- Edmonton and Calgary are considering a joint bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games. Commonwealth Sport Canada has endorsed the Alberta 2030 group exploring the possibility, which includes the cities' mayors, business and sports leaders, and the chief of Tsuut'ina Nation. If successful, the games would be held in the two cities and communities across Alberta for 11 days in August 2030. The bid's cost has not been announced, but Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said council has allocated $1 million to explore the idea, adding to the $3 million committed by Calgary and the province. Hamilton, Ontario, which was considered the front-runner to host, was unable to secure government funding in time, but had proposed an operating budget for the games of $1 billion. Edmonton last hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1978, and the last Canadian host city was Victoria in 1994.
- Finance Minister Travis Toews spoke to an Edmonton Chamber of Commerce audience for nearly an hour on March 7 to promote the 2023 budget and relieve concerns about the proposed Alberta Fund, which the province says will use surplus money to pay off debt, make additional deposits in the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, and to pay for one-time expenses. He later told reporters there will be "no surprises" and that the budget released Feb. 28 represents the government's full fiscal plan. The Opposition NDP has called the Alberta Fund a "slush fund" and suggested the UCP might use it make promises and buy votes ahead of the May election. Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Alex Hryciw said its members are "cautiously optimistic" about the fund and that the budget addressed many of the items they advocated for.
- Edmonton Public Schools are experiencing growing class sizes, according to new numbers released at a March 7 board meeting. The largest growth is in Grades 4 to 9, where the average class size is from 23-26 students, while 37% of core subject classes in Grades 10-12 have between 31-35 students. Board chair Trisha Estabrooks said the numbers reflect the "story of a growing division." She added that the 2023 provincial budget includes full funding for the construction of a new K-9 school in Edgemont but not for four other new schools the board requested. The school board expects another 4,200 students to enter school across the division when the next academic year starts.
- Five Edmonton organizations are receiving funding through the city's Anti-Racism Community Safety Fund (ARCSF), a one-time program designed to support initiatives that promote anti-racist approaches to community safety. A total of $1.174 million will be shared by the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, the Alberta Workers Association for Research and Education, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, and the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. The ARCSF received 55 applications.
- An Edmonton woman who brought her dog for veterinary treatment found out it had ingested methamphetamine, opioids, and THC at an off-leash dog area near 109 Avenue and 121 Street. Const. Ted Dyck with the Edmonton Police Service said drug poisonings in pets happen frequently, usually because the animal got into their owner's drugs, but is not a major issue in parks.
- Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane is expected to return to the game soon after a protracted absence due to a rib injury, which came shortly after Kane recovered from a separate wrist injury. Kane has played just 24 games so far this season.
- The Alberta NDP have promised to provide universal access to free prescription birth control if elected in May. Leader Rachel Notley said the program would be modelled after British Columbia, which on April 1 will become the first province in Canada to fund free contraceptives for residents. The NDP says their program would include coverage for birth control pills, IUDs, and Plan B. According to Health Minister Jason Copping, there is "significant access" to birth control through insurance and Alberta Health Services, so the UCP is not considering a similar program.
Headlines: March 9, 2023
By Kevin Holowack