Headlines: May 4, 2022

· The Pulse
By Kevin Holowack

  • Paul Gravelle, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said April was a strong month for local real estate. "We sold 2,919 homes last month and listed 4,719. So, we're now having more inventory than sales, which reflects back into more of a balanced market right now," he told Postmedia.
  • The Ice District Plaza outside Rogers Place was awash with orange and blue on Monday as fans celebrated the Oilers' first game in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. With COVID-19 restrictions now lifted, this is the first year that ICE District can host a watch party since it opened. Some fans are planning to travel to Los Angeles for games 3 and 4, the cost of which is "actually not horrible," Global News reports.
  • The fate of Flair Airlines continues to hang in the balance as the company's deadline to formally respond to the Canadian Transportation Agency's concerns that it fails to meet Canadian ownership requirements has now passed. The CTA says there is "no specific timeline" for it to make its decision, and experts say weeks or months could pass before the public learns about any impacts on the Edmonton-based low-cost airline.
  • The Edmonton Elks have acquired offensive lineman Carter O'Donnell from the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for the first overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft, which took place on Tuesday. The Elks also traded offensive lineman Kyle Saxelid and linebacker Grant McDonald to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in exchange for additional draft picks. Wide receiver Martavis Bryant and linebacker Tyrell Robinson, both of whom signed with the Elks in February, were released by the club.
  • Sebastian Cossa with the Edmonton Oil Kings has been named the WHL Goaltender of the Month for April, having landed a 6-1-0-0 record over seven regular and playoffs games that month and two shutouts. The 19-year-old from Fort McMurray, who is a Detroit Red Wings prospect, also received the honour in October 2021. The Oil Kings will play the Red Deer Rebels in the first game of their second-round playoff series at Rogers Place on Thursday at 7pm.
  • Get Ready in the Park is happening May 7 in Hawrelak Park from 10am to 3pm. The event gives Edmontonians a chance to meet emergency responders, learn about emergency vehicles and services, and prepare for emergencies in their own lives. The event coincides with the end of national Emergency Preparedness Week.
  • Alberta Health Services and University of Alberta researchers are conducting the province's first large-scale survey on the impacts of long COVID. The survey is open to anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms and includes questions about breathlessness, headaches, mobility, anxiety and depression, concentration, and more. It has received 5,700 responses so far, but researchers say more data will help them understand long COVID resulting from the most recent Omicron variant. Dr. Grace Lam, a virologist at the U of A, estimates that anywhere from 10% to 50% of people infected by COVID-19 will develop long-term symptoms.
  • The University of Alberta unveiled a memorial for the 13 Edmontonians killed when Flight PS752 was downed by a missile shortly after departing Tehran on Jan. 8, 2020, killing a total of 176 people. "Hopefully one day in the future we can get together in a court. We need a day in court," Hamed Esmaeilion told Postmedia. "The memorial means a lot to us, but justice is the most important thing for us."
  • Albertans are less empathetic than two years ago, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and a team of UBC researchers. An ongoing series of surveys about "the ability to understand another's perspective and feelings," which was launched at the start of the pandemic, found that only 15% of Albertans feel empathetic today compared to 29% in May 2020. Dr. Emily Jenkinks, who co-led the research, suggests the "deterioration of social relationships that we see in the data comes at a time when we need each other more than ever." CMHA's Mental Health Week started Monday.