Headlines: Feb. 24, 2023

  • City council voted 7-6 to phase out a tax subclass that charged a 15% premium to landlords who own rental buildings with four or more units. The difference will be recuperated by raising taxes for other homeowners, who will pay 0.3% more each year starting in 2024. Administration said that while the savings will likely not be passed on to renters, the move could incentivize the construction of multi-unit rental homes and increase rental supply. Coun. Anne Stevenson said the change fits with the city's density goals and will create more multi-family housing. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, who voted against the proposal, said he was hesitant to "give a $13-million tax break to developers" without seeing how it would benefit renters.
  • The Harcourt House Artist Run Centre in Oliver, which has provided affordable studio and gallery space to artists for 34 years, is facing closure unless it can raise $3.5 million to buy the two buildings. Last year, the Where Edmonton Community Artists Network (W.E.C.A.N.) Society, the non-profit that runs the space, reached an agreement with its landlord, Alberta Infrastructure, to extend the lease until Nov. 30, 2023 to raise the funds. Board president Edmund Haakonson said raising the money is "much more doable" than it might sound. Harcourt House is accepting donations through GoFundMe.
  • The Edmonton Police Service will swap two downtown beat officers with the Calgary Police Service next month in an effort to share best practices. The exchanges, which were announced at a Calgary police commission meeting, are set to last for two shifts. Calgary police Staff Sgt. Lee Dunbar said Edmonton police had an interest in learning how officers in Calgary work with social agencies on issues such as addictions outreach.
  • The Edmonton Stingers, the local Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) team, were bought by three Edmonton businessmen — Reed Clarke, Tank Vander, and James Burns — operating as Stingers Entertainment Group. Clarke has been president of the Stingers since 2021. The deal makes the Stingers the sixth CEBL team to move to local ownership. The team's 2023 season starts with a back-to-back series against the newly formed Calgary Surge on May 27 and 28.
  • Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane missed his third straight game on Feb. 23 with no word on when he will return to the ice. Kane missed ten weeks earlier this season after his wrist was cut by a skate on Nov. 8. He returned Jan. 17 but is absent again due to what TSN insiders say is broken ribs, although it's unclear when the injury happened.