· The Pulse
By and
  • City council voted 7-6 in favour of creating a pedestrian-friendly corridor along 102 Avenue from 99 Street to 103 Street, which has been closed for more than four years due to Valley Line LRT construction. Coun. Ashley Salvador, the idea's main proponent on council, said Edmontonians have expressed "considerable interest" in the idea, while Puneeta McBryan, executive director of the Downtown Business Association, said some businesses are concerned the pedestrian corridor will add to social disorder if it remains empty. Don Wheaton Family YMCA worries the plan will frustrate customers who have already dealt with years of traffic congestion, Global News reports. Council directed administration to implement the one-year pilot as soon as possible, but a draft of necessary bylaw changes is not expected until September.
  • Justice Minister Tyler Shandro has contradicted Mayor Amarjeet Sohi's Friday statement and said it "incorrectly claimed" that Justin Bone — the man accused in May of killing two men in their 60s in Chinatown — was released from remand without a plan for housing and addictions treatment services. The mayor's office told Postmedia that Sohi has been trying to meet with multiple ministers to find out what went wrong.
  • The province announced it will lift nearly all remaining COVID-19 health restrictions as of June 14 at 11:59pm, which means mandatory masking will no longer be required on public transit. City Manager Andre Corbould said that Edmonton's mask bylaw expires at the same time, but added that "riders are welcome to wear masks if they choose." Masks will still be required in AHS and continuing care facilities.
  • Figures from the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (ECOHH) show that 222 Edmontonians died due to homelessness or lack of housing in 2021, a nearly 70% rise over the previous year. Around two-thirds of deaths recorded by ECOHH are men, while the number of people aged 20 and younger included in the data rose last year. An annual public memorial, which was cancelled during the pandemic, is taking place on June 15 at Homeless Memorial Plaza.
  • Edmonton Transit Service and a host of business partners have launched the Rediscover ETS campaign in hopes of improving ridership and incentivizing Edmontonians to explore the city via transit. As of July 13, the TELUS World of Science and the Art Gallery of Alberta are offering admission discounts to those who show an ETS ticket, pass, or transfer, with more organizations announcing perks later this summer. The campaign also involves public advertising and the deployment of ETS Street Teams to assist riders while "building perception of ETS as a community-minded service."
  • The city is inviting residents to an event at 5:30pm on June 14 to honour the spirit and intent of Okîsikow (Angel) Way, a section of 101A Avenue that was renamed in 2011 to support the Angel Street Project and raise support for women's shelters.
  • Edmonton is the 14th most affordable city in Canada and has the 12th strongest labour market, which together make it the fifth-best Canadian city, according to a list by MoneyWise. The data draws on BMO's Regional Labour Market Report Card and the real estate website Zoocasa.
  • Postmedia spoke to Hamidullah Fidel and Razia Saramad, two of 674 Afghan refugees to settle in Edmonton since August 2021. "Here I feel really safe, especially about my children because they now live in a safe place and safe country. This is something we did not have back home," Fidel said of Afghanistan.
  • Goalie Mikko Koskinen is leaving the Edmonton Oilers, having signed a two-year contract with the Swiss club HC Lugano. Koskinen, a Finnish citizen, spent four seasons with the Oilers and is set to become an unrestricted free agent next month.