Headlines: Aug. 19, 2022

· The Pulse
  • The city has activated its extreme weather response, which will remain in effect until Aug. 22 as a heat wave continues. To keep vulnerable Edmontonians safer in the heat, peace officers will carry and give out bottles of water; some city facilities and libraries will provide a cool indoor space; and 15 fire hydrants have been converted to water-bottle refilling stations. Edmonton's emergency weather response, a collaboration with Homeward Trust and other agencies, was formalized in 2019.
  • The Edmonton Expo Centre will soon have Canada's largest rooftop solar array at 5,754 panels covering 193,735.5 square feet. The $5.03-million project is expected to yield operational savings of $290,000 to $460,000 per year, breaking even after 10 to 17 years. The solar array acts as a reminder that Edmonton is "working hard to support a transition to a lower-carbon economy," sustainability director Melissa Radu of Explore Edmonton said in a release. Phase 1 of the installation is scheduled to be done in November.
  • The Nanilavut Initiative has located 12 Edmonton-area graves of Inuit who were separated from their families and died during a tuberculosis epidemic that hit Inuit communities from the 1940s to the 1960s, infecting one-third of the population, according to the federal government. Many were buried in the cities where they were sent for treatment at medical facilities like the Charles Camsell Hospital, which often did not inform their families. "Too much time has passed without proper answers or commemoration," the organization's CEO, Duane Smith, told CBC.
  • According to Statistics Canada's consumer price index, Alberta is experiencing one of the fastest rent and mortgage price increases in Canada. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said urban dwellers should expect further rent increases along with a decline in vacancy rates in the coming years. "For Edmonton in particular, we are anticipating some stronger rental demand," says analyst Taylor Pardy, who suggests rising mortgage rates are causing people to rent longer.
  • Inspired by the charity of other Edmontonians, spectacle-wearing brothers Muhammad and Youssef Elezzabi ran a successful donation drive and shipped 430 pairs of eyeglasses to opticians in Ukraine. "We know what it's like not to have proper vision," Muhammed told CBC. "It impairs normal daily functions, especially if you're probably fleeing for your life." The brothers, who are both University of Alberta students, received logistical help from former MLA Thomas Lukaszuk.
  • Gateway Boulevard between University Avenue and 80 Avenue was reduced to two lanes on Aug. 18 for construction, which will last until 2023 before construction starts on the section between 80 Avenue and Whyte Avenue. The city thinks both sections will be done by fall 2023. In the meantime, cyclists can still use bike lanes on 106 Street and 76 Avenue.
  • A plaque celebrating Laurent Garneau — a Métis entrepreneur and important historical figure who lent his name to the neighbourhood — was stolen from Adair Park along Saskatchewan Drive.