Headlines: Oct. 20, 2023

· The Pulse
  • The Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association says it supports Coun. Michael Janz's proposal for stricter regulations on short-term rentals like those offered through Airbnb and VRBO. The association says home-sharing depletes the long-term affordable housing stock and lead to so-called ghost hotels that avoid business costs and strain municipal services. Short-term rentals reduce housing supply in the midst of a housing crisis and contribute to higher rents, argues Janz, who wants council to amend the Business License Bylaw to restrict short-term rentals from operating more than 90 days a year and require owners to remain on site during guest stays. Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver recently implemented similar measures.
  • The temperature in Edmonton reached 20°C on Oct. 19, making 2023 the third year in Edmonton's history to have more than 120 days with afternoon highs in the 20s. The other two years were 1897 and 1898. Only two years since 1900 have come close to the record: 1949 and 2022 both had more than 115 days of temperatures 20°C or warmer.
  • CWB Financial Group announced it is moving its national headquarters to Manulife Place. The bank says it chose the new location after ICE District Properties decided not to proceed with plans for a 16-storey commercial building next to the ICE District Plaza, which would have included space for CWB's new headquarters. ICE District Properties' decision "reflects the challenging macroeconomic landscape, which includes higher vacancy rates in downtown locations, compounded by the impacts of rising interest rates and construction cost inflation," CWB said.
  • CBD CBN ("Catering By Day, Catering By Night"), a new restaurant in downtown Edmonton, is now serving cannabis-infused food and drink on an invitation-only basis as part of a partnership with Token Naturals. Co-owners Stacey Mison and James Mulholland are the first entrepreneurs to receive a Health Canada-approved research kitchen licence, and said they hope their restaurant is a step toward creating more cannabis business opportunities in Edmonton. In recent years, local business groups and officials have explored the possibility of making Edmonton a cannabis tourist destination.
  • A Court of King's Bench justice has dismissed a challenge launched in 2022 by Prabjot Singh Wirring, an Edmonton law student, against the Alberta government and the Law Society of Alberta. The case centred on whether swearing an oath to Queen Elizabeth II, which all Alberta lawyers are required to do, is a contradiction of Wirring's religious beliefs as an Amritdhari Sikh. Justice Barbara Johnston wrote in her decision that the oath is "properly characterized as an oath to uphold and maintain the rule of law and the Canadian constitutional system" and "not to the Queen as a political or religious entity."
  • Mike Craig, an NHL facilities director, spoke to CTV News about creating and maintaining ice for the outdoor Heritage Classic game on Oct. 29. The process takes about a week and a half and involves 20,000 gallons of water sprayed periodically to build up a two-inch ice surface, which has to be kept cold.