Headlines: April 20, 2023

· The Pulse
By and
  • The city has scheduled two spring yard waste collection days for Edmontonians who receive curbside collection services. Collection is happening on Mondays from April 24 to June 19, but specific dates vary by area. You can check your dates by entering your address on the city's yard waste lookup tool or downloading the WasteWise app. The city's website provides more information about eligible items for collection and how to set out your bags.
  • Spring service changes to Edmonton Transit Service routes will take effect April 30. ETS adjusts its routes five time a year based on feedback, data, and seasonal ridership fluctuations. Changes include new on-demand transit stops in Glenridding Ravine and Edgemont, and the cancellation of Route 940X.
  • The province says it is partnering with the Edmonton Police Service to help address the addiction crisis by connecting more people to supports. According to a release, the 2023 provincial budget puts $17 million over three years toward various initiatives from the Edmonton Public Safety and Community Response Task Force, including adding health professionals to the downtown and northwest EPS divisions, doubling the number of Human-centred Engagement and Liaison Partnership (HELP) teams, and eight mental health therapists to support the 911 dispatch centre. The funding will also go toward hiring additional staff for the new Integrated Care Centre (ICC), which opened at police headquarters on March 29. EPS deputy chief Devin Laforce said the ICC plans to eventually provide wrap-around services to people who are detained for public intoxication. At least one advocate, Moms Stop the Harm co-founder Petra Schulz, has expressed concerns about the ICC.
  • The University of Alberta released an economic impact study showing the institution generates $19.4 billion a year for Alberta's economy, accounting for more than 5% of the province's GDP. Of the university's total economic contribution, 82% comes directly or indirectly from research and the "alumni education premium" based on higher earnings associated with more education. The study also found Alberta workers with degrees from the U of A earn higher salaries on average, with an economic impact of $4 billion from bachelor's degrees alone.
  • The Edmonton Public School Board voted in favour of recommendations from trustee Saadiq Sumar to advocate to the provincial and federal governments on issues concerning funding equity for displaced and refugee students. In November 2022, the province announced $12.3 million to support Ukrainian students fleeing Russia's invasion. A report to the board on April 18 said the funding does not apply to refugee students from other places or students whose refugee status has not been granted by Ottawa. "All children, regardless of their country of origin, deserve unencumbered access to a high quality public education," Sumar said.
  • The Old Strathcona Business Association has launched a grant program to help businesses in the area repair smashed windows. Affected businesses can apply for up to $2,500 in funding to repair windows damaged after Feb. 1, 2023. Applications for reimbursement are being accepted until Dec. 1, 2023 or until all available funds are paid out.
  • Federal public servants in Edmonton were among the 155,000 across Canada who went on strike on April 19 over stalled negotiations between the federal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Edmonton is home to around 4,000 federal employees, according to one strike captain who spoke to CTV News. The federal government has released details of how the strike may affect services.
  • The Gwich'in Tribal Council opened their first office space in Edmonton on April 15. Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik said the space will be a hub for beneficiaries of the Gwich'in land claim living in Alberta. Of the 3,500 people registered under the land claim, more than 60% live outside the Gwich'in Settlement Area communities of Inuvik, Aklavik, Fort McPherson, and Tsiigehtchic. The office will offer resources, computer access, and a gathering place for people to connect to their nation and culture.
  • Tim Shipton, vice president with Oilers Entertainment Group, released a statement asking fans not to throw things onto the ice at Rogers Place as the Edmonton Oilers continue their playoffs run. "Even though the vast majority of fans do not participate in this behaviour, everyone looks bad when it happens," wrote Shipton, referring to cups, containers, and other items that were tossed after the Oilers lost to the Los Angeles Kings on April 17, including a beverage that nearly hit Kings captain Anze Kopitar.