Headlines: March 3, 2023

  • The 2023 provincial budget, tabled Feb. 28, includes funding for three Edmonton-area school projects out of a total of 58 projects across Alberta, of which only 13 are complete builds while the others are "design," "planning," or "pre-planning" funds. Trisha Estabrooks, chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, noted one of the Edmonton projects is in "pre-planning" and has no dollar amount attached to it. A new grade 7-12 school in Glenridding Heights, which was the EPSB's top infrastructure request, is set to receive design funding, but not construction funding. The province has, however, committed to funding the construction of a new public school in the southwest Edgemont neighbourhood.
  • Edmonton's commercial real estate sector continues to face challenges related to high interest rates and hybrid work, according to CBRE's latest Canada Real Estate Market Outlook. Dave Young, an executive vice-president and director with CBRE, wrote that parts of Edmonton's downtown are seeing more activity, the suburban office market is recovering, and demand outpaced supply in the industrial market in 2022. Young also spoke to Global News about what CBRE's projections could mean for downtown revitalization.
  • The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), which in 2022 published a report detailing the crisis in Alberta's non-profit sector and called on the province to provide $30 million in emergency relief, says the 2023 provincial budget does not address its requests despite a $2.4-billion surplus. Alexa Briggs, director of policy and research, said CCVO and its partners will spend the next few months promoting election platform priorities to support non-profits, which they will release in mid-March.
  • The province issued a release about the 2023 provincial budget's investments in highways and bridges, which includes funding for ring roads in Edmonton and Calgary, and twinning and rail grade separation for Highway 60, which is an important north-south highway just west of Edmonton. The budget also earmarks $22 million to relocate a notoriously dangerous intersection at Highway 16A and Range Road 20, which has been the site of 39 collisions since 2019, further to the east.
  • DiveThru, a therapy clinic founded by a mental wellness company of the same name, has opened just south of Whyte Avenue at 10155 81 Avenue NW. CEO Sophie Gray says the clinic, with its colourful and non-clinical interior, focuses on creating a welcoming space that breaks stigmas around mental health. Last November, Gray spoke to Taproot about how DiveThru, which started as a journaling app, transitioned to offering in-person therapy.
  • The Edmonton Oilers announced they acquired forward Nick Bjugstad in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. The Oilers also received defenceman Cam Dineen. In exchange, the Coyotes received defenceman Michael Kesselring and a third round 2023 draft pick.
  • Nordstrom Inc. will shutter its Canadian operations, closing all 13 of its stores across the country, including its Nordstrom Rack location in South Edmonton Common. About 2,500 people will lose their jobs as a result of the closures. The company said in court filings its Canadian business has lost money every year since entering the market in 2014.