- The Alberta government is deploying 12 sheriffs to Edmonton to work with Edmonton Police Service officers and the Healthy Streets Operations Centre in Chinatown as part of a 15-week pilot program set to begin late February, which the government said in a release will "help deter and respond to crime and social disorder." The provincial sheriffs are being reassigned from regular duties to allow police to increase patrols in inner-city neighbourhoods, including Boyle Street and McCauley, with coverage 22 hours a day, seven days a week. The program comes from the Edmonton Public Safety and Community Response Task Force, which the province created in December 2022. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he welcomes the additional resources but added it doesn't do enough to address root causes of social disorder and reiterated calls for the province to increase support for mental health, addictions and homelessness, which fall under provincial jurisdiction.
- Richard Sutton, a leading AI researcher and professor at the University of Alberta, said he is considering launching an Alberta-based venture, which could be a non-profit, start-up, or open-source research organization. Sutton was formerly employed by DeepMind, the London-based AI organization owned by Google that recently announced it was closing its Edmonton hub.
- Former Alberta premier Jason Kenney got a new job as senior advisor with Bennett Jones, the Calgary law firm that also employed Peter Lougheed after he served as premier from 1971-1985. Kenney will be a member of the firm's Public Policy Group but said his work will not include lobbying the province or provincial entities. Meanwhile, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's former chief medical officer of health, signed a six-month contract to work as British Columbia's deputy provincial health officer.
- Six Edmonton-area bands were nominated for eight awards at the Junos, scheduled for March 13 at Rogers Place. The bands include the Celtic-inspired band The McDades, the rock group Rare Americans, and Altameda, whose release Born Losers is up for Adult Alternative Album. The Bearhead Sisters and Cikwes were among the artists nominated for Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year.
- Edmonton-based skincare company ēcōMD, which launched in 2020 during the pandemic, will have some of its products included in gift bags at the 65th Grammy Awards. The bags are given to performers and presenters. "We are excited to hopefully put Edmonton on the map for awesomeness in the personal care field," said brand director Raheela Gangji.
- Connor McDavid is sitting at 92 points in 50 games played so far this season, which puts him ahead of all other NHL players. He has made 41 goals, three below his career-high number from last season. "You almost become numb to the great things that he does because he just does it every day," said Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft. "You don't appreciate the magnificence that you're seeing."
- The province increased funding for low incidence disability supports and services in schools by $3 million, which will allow schools to hire professionals and buy equipment for students who have visual or hearing impairments, or complex communications needs. Kelly Baldock, president of the Edmonton district for the Alberta Society for the Visually Impaired, welcomed the additional funding but said the province needs a long-term solution to ensure students are supported.
- Alberta received a grade of A- on the Red Tape Report Card issued by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The provincial government has reduced red tape by more than 27% since 2019, according to Dale Nally, Minister of Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction.
Headlines: Feb. 2, 2023
By Kevin Holowack