· The Pulse
By and
  • City council voted unanimously to request provincial support for the proposed Healthy Streets Operations Centre in Chinatown which would help to coordinate police officers, social workers, firefighters, and others. Administration said it would cost $18 million over four years to jointly operate the facility with the Edmonton Police Service. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the province "demanded action from us, which we delivered, so I think it's very important that we asked them to step up as well."
  • City council also unanimously approved $4.7 million to improve the snow and ice control program for the rest of 2022. "This at least allows us to begin to get some work started and some personnel added … (and) to course-correct in a few months when we get to the budget and in the meantime get some of work done," said Coun. Tim Cartmell.
  • The city will not establish any sanctioned encampments this summer after city council rejected the idea partly because the camps would cost more per person than overnight shelters and bridge housing. "It is very expensive to support people experiencing homelessness, and that's part of why the case is made to invest in affordable housing as the ultimate solution," said Christel Kjenner, director of affordable housing and homelessness at the City of Edmonton. A report on other options for temporary housing is expected back this fall in time for council's budget discussions.
  • The Dove of Peace, a five-tonne bird sculpture near the Muttart Conservatory built to mark Pope John Paul II's visit in 1984, is being refurbished ahead of Pope Francis' arrival in July. The city, which expects the sculpture to attract visitors during the papal tour, said it will fix corrosion damage using $441,000 from existing budgets. "While we recognize this is substantial, the cost reflects current industry standards," the city explained in a statement.
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services announced it is running its first open house series in three years, giving the public a chance to meet fire prevention teams and learn about fire safety. The free events run from noon to 4pm at eight fire stations from July 9 to Oct. 1.
  • CBC's Emily Fitzpatrick visited the Edmonton Waste Management Centre to catch up on the green bin curbside collection program, which launched last summer. Neil Kjelland, the city's director of sustainable waste processing, said pre-sorted waste means greater efficiency over the black bag program but that about 10% of what arrives in bins is still non-compostable material like plastic.
  • Postmedia has accessed a second Facebook group of Edmonton landlords working on "do not rent" lists. The private group called "Edmonton and area Landlords Only" was created in 2018 and had 1,100 members but was deleted after Postmedia contacted administrators. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta says blacklisting tenants likely violates privacy laws, which may apply to the existing 4,000-member group Alberta Landlord Community, which continues to share names and photos of tenants using a hashtag.
  • A combination of factors — including the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of substitute teachers, and a lack of funding from the provincial government for growth — are setting the stage for a difficult fall term in Alberta's schools. "Teachers are taking mental-health leaves, early retirement, or just leaving the profession altogether," said Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association. "And it is because of the stress in the system. Teachers do not feel supported."
  • Service Canada locations in Edmonton and Calgary have introduced a triage system to address long lines. People with travel plans in the next 24 to 48 hours are now allowed to jump the queue.
  • On July 25, the province is launching a program to provide six months of support to Ukrainian newcomers fleeing the war, which covers basic expenses including food, clothes, and shelter. Ukrainian parents will also be eligible for six months of child care for youth under 12 through the Child Care Subsidy Program. A full list of provincial supports for Ukrainians is available online.