Headlines: Jan. 24, 2023

· The Pulse
  • The city declared a residential parking ban, which takes effect Jan. 24 at 7pm and will impact neighbourhoods for up to four weeks, depending on the weather. Parking will be restricted for 24-72 hours in affected areas, which will be notified 24 hours in advance, and vehicles that are not removed may be ticketed and towed at the owner's expense. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said administration needs to do better because snow and ice control has not been "living up to citizens' expectations." Mark Beare, the city's director of infrastructure operations, responded that his department operates on funding and guidance from council.
  • The prairies are expecting bitter cold due to an incoming low-pressure system. Environment Canada expects snow, icy rain, and poor driving conditions in Edmonton beginning Jan. 26, followed by a drastic temperature drop starting Jan. 27 and lasting into the weekend. The city is expected to hit -19°C with a nighttime low of -24°C.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi released a letter outlining Edmonton's submission to the 2023 provincial budget. The letter requests more funding for mental health and addictions and calls for "equitable treatment" with Calgary, which has around triple the number of permanently funded emergency shelter spaces. The submission also asks for support for economic revitalization, climate resilience, and infrastructure projects, including funding to renovate Commonwealth Stadium. A year ago, Sohi called the province's 2022 budget a "slap in the face" for Edmonton.
  • Edmonton students scored higher on provincial achievement tests than the Alberta average, but the results are still lower than before the pandemic. In the 2021-22 school year, 68.1% of students in the Edmonton Public Schools division scored the "acceptable standard" of 50% or higher on the tests, compared to the provincial average of 67.3% and Edmonton's three-year average before the pandemic, which was 76.1%. The percentage of students who achieved the "acceptable standard" on the 2021-2022 diploma exam was 73.8%, compared to the three-year, pre-pandemic average of 83.9%.
  • Furget Me Not, a volunteer-run no-kill cat and kitten rescue organization, is seeing an increase in abandoned pets. "It's definitely discouraging for us when nobody even tried to see if we had space or room," said founder and director Christine Koltun, adding the organization now has more than 40 young kittens compared to the five or six it would usually have this time of year. Furget Me Not is also struggling financially, having already spent 10% of its 2023 medical budget, and is accepting donations and support.
  • Timothy Caulfield and Marco Zenone, researchers at the University of Alberta Health Law Institute, published the results of a study into the "false balance" that is created when the media presents opposing views on whether COVID-19 vaccinations should be required by organ transplant recipients. The authors write that giving expert views an "equal platform" with opposing views that are often based on personal opinion or misinformation may "contribute to misperceptions about a consensus medical viewpoint and create controversy where none exists."
  • Alberta Health Services is launching a third-party review into the cause of a province-wide network outage on Jan. 23 that resulted in the postponement of some elective surgeries and lab work. The outage was resolved the same day beginning with emergency rooms and other critical patient care areas. "It is imperative that we understand what happened today so that it does not happen again," said Dr. John Cowell, the official administrator for AHS.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have won six straight games and hope to keep the streak going against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 25. Forward Zach Hyman was named the NHL's first "Star of the Week" after scoring four goals and five assists last week.