Headlines: Nov. 1, 2022

· The Pulse
  • City council began budget deliberations on Oct. 31 with an overview of the capital budget and the results of the city's satisfaction survey. The operating budget is set for public release on Nov. 3 and the utility budget on Nov. 10; they will go before council on Nov. 14 and Nov. 25 respectively. Public hearings are set for Nov. 28 and 29, before council begins its budget debates on Dec. 1.
  • The city chose PCL Construction to complete part of the Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion from St. Albert Trail to 97 Street, which is the "most technically complex" part of the project. Changes will include removing major traffic signals, adding service roads, adding interchanges at 127 Street and 115 Street and straightening a curve between 121 Street and 107 Street to accommodate a future LRT bridge. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and end in 2027.
  • The city announced the recipients of this year's Anti-racism Grants Program, which launched in 2021. A total of $210,000 will be awarded to 12 recipients, selected from a pool of 30 eligible applicants. "This funding is empowering groups to create transformational change, and I hope to see more of these community-driven projects in the future," said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.
  • The city designated four buildings symbolic of "the early growth of Edmonton" and its connection to the river valley as Municipal Historic Resources. The Stone House and Summer Kitchen, which are on land leased by the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre Association, are stone buildings dating to around 1929, the Figg Residence is a house in Bonnie Doon built around 1914 and the Stein Residence is a house in Westmount built in 1912.
  • Duncan Kinney, the executive director of Progress Alberta, who was charged with mischief by the Edmonton Police Service on Oct. 14 in connection with the vandalism of a controversial statue outside a Ukrainian centre, released his first statement in response to the charges. Kinney said he intends to plead not guilty and said the arrest "appears to be an attempt by the EPS to silence and discredit a critic." He added that on the advice of his lawyer, he will not discuss any details of the case. In a statement, an EPS spokesperson said police took the extra step of consulting the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service before charging Kinney, who is due in provincial court on Nov. 10.
  • The board of directors for the Edmonton Metro Transit Services Commission, which represents eight municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, reviewed a proposed operating budget for the integrated regional bus transit service slated to launch in 2023. The budget, based on 13 proposed routes plus an express service to the Edmonton International Airport, predicts a cost of $29 million to the municipalities and $4 million in revenues though fares and marketing. "With the input that each representative brought forward today from their community, we are now one meeting away from taking the commission from vision to reality," said chair Wes Brodhead.
  • John Day and Rob Seidel, who co-chair MacEwan University's capital fundraising campaign, have a lot to say about the school's "next chapter", central to which are its plans to play a key role in downtown revitalization by constructing a new seven-storey building to consolidate its downtown campus and increasing enrolment 60% by 2030. "The enhanced campus will be a powerful magnet for people whose knowledge, talents, and creativity will help fuel revitalization where it is needed most," wrote Day and Seidel.