Headlines: Sept. 11, 2023

· The Pulse
  • The city's emergency reception centre for wildfire evacuees is relocating on Sept. 11 from the EXPO Centre to the Clareview Community Recreation Centre. The city said there has been a smaller demand for services since officials lifted the evacuation order for Yellowknife last week. Since it opened on Aug. 18, the centre has registered 7,497 evacuees and 1,314 pets. While animal care will not be offered at the new reception centre, the city said evacuees can pick up pet supplies such as food and litter if needed.
  • The federal government and the City of Edmonton released details of a new project receiving $12.5 million in funding through the Rapid Housing Initiative City Stream. The supportive housing construction project will provide housing, including 12 barrier-free units, for at least 63 people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness. The city will lead the construction in partnership with Homeward Trust. The project has also received $3.99 million from the Alberta government's Affordable Housing Partnership Program and $11.9 million from the city.
  • Students and staff at Greenfield School in southwest Edmonton may have been exposed to asbestos during construction to fix a burst pipe in early May. Edmonton Public Schools informed families about the potential exposure in a Sept. 6 letter following an investigation by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. Testing showed low levels of asbestos in the school's drywall, and mitigation efforts are underway, including completing repairs in the evenings or weekends when students aren't on site. The division is working with an external investigator and advised families to seek further health information from medical professionals.
  • The Edmonton Police Service has partnered with Radius Community Health and Healing on the recently opened Integrated Care Centre, which provides intoxicated people in police custody a space to access health, addiction, and social supports. In a post on LinkedIn, police Chief Dale McFee said the centre is part of efforts to target violence, drug use, and social disorder in the city. He also said there would be more information this week, including "new justice initiatives" from the provincial government to support police efforts to "keep violent people in the justice system." A news conference with McFee, the provincial justice minister, the provincial public safety minister, and Mayor Amarjeet Sohi is scheduled for 1pm on Sept. 11.
  • Housing prices in Edmonton are about 30% lower than prices in Calgary. The average resale price of a detached home in Calgary surpassed $700,000 in August, while in Edmonton it was around $492,000. The difference in markets was partly because Edmonton had a larger housing supply to accommodate newcomers, said Ann-Marie Lurie with the Alberta Real Estate Association. "What happened in Edmonton is that they never had the same supply shortages Calgary did," she said. According to government data, Calgary's population growth from July 2021 to July 2022 was 3.1%, while Edmonton's was 2.4%.
  • Crawford Plains School unveiled two buddy benches to honour three students who have died in the past year. One of the benches is engraved with the name Jayden, a student who, along with his mother, was killed outside the school in May. The second bench is engraved with the names of two students who were best friends, Karter and Lucas. "I'm so, so proud of the students at our school," said former principal Lisa Nachtigal. "We've gone through some of the hardest things life has thrown at you, and they just kept showing up."
  • Meta's blocking of Canadian news on its social media sites has created challenges for student news outlets, which rely on the platforms to connect with their audiences. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, began blocking news in Canada on its platforms in early August in response to the federal Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18. The legislation requires tech companies to compensate news outlets for stories posted to their platforms. Amy St. Amand, editor-in-chief of the NAIT Nugget student newspaper, said their stories are being blocked despite not being included in the legislation as a student news outlet. "We're caught up in the crossfire," she said.
  • Edmonton-based company No Story Lost is offering free customized personal memoirs to Edmontonians who reach the age of 100. "Centenarians have lived through an entire century of change, and their wisdom and perspectives should not only be honoured, but also shared," company co-founder Jeremy Bryant said in a release. Families can apply for the memoir package on the No Story Lost website.
  • Longtime Edmonton news presenter Stacey Brotzel is moving to radio and will join Daryl McIntyre as co-host of This Morning on 630 CHED starting Sept. 25. Brotzel has been working in Edmonton for 26 years as a broadcaster, anchor and producer.
  • A proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched against Alberta Health Services alleging the health authority has denied overtime pay and rest periods to clinical assistants since 2016. Clinical assistants are foreign trained doctors who work under the supervision of doctors in Alberta. The statement of claim seeks $10 million in general damages, $85 million in special damages, and $10 million in punitive damages. An AHS spokesperson said the health authority has not yet filed a statement of defence.