- Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued an extreme heat warning for Edmonton and surrounding areas for May 3 and 4, with afternoon highs expected to reach 27-30°C. Residents are advised to consider rescheduling outdoor activities, take frequent breaks from the heat, stay hydrated, and to never leave children and pets inside closed vehicles for any amount of time.
- Edmonton Fire Rescue Services has issued a fire ban for the city effective May 2 prohibiting open burning, fireworks, backyard fire pits and cooking stoves, and BBQs that use wood or briquettes. David Lazenby, acting fire chief, said there is a heightened fire risk in natural areas this time of year and emphasized that carelessly discarded smoking materials can have "an especially devastating effect during these dry and windy conditions." The ban will remain in place until further notice.
- Crews continue to fight a pair of wildfires west of Edmonton that began to grow rapidly due to unseasonably warm temperatures on April 29. However, evacuation orders have been lifted for Evansburg, Entwistle, and parts of Parkland County, allowing hundreds of residents to return home. Highway 16 has also reopened to motorists. An evacuation order remains in place for Wildwood. The wildfire northwest of Evansburg, which is around 2,400 hectares, and the one southeast of Entwistle, which has burned 330 hectares, both continue to burn out of control.
- Transit peace officers have given out many more tickets and warnings for fare evasion in the first few months of 2023 compared to the previous four years, especially on the LRT system. Between January and March of this year, officers handed out 157 tickets and 2,798 warnings, compared to 17 and 92 during the same period in 2019. Steve Bradshaw, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, told CBC the drastic increase is part of a deliberate effort by the city to address safety and social disorder. Nearly 60% of tickets went to people who are homeless or who provided no fixed address. Coun. Ashley Salvador said fining homeless people for fare evasion is "absolutely concerning" and intends to question administration about the issue in mid-May. Erick Ambtman, executive director of EndPovertyEdmonton and chair of the Edmonton Police Commission, said people who don't appear in court to pay a ticket can be subject to a warrant, which can lead to an arrest the next time they interact with police. "It ties up that officer's time. It ties up the justice system's time," said Ambtman.
- Edmonton has had the second-highest number of police-involved deaths in the country, behind Toronto, according to Tracking (In)Justice, a live database of police-involved deaths created by independent academics to build on CBC's Deadly Force database. According to Tracking (In)Justice, 39 people have died as a result of use of force by EPS officers since 2000, compared to 38 in Montreal and 29 in Vancouver and Calgary. It also shows that the number of police-involved deaths in Alberta increased far more than other provinces over the past 22 years. In communications with CBC, the Edmonton Police Service cast doubt on the reliability of the data, but lead researcher Alexander McClelland said he is "100% confident" in the numbers in the database, which represent a "minimum number" of police-involved deaths.
- City council is expected to decide on May 16 whether to renew funding for Boyle Street Community Services and the Bissell Centre for a cost of $4.08 million. The city funded both day-use shelter operators for the past two years, but the funding agreement for Boyle Street expired on April 30 and the Bissell Centre's funding will end on May 30. Without renewed funding, both will need to reduce operating hours. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi told reporters that not funding the services will create worsened social disorder next winter.
- The Edmonton Oilers have made its outdoor playoffs watch parties open to adults only following several chaotic incidents during the April 29 game. Fans who want to attend one of the outdoor watch parties in the Ice District will now need to show ID to enter, will receive a wristband, and won't be allowed to re-enter once they leave. A family friendly watch party will be hosted at Churchill Square, where there will be no alcohol sales.
- Fans who travelled to Las Vegas for the NHL second round playoffs series between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vegas Golden Knights had their travel plans disrupted after Game 2 was rescheduled for May 6 rather than May 5. One man who travelled to Las Vegas for the pair of away games told CTV News changing his flights and hotel plans will cost him up to $1,400. The first four games of the series are now set for May 3, 6, 8, and 10.
- The Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition is calling on the city to stop work on the Hawrelak Park Rehabilitation Project to allow for consultation with Indigenous communities and shift the project's approach. The coalition is also concerned about damage to trees after a report showed 741 trees could be at risk. The city has also estimated that 197 trees may have to be removed to accommodate rehabilitation work. "This project presented such an opportunity for a rethinking of the entire park to make it a model in sustainability and reconciliation," Kristine Kowalchuk, with the coalition, told councillors during a committee meeting May 2. Due to time constraints, further discussion on the issue is scheduled for June 1.
- Rescue crews responded to the river valley just before 8am on May 2 after a cyclist fell in the river. The cyclist, who was taken to hospital with unknown injuries, had gone over an embankment alongside a bike path and fell 14 metres to the water.
Headlines: May 3, 2023
By Kevin Holowack and Mariam Ibrahim