3 million for Strathcona County and nearly $800,000 for St. Albert.
  • The omnibus zoning bylaw proposed by the zoning bylaw renewal project would allow infill development on lots now restricted to single-family homes and duplexes, a move city planners say aligns with the City Plan, including the "15-minute district" concept and transit-oriented development. If passed, the bylaw would also permit small apartments, garden suites, supportive housing, and some small businesses to be built in neighbourhoods within the Anthony Henday Drive. Livia Balone, director of the initiative, said the bylaw will "strive for simplicity and flexibility" by reducing the number of zones down to about 20. A draft of the revamped zoning bylaw will be considered by council in the fall.
  • City council's executive committee has endorsed administration's recommendation to pursue a major rehabilitation of the High Level Bridge instead of deferring significant work or replacing the bridge altogether. The rehabilitation plan, which will be considered during budget discussions in the fall, could include a new shared-use path on the upper deck as proposed by High Level Line.
  • The John Janzen Nature Centre is celebrating its grand reopening after a two-year closure for a $340,000 renovation. The centre sports a fresh look, with a new exhibition room full of critters and an updated Tegler Discovery Zone with interactive displays. The facility's green roof was also overhauled with interpretive signage and a new scenic lookout with a telescope.
  • Gord Steinke announced he is retiring as a Global News anchor after 30 years. A well-known face from his work with News Hour at 6 and News at 5, Steinke started with the company in 1992 when it was still called ITV. His last day will be Aug. 31.
  • 630 CHED and the Edmonton Elks have renewed their official broadcasting agreement, signalling that the 28-season partnership is strong as ever. Morley Scott and Dave Campbell, play-by-play announcer and analyst respectively, are marking their 12th season with the team. CHED's coverage will start with the Elks' pre-season opener against the Blue Bombers on May 27.
  • Local data and visualization expert Eugene Chen has shared the release of This is Edmonton, a "free, interactive 3D map visualization that compares hundreds of neighbourhoods on income, language, etc."
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw did not directly respond to a reporter's question about whether Alberta is in the sixth wave of COVID-19. Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam confirmed Tuesday that Canada is experiencing a sixth wave.