- The city is supporting a series of events in February to celebrate Black History Month, including the annual AfroQuiz hosted by the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage, the Feed the Soul dining week event, and a free mental health workshop hosted by Black Literacy Code. A complete list of events is available online.
- Edmonton Public School Board trustees received a report updating them on measures that are saving the division money and directing spending to classrooms, which was requested by chair Trisha Estabrooks in November. The report found that solar arrays installed on many schools will save the division an estimated $650,000 and offset about 7.5% of its electricity consumption. Cost savings also came from sharing bus routes with Edmonton Catholic Schools and implementing an electronic ordering system for print services.
- Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and Coun. Ashley Salvador both spoke in support of heightened restrictions around the handling and sale of oleoresin capsicum (OC) sprays, which Edmonton police proposed at a community and public services committee meeting on Feb. 7. Criminal defence lawyer Zack Elias disagreed, suggesting the rules could be used to target unhoused Edmontonians who use OC sprays for protection. He also accused the Edmonton Police Service of inflating its data by reporting the number of times OC sprays were encountered rather than how often they were used as a weapon or their use led to charges. OC sprays, including pepper spray, bear spray, and dog spray, are all illegal to use against humans under Canadian law.
- The 2023 Broker Panel hosted by NAIOP Edmonton on Feb. 8 drew together real estate industry stakeholders looking for ways to improve the state of downtown Edmonton, which has an office vacancy rate of 23% and a variety of safety issues on top of regular inflationary pressures. "It's easy for us to get into that echo chamber thinking that this is just our problem," said Mark Anderson, vice president of CBRE Edmonton, stressing the issues are not unique to Edmonton. He also hinted at an upcoming announcement by a company that plans to move its head office to Edmonton and occupy 42,000 square feet of office space.
- Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley promised to pick up the party's plan to build a hospital near Ellerslie Road and 127 Street if her party is elected in the spring, noting that south Edmonton has seen "some of the fastest population growth in the country." The NDP announced the facility in 2017 with plans to open it by 2026, but the project was delayed and scaled down after the UCP was elected in 2019. Provincial representatives said the details about budget and completion dates for the hospital are still being finalized and that contracting and survey work is ongoing.
- The Edmonton Valley Zoo is celebrating Valentine's Day by letting people name a mealworm or rodent after their ex and watch it be fed to a mob of meerkats. Taking part in the Dump Your Ex & Adopt an Animal Campaign requires a donation of at least $5, with all proceeds going to the zoo.
- The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is partnering with the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation to launch a Mega 50/50 raffle to support the Ben Stelter Fund, which was created to honour a young Oilers fan who died of an aggressive glioblastoma brain tumour on Aug. 9.
Headlines: Feb. 9, 2023
By Kevin Holowack