- The UCP government tabled its 2023 provincial budget on Feb. 28, which reflects a forecasted surplus of $2.4 billion in 2023-2024, largely due to high oil prices, and will see spending grow by nearly 4%. Investments in Edmonton include funding for charter schools, one new public school in Glenridding Heights, various affordable housing programs, hospitals, the LRT system and ring roads, and a planned recovery-oriented addictions facility. The budget, which comes months before the anticipated May 29 provincial election, does not include funding for controversial items like a provincial pension plan, a provincial police force, or a program to subsidize oil and gas companies to clean up inactive wells. In her response, NDP Leader Rachel Notley called it a "fraudulent budget" that is "designed to buy votes."
- The Edmonton Police Service is reviewing the duty status of an officer who was caught on video repeatedly punching an 18-year-old man during an arrest in the parking lot of a McCauley apartment. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) is investigating the incident.
- Councillors Keren Tang and Andrew Knack tested a process of participatory budgeting in Edmonton by allocating $25,000 from their 2022 ward budgets, a small but meaningful sum, toward community-based projects that were brainstormed and voted on by the public. The councillors were inspired by the positive impact participatory budgeting has had in more than 7,000 cities around the world since it was first implemented in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989.
- The Edmonton Oilers made a pair of trades on Feb. 28, first announcing that winger Jesse Puljujarvi has been traded for Patrik Puistola from the Carolina Hurricanes. Puljujarvi, who was drafted by the Oilers in 2016 and since earned the nickname "Bison King," struggled during the 2022-23 season after reaching career highs the previous season. The Oilers also acquired defenceman Mattias Ekholm and a 2024 sixth-round draft pick from the Nashville Predators. In exchange, Nashville received defenceman Tyson Barrie, forward Reid Schaefer, a 2023 first-round draft pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick.
- As part of its 2023 provincial budget, the UCP government introduced a fiscal accountability plan that would require future provincial governments to table balanced budgets and limit spending increases. The plan would also create a policy of allocating surplus funds toward repaying provincial debt or investing in the newly created Alberta Fund. "The purpose of the Alberta Fund is to bring discipline to the use of the surplus," said Finance Minister Travis Toews.
Headlines: March 1, 2023
By Kevin Holowack