Headlines: Feb. 23, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The City of Edmonton and TransEd will conduct a simulated emergency at the Mill Woods Stop on the Valley Line Southeast starting at 11am on Feb. 23. Regular service will continue at the south platform, and no other stops will be affected. The city asks anyone using the Mill Woods Stop to follow the direction of emergency services. The simulation is expected to take two hours, and could impact traffic around the LRT stop.
  • The Edmonton Police Service responded to a fight between a man and a GardaWorld security guard at a downtown parkade early on Feb. 20. Police said they found the security guard in medical distress. He was pronounced dead in hospital. On Feb. 22, police said a 30-year-old man was taken into custody "in relation to breaking into vehicles," but detectives are still investigating what led to the security guard's death. The incident, along with the Jan. 23 shooting at city hall, have raised concerns about the safety of security guards. Criminologist Dan Jones said security guards are taking on risky work for low compensation, and lack the tools to do what is expected of them.
  • Edmonton's $1-million homes are larger on average than $1-million homes in other Canadian cities, according to a new report from Royal LePage. Edmonton homes in the million-dollar range have an average of 3.3 bedrooms, 2.9 bathrooms and 2,675 square feet, compared to the national average of 3.2, bedrooms, 2.1 bathrooms, and 1,760 square feet. "Depending on the market that you are shopping in, a $1-million home can mean something very different," said Karen Yolevski with Royal LePage.
  • Statistics Canada's labour force survey found Edmonton's working-age population, meaning people aged 15-64, grew faster than any other major Canadian city over the past year. Edmonton's chief corporate economist Felicia Mutheardy said the city's economic forecast shows net population growth in 2023 was 4.7% and projects 3.5% growth in 2024.
  • Students from Lillian Osborne High School, Esther Starkman School and Greenfield School took part in a "human library" event at the McKay Avenue School Archives and Museum on Feb. 22. The event was an opportunity for students to hear from guest speakers and ask questions about race, inequality, and diversity in leadership. Among the guest speakers were Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and MLA Janis Irwin.
  • University of Alberta president Bill Flanagan wrote an op-ed for The Globe and Mail highlighting Canada's need for skilled professionals to stay competitive globally. "The demand for skilled professionals is acute, and our decisions today will determine our competitive stance and economic prosperity for years to come," he wrote.
  • The NHL has laid out its plans for NHL All-Star Games for the next two seasons. The Edmonton Oilers are among the teams that have expressed an interest in hosting after 2026. The Oilers last hosted an All-Star game in 1989.
  • Postmedia obtained answers to the Alberta government's survey on potential changes to the Local Authorities Election Act and Municipal Government. The results show 81%, or 4,717 survey respondents, said listing political parties on local ballots could create issues or challenges. Answers to the survey's multiple choice section showed more than 70% of respondents opposed adding party labels to municipal ballots. Alberta Municipalities reiterated its opposition to party labels on local ballots and called on the province to abandon the idea.
  • Residents in Westlock voted in a plebiscite to ban rainbow crosswalks and only permit government flags to be flown on town property. About 1,300 voted, with 663, or 50.9%, in favour of the ban. The vote was prompted by a petition signed by more than 700 residents after a rainbow crosswalk was painted in the town last summer. The results of the plebiscite mean the crosswalk will now be removed.