· The Pulse
By and
  • The City of Edmonton signed 20-year green energy contracts with Ontario-based Capstone Infrastructure Corporation — which owns the under-development Wild Rose 2 Wind Farm in Alberta's Cypress County — and Calgary-based BluEarth Renewables. The power generated under the two contracts is expected to prevent more than 95,000 tonnes of carbon per year from entering the atmosphere. Both are expected to start providing power to the city in 2024. Capstone said the agreement "is the largest long-term procurement of renewable energy attributes by a Canadian city to date."
  • With an 11-2 vote, city council has requested a report on how to implement a more progressive property tax system compared the present model where taxes are paid in proportion to home value. The motion from Coun. Michael Janz originally requested more information about how the top 1% of homes could be taxed at higher rates, which he called a mansions tax. "I believe taxation should be progressive, and that those of us who can pay just a little bit more, should," he wrote.
  • A pilot project aimed at making Victoria Promenade more accessible would add separate bike lanes to the north and south sides of the road, which would mean the loss of about 20 parking spaces, and that has some residents upset. Coun. Anne Stevenson said she understands the concerns and is talking with city staff about options, though she described a bi-directional bike lane on the south side — allowing the parking spots to remain — as not a "workable solution."
  • The Edmonton Public School Board held its last meeting of the school year and approved its 2022-2026 education plan, which prioritizes anti-racism, reconciliation, and promoting student and staff wellbeing and mental health. Superintendent Darrel Robertson said the division will also focus on collecting demographic data to help improve success rates for students of different backgrounds.
  • The executive summary of a review of the Edmonton Catholic School District's school resource officer program (SRO) released last May minimizes the review's findings about racism, according researcher Alexandre Da Costa, who is part of the team behind the Edmonton SRO Research Project. The review found that around 80% of students and parents support keeping SROs but that 20% of Black and Indigenous students report feeling targeted compared to 11.5% of other students. "Are you centring the experiences of those most harmed like in an equity-based framework...or are you going for 'the majority think it's popular, so we keep the program,'" Da Costa said of the school board's decision to retain its SRO program.
  • The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has brought on Irene Morin of Enoch Cree Nation as its first Elder in Residence. "With the second-highest Indigenous population in Canada, the Edmonton metro region has yet to unlock the vast potential Indigenous people can play in our economic prosperity," it said in a release. "The Edmonton Chamber celebrates the opportunity to use its platform and connectivity to the business community to accelerate that potential."
  • YMCA of Northern Alberta currently employs 123 lifeguards and swim instructors in Edmonton, down from roughly 240 aquatics staff pre-pandemic. The organization is looking for support from the municipal and provincial governments to train more people in the field of lifesaving and aquatics to address the labour shortage.
  • Students at the University of Alberta joined others across Canada to take part in a video call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 22. Zelenskyy emphasized the use of the internet to spread the truth about Russia's war against Ukraine, the importance of maintaining a sense of humour, and the need for Canada to continue supporting his country. "Please do not allow anyone in the hierarchy and bureaucratic quarters to forget about what's going on in Ukraine," he told the students.
  • The province is implementing a pair of financial relief measures following news from Statistics Canada that inflation in Alberta reached 7.1% in May. Albertans will have monthly $50 electricity rebates automatically applied to eligible utility bills starting in July — which the province first announced more than three months ago — and the freeze on the 13¢ per litre provincial fuel tax will be extended until September.