Headlines: Aug. 16, 2022

· The Pulse
By and
  • City council voted 10-3 to spend $15.2 million over two years on the Healthy Streets Operations Centre in Chinatown. The centre is to act as a hub for police, city staff, peace officers, and firefighters, but $10.3 million is going towards policing, which in effect returns to the police budget money that had been diverted to address root causes of disorder. "The underlying causes of decline and deterioration in Chinatown directly relate to health and addictions and mental health, housing, and houselessness, and those are provincial responsibilities," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, who nonetheless voted to allocate the funds. "I am under no illusion that we will be able to make our communities safer until we tackle (these) issues."
  • City council voted 12-1 not to sign a land agreement with Prairie Sky Gondola, stymieing the company's plan to build a private gondola over the river. Several councillors cited concerns that the project would disturb Indigenous burial grounds by the Rossdale power plant, a point raised by several attendees of a public hearing last week. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he "cannot in good conscience" support a project that could disturb the burial grounds, "particularly when we have made such a strong commitment as a city to reconciliation with Indigenous communities." The company previously said it would stop moving forward with the project if council didn't approve the land agreement. CEO Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson said in a statement on Monday evening that his company was not deterred by the decision. "This city needs more big ideas for people to believe in and more empowered city builders daring to do them," he said. "We're proud of what we did and we're excited to explore what we can do next."
  • Karima Delijam and Taiba Atimadi are part of a group of Afghan refugees in Edmonton who are advocating for humanitarian assistance for women and girls in Afghanistan who are in danger for seeking higher education. "(They) really need our support for preparing even their basic needs like books and stationery," Delijam said. Over the past year, more than 17,300 Afghans have arrived in Canada. In Alberta, 3,030 are government-assisted refugees and 1,110 are privately sponsored.
  • Family movies will be projected onto a three-storey inflatable screen in Churchill Square throughout August and September for Movies on the Square, a free family-friendly event. Upcoming showings are The Princess Bride on Aug. 17 and Josie and the Pussycats on Aug. 24. The city encourages viewers to bring lawn chairs and asks movie-goers to avoid drinking or smoking.
  • The city is hosting special Big Bin "Plus" events outside of Northlands Coliseum on Aug. 20 and 21. As usual, Edmontonians can drop off unwanted items too large for regular collection. The "plus" refers to on-site demonstrations about the city's garbage process, a look at the city's asphalt repair tools and bridge inspection equipment, and an electric bus you can go inside.
  • Commercial real estate investment in Edmonton rose by $930 million to $1.46 billion in the second quarter of this year, says a report from The Network, attributing the increase in part to out-of-province investors attracted to lower prices in Alberta at a time when interest rates were relatively low. The report noted increased interest in industrial property, multifamily properties, and undeveloped land, as well as a big year-over-year increase in the sale of warehouses. Meanwhile, the average home price in Edmonton declined by 5.9% between February and July, dropping from $426,465 to $401,274, a less severe decline than many other metro regions saw.