Headlines: Nov. 30, 2023

  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and several councillors expressed concern about bullying allegations against Coun. Jennifer Rice made by several of her former staffers. Sohi said his office brought concerns about Rice's behaviour to the integrity commissioner in October and plans to contact the commissioner again in light of the allegations reported by Postmedia earlier this week. The mayor also raised concerns about a lack of whistleblower protections for council assistants, whose only recourse for filing complaints is through the integrity commissioner, a process that reveals their identity. Rice has refused to take media questions since Postmedia's story was published.
  • The Edmonton Police Service has charged a 19-year-old man with three counts of manslaughter and three counts of negligence causing death in connection with the March shooting deaths of constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan. Dennis Okeymow is accused of trafficking a rifle used by 16-year-old Roman Shewchuk in the deaths of the constables and in a separate shooting of a Pizza Hut employee several days earlier. "It's heartbreaking that the trafficking of a firearm has led to multiple deaths and life-altering injuries," Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart said in a release.
  • CBC spoke to residents living near the former Domtar wood treatment plant in north Edmonton about their concerns over contaminated soil. The site caught the public eye in 2018 when more than 100 homeowners in the area received warnings about soil and groundwater contamination and again in 2021 when Alberta Environment began the most recent remediation efforts. The site is now slated for residential, parks, and public utility development, and Alberta Environment has signed off on its cleanup. Residents are waiting for the long-overdue results of an epidemiological study into cancer rates in the area that began in 2019.
  • Members of the Eritrean community rallied outside city hall on Nov. 29 to call on authorities to press charges in connection with an Eritrean festival that erupted in violence on Aug. 19. At the time, police read the rarely used Riot Act, more than 90 officers were involved in breaking up the fight, and the city revoked the festival's event permit. Police say no charges have been laid so far and the investigation is ongoing. Kibrom Mender, president of the Eritrean Canadian Community of Edmonton, wrote a letter to Mayor Amarjeet Sohi saying the decision to revoke the organization's permit was an infringement of Charter rights. Lambros Kiriakakos, chair of the Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations, said violence and protests at Eritrean events this summer were a "premeditated and coordinated attack" against the Eritrean community.
  • MacEwan University reappointed Craig Monk as provost and vice-president, academic, a position he has held since 2018. His new term officially starts July 1, 2024, and runs to 2030. Highlights of his tenure so far include leading the institution's transition to undergraduate university status and the creation of its bicameral governance structure.
  • Borealis Lights, a new drive-through Christmas display in St. Albert, is giving visitors a chance to see more than 800,000 lights, various displays, and a "holiday tunnel." The attraction opened in the Kinsmen RV Park on Nov. 17 and will be open daily until Jan. 7.
  • Edmonton Oilers players Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner, once heralded as teenage saviours for team, reflected on the paths their careers have taken in the NHL. With 822 games under his belt, Nugent-Hopkins is on track to play the most games of any other player in the team's history. Gagner, who fans have nicknamed 'Papa Oiler' following his recent double hip surgery, has returned to play for Edmonton for the third time in his career.