Headlines: Aug. 4, 2023

  • The province has withdrawn its support for a joint bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games, effectively cancelling the bid. Tourism Minister Joseph Schow cited costs and a potential burden on taxpayers. Edmonton, Calgary, the Enoch Cree Nation, and the Tsuut'ina Nation were among the partners on the bid. "As one of the 40 best sports cities in the world, we were truly excited to unite people worldwide in a celebration of sport and culture, advance reconciliation with our Indigenous partners and create infrastructure and program legacies for future generations," Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said in response to the decision, thanking Schow for notifying him as soon as the decision was made.
  • The Edmonton Downtown Business Association has officially launched a pilot project called Night Patrol, which began in January. The program deploys two teams of security guards from Backwoods Security, which is owned by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, and peer support workers from Hiregood, a social enterprise run by Boyle Street Community Services. The teams patrol downtown every day from 12:30am to 8:30am to try to prevent break-ins and vandalism, connect people to resources, and de-escalate dangerous situations, calling law enforcement if appropriate. Crime prevention is not part of the business association's mandate, but "exceptional times call for exceptional measures," said executive director Puneeta McBryan. The pilot is funded through the city's Downtown Vibrancy Fund.
  • Coun. Aaron Paquette made a long post on the Edmonton sub-Reddit to explain what the city is doing to address safety, a frequent topic of discussion on the website. "It is likely that most people will have never heard of the steps and the investments the City has made regarding this issue," wrote Paquette. "The following may help bring folks up to speed."
  • The Edmonton Oilers have hired Jeff Jackson, a former player agent who represented Connor McDavid among others, as the new CEO of hockey operations. He will oversee all aspects of the organization's NHL, AHL, and WHL teams and report directly to Daryl Katz, the Oilers said.
  • Edmonton's Clean Energy Improvement Program pilot is reopening on Aug. 22, allowing 52 more homes to get low-cost financing for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy upgrades. Informational webinars will be held on Aug. 9 and 10.
  • The province directed the Alberta Utilities Commission to pause approvals of large renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, geothermal plants, and hydroelectric generators, until Feb. 29, 2024. It also told the AUC to hold an inquiry on agricultural land use and reclamation concerns raised by landowners and municipalities. Rural Municipalities Alberta, which represents 64 rural municipalities, welcomed the move to take local concerns into account, while environmental groups were swift to condemn the moratorium.