Headlines: Jan. 6, 2023

· The Pulse
  • Chinatown business owners who spoke to Global News were not yet optimistic about the area's future. Hon Leong of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative suggested the community is feeling a "sense of apathy" but added that city investments intended to revitalize the area and reduce crime could help improve sentiments. The 2023-2026 capital budget commits more than $10 million in infrastructure spending in Chinatown for improving alleys and lighting and reinstalling the Harbin Gate. The city has also put $5 million toward the Healthy Streets Operations Centre, which had its trial launch in October and is "showing promising early results," according to police.
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is doing winter swift water training on the North Saskatchewan River near Rundle Park from Jan. 3-20. The exercises are part of their training requirements and prepare them for rescue operations that are "among the highest risk activities for fire rescue personnel," according to a release.
  • The Edmonton Police Commission confirmed it has not followed through with its decision to request that the province start including information about race on driver's licenses and ID cards. Commissioners voted 5-3 to make the request in October 2022 but Matthew Barker, executive director of the commission, told CTV News they will "review the motion at a future meeting to clarify the intent." The next meeting is Jan. 19.
  • The city is looking for partners to share the costs of a direct bus service between the Edmonton International Airport and downtown, an idea introduced by Coun. Anne Stevenson after council decided during budget deliberations not to fund the service. Dan St. Pierre with Explore Edmonton said the organization supports the city implementing the service, which he said would attract visitors and events. David Cooper, a planner with the firm Leading Mobility, suggested the route is a "must-have for workers," who would be its true core ridership.
  • Edmonton's real estate market continued to cool over the holidays, according to the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, with total residential unit sales falling 22.1% in December compared to November. The average Edmonton-area home sale price in December was $361,172, 1.9% lower than November.
  • City crews will begin the curbside collection of Christmas trees on Jan. 9. Trees must be set outside by 7am. The service will last until Feb. 10, depending on the weather. Natural trees can also be dropped off at a recycling depot in January or at an Eco Station any time of year.
  • The Pfizer bivalent vaccine booster, which protects against the most prevalent COVID-19 subvariants of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, is now available for children aged five to 11. Vaccine appointments at Alberta Health Services clinics and participating pharmacies can be booked online.
  • The province is accepting applications from Albertans to nominate "remarkable citizens, leaders, and innovators" to join the Alberta Order of Excellence. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 15 for the person to be honoured in 2023. Up to 10 people will be inducted into the Order this year.