Headlines: Feb. 23, 2023

· The Pulse
  • The city is urging Edmontonians to prepare for extreme cold weather, which is expected to persist until Feb. 23 before temperatures warm up on Feb. 24 and into the weekend. Environment Canada has issued extreme cold warnings across Alberta as the temperatures present health risks such as frostbite or hypothermia. According to meteorologist Brian Proctor, long-range forecasts are predicting below-seasonal temperatures in March due to cold air from the North Pole and Siberia flowing into the province.
  • City council unanimously approved bylaw updates to expand the waste separation system for recycling and food scraps to apartments and condos. The system will be phased in from 2023 to 2027 and impact around 167,000 residences across 3,400 properties, which will get disposal bins for both types of waste. The city began implementing a curbside waste separation system for single-unit homes in 2021, which reduced landfill loads by about 30% by 2022, according to city reports.
  • City council also unanimously voted to spend $31 million on the 103A Avenue pedway between Churchill LRT Station and the Station Lands development, which is $4.5 million more than the cost administration previously provided for the contract. A council report said the increase is due to inflationary pressures and revised cost estimates. Councillors who spoke to Postmedia said they were not surprised by the increase, and Coun. Andrew Knack suggested administration is doing the "best they can" to manage capital project costs. On Jan. 31, council awarded the sole-source contract, which was originally priced at $26.5 million, to Ledcor to build the pedway.
  • The University of Alberta Faculty of Law has one of the lowest rates of Black law school students in Canada, with only four of the 547 students in the entry-level program identifying as Black, according to a new report by the Black Law Students' Association of Canada. Ubaka Ogbogu, a U of A law professor, told CBC News the statistics represent the school's failure to face the issue. Dean Barbara Billingsley indicated the school is trying to improve diversity through hiring, scholarships, and a review of the admissions process. The report found Black students are underrepresented at the majority of Canada's 24 law schools.
  • The cause of a power outage at the Edmonton Law Courts on Jan. 3 that required some court operations to relocate remains under investigation. Benji Smith, a press secretary for Alberta Infrastructure, said the exact cause of the outage hasn't been identified, but a permanent solution is in the works. The outage has renewed calls for a new court building.
  • The Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Alberta is organizing rallies across the province on Feb. 24 to mark one year since Russia invaded Ukraine and honour Ukraine's armed forces and millions of internally displaced persons. A candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place at the Alberta legislature at 6pm.
  • 630 CHED is changing its weekday lineup. Starting Feb. 27, J'lyn Nye will move to mornings and co-host This Morning with Daryl McIntyre from 5:30am to 9am, and Chelsea Bird will host Chelsea on CHED from 3pm to 6pm. A program director for Corus Radio said the change will help the station "further develop its impressive personalities and expose them to different audiences."
  • Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid surpassed the 800-point mark after getting two goals and an assist during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 21. It took McDavid 545 games to reach the milestone, making him the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to do so.
  • Alberta's tech and innovation sector drew $729 million in venture capital funding in 2022, a 30% increase over 2021, according to the 2022 annual report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Edmonton ranked seventh among Canadian cities for number of deals, having attracted 18 deals worth $58 million. Calgary ranked fourth with 64 deals worth $647 million.
  • The province has created the Recovery Expert Advisory Panel, which is meant to provide ongoing advice to the Alberta government as it develops its recovery-oriented system of care for addictions and mental health. Lori Sigurdson, NDP Critic for Mental Health and Addictions, suggested UCP policies have contributed to the addictions and housing crises. "None of these problems will be addressed by another panel, the third one assembled by the UCP on this issue, and the fifth if you include the so-called public safety task forces," Sigurdson said in a statement.