Headlines: May 16, 2023

· The Pulse
  • The city announced that it has selected 19 locations for temporary pop-up dog parks this season as part of a six-month pilot program. The parks will be open from mid-May to November, weather permitting, and located in areas considered underserved by existing off-leash areas. A report summarizing the city's first phase of public engagement found that 59.3% of respondents were somewhat or strongly supportive of having a pop-up dog park in their neighbourhood, while 35.7% were somewhat or strongly opposed. Residents can share feedback about visiting or living near a pop-up dog park through an online survey or an on-site paper survey at one of the park locations until Oct. 1. City council's community and public services committee voted in favour of the pilot project in January.
  • An expected shift from southeast to northwest winds may lead to "unpredictable wildfire behaviour" across the province, warned wildfire information officer Christie Tucker, even as temperatures are expected to fall somewhat in the coming week. Wildfire officer Josee St-Onge cautioned that Alberta's "peak burning period" is still ahead. On May 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Edmonton to meet with military personnel, who comprise about 300 of the 2,500 people battling wildfires in the province. About 26 of 90 active wildfires were considered out of control and more than 17,000 Albertans are currently displaced from their homes, down from about 30,000 people last week.
  • The Edmonton Elks reported a loss of $3.3 million in 2022, marking the fourth consecutive year in which the club ran a deficit. The Elks blamed the deficit primarily on lost revenues, including sponsorship revenues, and an absence of government assistance compared to 2021. Attendance at Elks games fell 9.2% in the past season, with an average of 23,787 fans per regular season game. "Despite these clear realities, we believe last season will end up being a bridge to brighter days," said Elks president and CEO Victor Cui, adding said that, despite the shortfall, the team made "strong progress behind the scenes" overhauling its football and business operations.
  • Punter, the mascot of the Edmonton Elks, is among the 18 mascots nominated to join the Mascot Hall of Fame, a museum in Indiana that celebrates the "world's most beloved mascots." If successful, Punter would be the first CFL mascot and the second Canadian mascot to join the institution. Fans can support Punter by voting on the Mascot Hall of Fame website until May 27. The inductees will be announced June 3.
  • Sports journalist Steven Sandor recounted the playoff performance of Edmonton Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner, who was pulled four times in his 12 playoffs starts and recorded a .883 playoff save percentage. "I needed to be better," Skinner said after the team's loss against the Vegas Golden Knights on May 14. "I got pulled countless times. It's hard to take this one on the chin, for sure."