Headlines: May 17, 2022

  • City council's community and public services committee will continue to discuss the proposed Community Safety and Well-Being Strategy after Monday's meeting saw more than 20 speakers responding to the report. Part of the strategy lays out how to spend the $8.4 million remaining from the portion withheld from the Edmonton Police Service budget last year. Puneeta McBryan of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association called for more visible police patrols to deter violence and protect outreach workers. Chief Dale McFee told Postmedia after the meeting that a plan is in the works to increase police presence downtown. But activist Haruun Ali told the committee that's not the answer for those who don't feel safe interacting with police, and Rob Houle asked why so little has been done to implement the recommendations of the Safer for All report from the Community Safety and Well-Being Task Force that he sat on.
  • Alberta is gearing up for the first Battle of Alberta since 1991 as the Edmonton Oilers will face the Calgary Flames in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs. Mayors Amarjeet Sohi and Jyoti Gondek agreed to a friendly bet where the losing city's leader must appear in the winning team's jersey with full face paint and make a charitable donation. "The Battle of Alberta series is a dream come true for hockey fans," Sohi said. "Not only does it give us something to look forward to, but it will help our province's economic rebound." Game 1 is set for 7:30pm on May 18 in Calgary.
  • More than 250 construction projects are ongoing across the city, with a price tag of around $1.9 billion. Pointing to City Plan, the city announced that this year will see active construction on 110 km of roads and sidewalks, 11 km of alleys, 10 neighbourhood renewals, seven trail renewals, and 19 park and playground projects on top of major LRT expansions and projects on Yellowhead Drive and Terwillegar Drive. "We know construction can be disruptive and frustrating," said deputy city manager Adam Laughlin, "but it also provides much-needed jobs for Edmontonians and local companies. Whenever you see construction, you're seeing the future of Edmonton being built, piece by piece, kilometre by kilometre, by the hard work of thousands of people."
  • A new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which followed 46,412 adult patients in Alberta and Ontario, suggests that socio-economic status and sex are significant factors in determining if someone will be hospitalized more than once with COVID-19. Researchers found that 91% to 95% of people readmitted were unvaccinated and tended to be older and male with comorbidities. People living at postal codes considered low on "deprivation" indicators also saw higher readmission rates. U of A medical professor Dr. Finlay McAlister, who co-authored the study, says the numbers align with what we've seen "over and over with COVID: that socio-economic deprivation seems to be even more important for COVID than for other medical conditions."
  • Edmonton saw a small increase in the number of newly listed homes in April, while the national average dipped by 2.2% on a month-over-month basis, according to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Calgary, meanwhile, saw a "notable decline" in the number of newly listed homes. The CREA reports that homes sales across Canada declined by 12.6% in April, reaching the lowest rate since summer 2020.
  • Edmonton housing starts saw an upward trend in April of 36% year-over-year, or 64% seasonally adjusted at annual rates from March to April 2022, according to the latest numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • The federal government is spending $2 million to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70th year on the throne with events and projects across Canada. Recipients from Edmonton are 700 (City of Edmonton) Wing, Royal Canadian Airforce Association, the Canadian Art and Leisure Association, the Explore Edmonton Corporation, and St. Michael's Extended Care Centre Society.
  • A life-sized woolly mammoth rolled through downtown Edmonton en route from CO*LAB to the Royal Alberta Museum on Monday morning. The statue, which can be lit up from within, was made by lantern artist Gabrielle "Gabs" Degouw for the Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival last January and now lives in the museum lobby to greet guests.