Headlines: Oct. 19, 2022

· The Pulse
  • Organized crime groups in Edmonton are increasingly using firearms, but shootings are generally targeted, according to Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart, who leads the gang suppression unit and the firearms unit of the Edmonton Police Service. So far, 2022 is following a trend similar to that seen in 2021, with 127 shootings recorded as of Oct. 16 and 84% believed to be targeted. The police have been expanding their firearms investigation unit to speed up gun-related court proceedings, but Marta-Marika Urbanik with the Centre for Criminological Research at the University of Alberta told CBC she would prefer to see resources invested in keeping people away from gang life. "We know that preventing crime is much cheaper and much more beneficial to our society than responding to it through policing and burdening our justice system, which is both expensive and onerous," she said.
  • Connections & Exchanges: A 10-Year Plan to Transform Arts and Heritage in Edmonton earned an award at the Creative City Summit in Waterloo, ON. The document, released in 2018, was called a "shining star model" by the jury. "With all the challenges of today, some may ask why we continue to prioritize efforts like this," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi after announcing the award. "First of all, it drives economic growth. Every year, the arts brings millions of dollars into our local economy and many hundreds of quality jobs."
  • The Edmonton South Soccer Centre celebrated the completion of a six-year expansion project, which has doubled the facility's space for concrete sports like ball hockey, roller hockey, and lacrosse. The $30.1-million expansion, largely funded by the city, includes new hard surface and artificial turf fields, eight accessible locker rooms, space for 450 spectators and players, and an accessible lift to the second floor. Adrian Newman, CEO of the Edmonton Soccer Association, said the space will be used seven days a week year-round, and leagues have already booked up prime hours to the end of March.
  • Housing starts in both Edmonton and Calgary have increased by about 20% since the start of 2022, according to the latest Housing Supply Report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi joined CBC's Edmonton AM to talk about his first year in office, addressing issues such as downtown safety, the police budget, and delays in transit construction.
  • The UCP constituency association for the riding of Edmonton-West Henday put forward a draft resolution (see p. 21) that aims to ban teachers from teaching anti-racist concepts like "critical race theory, intersectionality, anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion," which the authors think are "ideological." Bridget Stirling, a former Edmonton Public School Board trustee, said the policy would make teachers afraid to discuss key historical and current events. UCP party members will vote on this resolution and others on Oct. 22, but there are further steps before a resolution becomes policy.