Headlines

· The Pulse
By Kevin Holowack and Mack Male
Comments

  • Due to expected revenue shortfalls, inflation, and other financial pressures, proceeding with approved growth projects and maintaining current service levels would require a tax increase of 8.5% for 2023. "I think that is not where council will land, I can tell you that, because we want to make sure Edmontonians' living remains affordable, that our taxes remain affordable, that our user fees remain affordable," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. Councillors voiced initial support for a tax increase of between 1% and 5%, Postmedia reports.
  • After several tumultuous years, the Edmonton Pride Festival is returning to its original location in Churchill Square on June 25. This year's event — the 40th anniversary — will be run by the new Edmonton PrideFest Association rather than the Edmonton Pride Festival Society, which cancelled the event in 2019 citing a lack of money, volunteers, and unity within the community. In 2018, the parade was halted by demonstrators opposed to police participation. Trevor Watson with the new PrideFest told Global News the parade will be larger and more inclusive than ever and will feature an LGBTQ2S+ market dubbed "Rainbow Road", space for advocacy organizations, and a beer garden.
  • City council has asked administration to prepare a report outlining the budget implications of two snow clearing options that would result in an estimated 30-45% increase in clearing service for roadways and a 50-65% increase for active pathways. "Edmontonians expect us to provide good quality service in that area," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. "(In) my mind, I don't think we lived up to people's expectations."
  • The city is calling on Edmontonians to take the Moose Hide Pledge as part of the Moose Hide Campaign, a grassroots movement led by Indigenous men and boys to stand up against violence toward women and children. Moose Hide Campaign Day, which will feature a ceremony, speakers, and performances, is happening on May 12 at City Hall.
  • A plan to eliminate four on-site paramedic positions at the Edmonton Remand Centre as of June 3 has several nurses "alarmed" by the Alberta Health Services decision, Postmedia reports. "With the elimination of our paramedics," one nurse wrote, "there will not only be an influx of potentially preventable deaths, but an influx in EMS calls for individuals that, had a paramedic been onsite, could have been prevented and/or stabilized." AHS said in a statement that inmates "will continue to receive the care they need."
  • The Canada Permanent Building on 101 Avenue and 100 Street has been declared a Municipal Historic Resource. Built in 1909, the "small but iconic downtown heritage" building was designed for the Canada Permanent Mortgage Company in the Edwardian Baroque-style and, with its reinforced concrete structure, was advertised as the city's first "fireproof bank." From 1974 to 2012, it housed the original Japanese Village restaurant. The building was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 1995.
  • A fourplex in Griesbach suffered $1.5 million in damages due to improperly discarded "smoking materials" that engulfed the structure on Saturday. Investigators say the fire began in decorative wood chips outside the building. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is reminding smokers to properly extinguish and dispose of all smoking materials.
  • The city is inviting Edmontonians to plant something red to "express their Canadian pride" as part of celebrating the Year of the Garden 2022, a nationwide campaign led by the Canadian Garden Council. Edmonton is offering several family-friendly garden-themed events this summer, including the Partners in Parks beautification program, the Root for Trees tree-planting event, Arbor Day for students and parents, vegetable planting in the city's several community gardens, and the Front Yards in Bloom competition.
  • Country star Garth Brooks announced his 2022 Ain't Goin' Down tour will now include a second show in Edmonton after his earlier announced concert sold out in less than an hour. The second show is set for June 24, and tickets go on sale May 12.