· The Pulse
By and
  • City council's executive committee has directed administration to prepare a package of infrastructure projects as outlined in the Chinatown Strategy — which was approved in 2018 without capital funding — for consideration in the upcoming 2023-2026 budget. "I think, clearly, this is investment that's been needed for a long time," said Coun. Anne Stevenson. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the investment is "absolutely necessary" and that Chinatown deserves the same "concerted focused attention" as downtown has received. "Chinatown has been neglected for decades. We need to step up," he said.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi told Postmedia that the relationship between city council and the police commission is improving despite friction during recent police funding debates. "The tension is lessening, but there is still a lack of clarity around who is to hold police accountable when something goes wrong," Sohi said.
  • Several legal experts told CBC News the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service deviated from standard practice in their handling of Justin Bone and could have made interventions that would have prevented fatal attacks in Chinatown on May 18. Ritesh Narayan, a criminologist with Mount Royal University, said that the RCMP could have detained Bone but instead executed "a reverse starlight tour." He also said EPS had the power to make an arrest. "There was plenty to detain the individual and take him into custody," he said.
  • A memorial for Edmontonians who died for reasons related to homelessness was held on June 15 at the Homeless Memorial Plaza. The annual event had been cancelled since 2019 because of COVID-19. According to Jim Gurnett with the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, many individuals that have died in recent years were without adequate housing for over a decade. The city said in April that the number of people living on Edmonton's streets doubled to 3,000 during the pandemic.
  • Effective June 15, worksites within five meters of an open space tree or ten meters of a natural vegetation area need to implement tree protection measures and apply for a permit. The city's new Public Tree Permit process applies to all city land including boulevards, and applications can be made through an online self-service tool.
  • City staff are expecting high fuel prices to factor into upcoming 2023-2026 budget deliberations. The city is currently over its fuel budget, but Harmalkit Rai with the financial services department says budgetary pressure can be handled internally, so tax levies and service reductions are off the table for now. Edmonton has around 2,250 municipal vehicles operating at any time.
  • Veteran sports columnist Terry Jones, who started with the Edmonton Journal in 1967 and the Edmonton Sun in 1982, announced on Twitter that he has been fired by Postmedia via a phone call from Toronto. "Thank you all so much for reading," wrote Jones. "Hardly the way I hoped it would end." Sympathy rolled in from fellow Edmonton news icon Bob Layton from 630 CHED, TSN sports broadcaster Ryan Rishaug, Postmedia hockey columnist Bruce Garrioch, and others. In 2017 — the 50-year anniversary of Jones's career — Postmedia called him "synonymous with Edmonton sports" and published a career retrospective.
  • According to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts in Edmonton increased 67% year-over-year from May 2021 to May 2022.