· The Pulse
By and
  • Edmonton's downtown office vacancy rate has risen more than 2% over the past year, reaching 19.2% by the end of June, according to the latest office market report from Colliers. That's up from 18.5% at the end of the first quarter and is the highest rate since 1986. Edmonton Downtown Business Association executive director Puneeta McBryan told Postmedia that things could change in September as people head back to the office, but she remains concerned about retail vacancies. "We have to be creating an experience downtown that is so worth visiting," she said. Retail Insider spoke with several experts about the shifting dynamics that have affected downtown retail.
  • The RiverWatch Institute of Alberta is once again offering its interpretive rafting tours, called Eco Floats. This year, the guided experience begins at the Laurier Park Boat Launch and ends at Dawson Park, passing under nine bridges and past well-known sites like Accidental Beach. "It's a little bit of a historical view of the city," said guide River Hoffos, "but it's also just an enlightening view of the city because you start to realize how much green we have and how beautiful our river valley is."
  • Const. Thomas Woitt with the Edmonton Police Service has been demoted for three years after lying about where he got a piece of firearms equipment, namely a "fast" magazine pouch that gave him an unfair advantage during the competitive application process for entering the tactical sector. "This misconduct goes to the core values of what is expected of a police officer," wrote retired RCMP officer Fred Kamins, who presided over the hearing where Woitt pleaded guilty to deceit under the Police Act.
  • Pieces of the historic Tegler Building are for sale at Home Reusables after owner Sherry Galan acquired them from the municipal archives. The eight-story structure, built in 1912, was once the tallest commercial building in western Canada and a hub of downtown until it was demolished by the Bank of Montreal in 1982. Over 100 artifacts from the building are available to purchase.
  • The mass by Pope Francis, Monster Jam, and Edmonton Elks games all contributed to an "unparalleled week" at Commonwealth Stadium, according to Jason Fesyk, stadium major events supervisor at the City of Edmonton. "The amount of time, effort, and work that went into that was absolutely amazing," he said.
  • Team Canada won its first FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Stop at ICE District in Edmonton over the long weekend. Edmontonian Michelle Plouffe led the team with 13 points in the title game — including the game-winner — and was named MVP of the event, leading all scorers with 43 points overall.
  • Aher Uguak and Jordan Baker, two Harry Ainlay High School alumni who are now forwards with the Edmonton Stingers, are central to the team's success, which includes recently earning another playoff spot after winning two back-to-back Canadian Elite Basketball League championships. "I've grown close to these guys, and I feel like I'm part of something special here," said Uguak.
  • As of Aug. 2, children between six months and five years of age are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by Moderna, which is the first to be authorized in Canada for this age group. First-dose appointments for children under five must be booked through the Alberta Vaccine Booking System or by calling Health Link.
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw was given $227,911 in "cash benefits" over the course of 2021 on top of her $363,634 salary, according to the province's salary and severance disclosure database. It is the highest recorded cash benefit payout to a civil servant since the database launched in 2016. A spokesperson for the province said the benefits reflect the "extraordinary amount of additional work" required of Hinshaw and other officials during the pandemic, although Hinshaw's overtime hours are not publicly available.

Correction: An earlier version of Headlines incorrectly spelled the name of River Hoffos, the interpretive guide for Eco Floats.