Headlines: Nov. 24, 2023

· The Pulse
  • Edmonton Transit Service will adopt winter service changes starting Dec. 3, including increased service during off-peak hours along popular routes. The Route 73 bus will continue to run along the Valley Line Southeast LRT route until February to give riders time to transition, and Routes 52, 53, 54, 55, and 56 will see increased frequency on weekdays and weekends to address growing demand. ETS will release information about holiday seasonal service adjustments in mid-December.
  • CBC News published an explainer on why Edmonton is facing a potential 7.09% property tax increase in 2024, which would be the biggest increase in recent years. Enid Slack, a municipal governance expert at the University of Toronto, noted Edmonton isn't the only city facing a steep tax increase due to inflation, with Calgary and Saskatoon looking at proposed 7.8% and 7.1% increases respectively. Coun. Keren Tang said she's skeptical about Edmonton bringing the increase down to 5%, adding "we're just trying to stay above the water" in the current economic climate.
  • Josh Mayers, an Edmonton man who volunteered to fight in Ukraine, is believed to have been killed in a drone strike on Nov. 10 near Bakhmut. Mayers worked as a paramedic with Alberta Health Services for nearly 10 years, and before that was a paramedic in rural Alberta. He is survived by his wife Cathryn Unverricht. Global Affairs Canada says nine Canadians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia's invasion in 2022.
  • The Candora Society of Edmonton, which offers community-based programming in the Beverly area, is giving students work experience while helping those in need through its new Auntie Bev's Frozen Meals program. The program was launched over the summer and provides home-cooked meals as an alternative to frozen meals from grocery stores. The organization's employment preparation program runs twice a year and enrols about 40 students per semester.
  • The Edmonton Elks created a committee to review its ownership structure in the face of mounting losses and a difficult financial situation. The team had a $3.3-million operating loss in 2022, the fourth straight year it ran a deficit, and has announced it will close the upper bowl at Commonwealth Stadium next season. Interim president and CEO Rick LeLacheur said new investment is needed for the team to run beyond 2024. The club, which has been community-owned since 1949, has attracted interest from potential private investors, but LeLacheur told them they'll "just have to wait."
  • The province announced it is banning photo radar on ring roads in Edmonton and Calgary starting Dec. 1 and will work with municipalities and law enforcement to remove all "fishing hole" locations across Alberta. The province also extended the cap on new photo radar equipment, programs, or locations until Dec. 1, 2024, as it consults with municipalities. Edmonton and Calgary will have the option to redeploy photo radar units from ring roads to schools, playgrounds, construction zones, and other high-risk areas. Anthony Henday Drive currently has 22 photo radar sites.