- The 2023 provincial budget put $3 million toward planning work to explore the renovation or replacement of the Edmonton Law Courts building, which was disrupted multi-day power outage on Jan. 3, prompting calls for a new courthouse. The province has funded a business case, due back in October, to recommend future options. The budget also puts $1 million toward examining the need for a new Sherwood Park courthouse.
- After pet ownership boomed during the pandemic, many Edmontonians have abandoned pets or surrendered them to shelters. Sgt. Brianne Grey with the Animal Care & Control Centre said one ongoing issue is people surrendering their pets while claiming the animal is a stray, which can earn you a ticket for providing misleading information to an officer. Shelters across the province are operating above capacity, said Grey.
- Edmonton police have charged Peter Wolf, a correctional program officer at the Edmonton Institution for Women, with sexual assault, unlawful confinement, and breach of trust after an inmate said she was forcibly detained and sexually abused in 2022. The charges prompted the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, a collection of organizations that work with women and gender-diverse people impacted by the justice system, to call on Correctional Service of Canada and the federal government to "finally address this persistent systemic issue." Wolf's first court appearance is set for April 11.
- pipikwan pêhtâkwan, an Indigenous-led public relations firm, has successfully adopted the four-day work week. Since 2021, the firm's 25 staff have worked about 33 hours per week in a remote setting. "I just see more collaboration, more teamwork and actually more investment in the company," founder Shani Gwin told CBC's Edmonton AM, explaining that productivity was unaffected and staff have been more determined and supportive.
- Volunteers from the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), the McDougall United Church, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society and Human Concern International gathered to cook chili in the church's kitchen and hand out warm food and hygiene kits to vulnerable Edmontonians on March 5. The McDougall United Church and MAC have had a partnership for years that involves sharing prayer space and collaborating on community projects.
- Mayor Amarjeet Sohi appeared on Global News Morning's monthly Civic Matters segment to discuss the provincial budget and his upcoming meeting with Premier Danielle Smith. While Sohi said the 2023 budget was overall better than the last one, he remains concerned the provincial government "is not fully grasping the challenges" Edmontonians are experiencing when it comes to mental health, addictions and homelessness.
- The city has temporarily renamed 104 Avenue JUNO Way in celebration of the 2023 JUNO Awards, which are scheduled for March 13 at Rogers Place. The awards will be hosted by Canadian actor Simu Liu for the second year in a row.
- WestJet says its summer schedule will increase seat capacity to and from Edmonton by 44%. During peak frequency, the company will offer 11 flights per week from the Edmonton International Airport to Las Vegas, seven per week to Los Angeles, 35 per week to Kelowna, and 20 per week to Winnipeg.
- Budget airline Swoop is introducing new flights from the Edmonton International Airport to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos this summer. The routes will run twice a week at peak frequency and have a "lowest one-way total price" of $139 and $119 before taxes, according to a release.
- The 2023 Canadian Team Trials, run by Wrestling Canada Lutte, will be hosted in Edmonton from Dec. 15-17. Athletes will compete to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in the events of freestyle wrestling, women's wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. The event will happen at the Saville Community Sports Centre at the University of Alberta.
Headlines: March 7, 2023
By Kevin Holowack