Headlines: Dec. 7, 2022

  • A new report by University of Alberta researchers, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, and the advocacy group Radical Inclusion highlights accessibility issues with Edmonton transit and makes recommendations based on a series of five focus groups held between March and July. The report explores six areas of concern: the current transportation business model, willingness to learn, affordability, accessibility for people who are hard of hearing, staff training and competencies, and communication between staff and passengers. A summary of the report is available online. Paul Schmold, who serves on an accessibility action committee for Edmonton Transit Service, said the city is implementing accessibility improvements including audits of public infrastructure, staff training, and better real-time information and trip-booking features.
  • Justice Minister Tyler Shandro introduced the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, which would allow members of the Legislative Assembly Security Service to carry guns. Currently, there are armed sheriffs at the legislature, but most security officials are unarmed. "Providing these officers with the tools they need, including firearms, (would) protect all of those who occupy this building," Shandro said. Security at the legislature underwent a review following the shooting on Parliament Hill in 2014 and in 2019 following a suicide at the legislature. Shandro said last month that the change has been "a long time coming" and the issue of arming security guards has been "studied to death."
  • Chris Hancock, a stay-at-home dad, was recognized by the Edmonton Police Commission after he saved a man's life on the High Level Bridge while wearing his toddler on his back. Hancock's act of heroism involved holding onto the man, who had bypassed the suicide barrier, and calling for help until the Edmonton Police Service arrived. "I commend it," said Sgt. Curtis Hoople, who was impressed by how quickly Hancock acted. "He saved a life. It's as simple as that."
  • The Edmonton International Airport and Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) signed a memorandum of understanding that commits the parties to "common goals of growing the visitor economy, supporting the economic and cultural vitality of Indigenous communities and advancing reconciliation," according to a release. "Today's agreement with the Edmonton International Airport is an exciting opportunity for our organizations to enhance our ongoing work together to ensure that, when travellers first arrive in Treaty 6 Territory, they have a chance to experience and celebrate the Indigenous cultures found here in Alberta," said ITA CEO Shae Bird.
  • The Alberta government announced it is working to import five million bottles of children's pain medication amidst a nationwide shortage. For months, parents looking for children's Advil and Tylenol have been met with bare shelves, which Health Canada says is the result of an "unprecedented demand" as rates of respiratory illnesses soar. Premier Danielle Smith said the government is working with Health Canada to fast-track approvals for the shipment of medication from a Turkey-based pharmaceutical company. "What people need to know is that when their child gets sick, they have the medication available to them so they can treat the symptoms at home," Smith said.
  • The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has cleared an Edmonton police officer of wrongdoing following an investigation into a July 2020 incident in which a man died in a head-on collision on the Walterdale Bridge while fleeing police. "The (subject officer) discontinued his short pursuit and mitigated the risks it presented. As such, it cannot be said that the (subject officer) caused or contributed to the death or injury that resulted from the collision," reads ASIRT's decision.
  • Seven 7-Eleven locations in Alberta are expanding to offer dine-in seating and the ability to order beer, wine, seltzers, and coolers. Grand opening events for the newly licensed restaurants are scheduled for Dec. 9. Four of the locations are in Edmonton, at 8210 160 Ave., 6975 Ellerslie Rd., 1704 Mill Woods Rd., and 14110 127 St.