Headlines: Aug. 12, 2022

· The Pulse
  • In anticipation of an expected heat wave, the city has set up 15 water bottle-filling stations near fire hydrants and announced that peace officers will be handing out water in the downtown core. The city also wants Edmontonians to know that outdoor pools will be busy, but they can still find relief from the heat at a public recreation centre — except for the Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre and the ACT Aquatic and Recreation Centre, which are closed. EMS crews have already responded to a handful of heat-related calls in the Edmonton area since temperatures began to approach 30°C on Aug. 1.
  • TransEd's announcement that construction on the Valley Line Southeast LRT line will be delayed indefinitely has some people questioning the value of a public-private partnership model for infrastructure projects, which involves taxpayers owning infrastructure that is designed, built, and operated by private companies. The president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, which represents ETS workers, said the southeast line would be operational by now if it was not following "a tortured business model" where it is "impossible to tell who's responsible for what." Coun. Andrew Knack told CTV News that the Valley Line West is being built under a "modified" P3 model that gives the city more oversight.
  • The Tools for School campaign by United Way, which delivers backpacks of school supplies to K-12 students in and around Edmonton, is running short on donations for this year's drive. Suzi Medhurst said the program only has enough to fill 10,000 backpacks instead of the usual 12,000 to 15,000. The principal at Norwood School, Maureen Matthews, says backpacks, highlighters, erasers, and glue sticks are the most needed items. Donations can be made online or at any of the Staples locations in Edmonton.
  • The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues opposes plans to move a casino from Camrose to the Ellerslie Industrial area, arguing that it risks undermining Edmonton-based charities that depend on casino proceeds. Under the province's charitable gaming model, the new casino's proceeds would remain in a pool that serves rural communities including those in Beaumont, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, and Devon.
  • Accessibility advocate Marla Smith and her Rottweiler named Kuno, who is famous on Instagram, toured venues for the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival ahead of the event to help ensure spaces are inclusive for everyone. "As much as we like to think that we are an inclusive city, so much of our community just isn't by design," said Smith, who uses a wheelchair. "There's a lot of places that someone like myself cannot get into, and most people don't realize that." The festival started on Aug. 11 and runs to Aug. 21.
  • Deron Bilous, the NDP MLA for Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, announced he will not be seeking re-election at the next provincial vote, expected in May 2023, because he wants to "pursue new adventures in the private sector." Bilous has held the riding since 2012 and served as the Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade in Rachel Notley's government.