Headlines: March 7, 2024

· The Pulse
  • Edmonton's extreme weather response will be lifted at 9am on March 8. The Edmonton Transit Service will continue to run the Winter Shelter Shuttle Service at night on the north and south routes, but the additional west route will be suspended. The response came into effect on Feb. 25 and was originally set to end March 1.
  • Edmonton city hall will reopen for some groups and private events, beginning with an Edmonton Police Service graduation on March 8, but is still closed to the public. Students attending City Hall School, a week-long civic education program, will also return beginning March 11, along with city staff, the city said. The building has been closed to the general public since a Jan. 23 attack that saw a gunman fire several shots and throw a Molotov cocktail in its atrium. A date for its full reopening hasn't been announced, and the city has not yet released details on new security protocols.
  • The province released more details about provincial budget investments in education, emphasizing $1.2 billion for enrolment growth and $1.5 billion to support students with special needs. However, school officials say they will continue to face challenges due to overcrowding and historic enrolment levels. The Alberta Teachers' Association says the province needs 6,000 new teachers, plus support staff, to make up for years of budget shortfalls. Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools welcomed the investments into building and planning new schools but emphasized the need for rapid construction.
  • Several Edmonton organizations are sharing a $5-million federal investment to support Francophone communities and French education in Alberta. The province is receiving nearly $1.5 million to renovate and refurbish the University of Alberta's Campus Saint‑Jean, which is also getting $427,000 to develop a work experience program for Francophones and newcomers. The Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta is receiving programming funding, along with $110,000 to develop promotional campaigns and hold a summit on French language postsecondary education in Alberta.
  • The Task Force for Housing and Climate, which launched in 2023 and is chaired by former Edmonton mayor Don Iveson and former federal cabinet minister Lisa Raitt, released a report called Blueprint for More and Better Housing. The report contains 140 actions municipal, provincial, and federal governments can take to build 5.8 million homes by 2030 while supporting Canada's climate goals. Actions for municipal governments include "legalizing density" by abolishing parking minimums and unit maximums, creating "ambitious density rules" near transit, and streamlining approvals. Iveson said that Edmonton's renewed zoning bylaw is a start, but added there's "still more to do."
  • The Edmonton Oilers announced they have acquired forwards Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick though a trade with the Anaheim Ducks. Henrique is hoped to be a "versatile goal-scorer" and increase the team's offensive options, while Carrick should improve the team's fourth-line centre position, according to sports writer Cam Lewis.
  • The Alberta government proclaimed the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta's Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, which came into effect on March 6. According to the province, the act will help the electrical system adapt to new technology and change how consumers interact with it. The act will allow businesses to build more energy storage and on-site power generation, and provide the option to sell excess power to the grid, the province said.