Headlines: April 3, 2024

· The Pulse
  • Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi wrote a letter to Premier Danielle Smith calling on the Alberta government to reverse funding cuts the province has made over the past several years. "Provincial cuts and downloading impact every municipality in Alberta," Sohi wrote in the letter released publicly on April 2. It outlines nine ways the province could help the city with its finances, including fully funding emergency medical services and restoring the city's share of automated enforcement fine revenue. The mayor's appeal comes amid concerns from the province about the city's financial management, with Smith saying last week the province is on standby to help if asked.
  • The City of Edmonton has chosen Capital Line Design-Builders, a collaboration between Ledcor and AECOM, as the preferred bidder to design and build Phase 1 of the Capital Line South Extension, which will extend from Century Park to just north of Ellerslie Road. The city will now begin negotiations with the preferred bidder, with a goal of awarding the contract by the end of May. This phase includes extending the LRT to the Heritage Valley Park and Ride, introducing an underpass at 23 Avenue and 111 Street, two new bridges, and two new stations. Construction of the 4.5-kilometre extension is expected to start later this year and last about four or five years, followed by testing and commissioning.
  • Edmonton's luxury real estate market has seen a 32% increase in sales of homes over the $1 million mark in the first two months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, according to a new report from RE/MAX Canada. The surge in activity is attributed to both local buyers and those moving from Ontario and British Columbia, with detached homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million the most popular. The growth is part of a nationwide trend of increased luxury home sales.
  • An 11-year-old boy died in a dog attack at a residence in south Edmonton on April 1. Police said the boy was attacked by two dogs just before 8pm, and despite efforts to save him, he died at the scene. The dogs, believed to belong to someone living at the residence the boy was visiting, were seized by Animal Control. The city confirmed that Animal Control peace officers had responded to two other attack complaints at the same residence this year.
  • Charge Solar, a solar power and battery storage supplier, has expanded its operations in Edmonton with the opening of a new 11,000-square-foot facility. The warehouse, located at 5252 75 Street, will help Charge Solar increase its capacity to meet the demand for renewable energy solutions in Western Canada, the company said in a release. It officially opened on March 1.
  • The Alberta government announced the creation of two new organizations, Recovery Alberta and the Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence (CoRE), to manage mental health and addiction services, as part of its plan to restructure Alberta Health Services. Recovery Alberta will take over service delivery from AHS by July 1, while CoRE, a Crown corporation, will focus on building recovery-oriented systems, with an initial operating budget of $5 million. The Alberta NDP has criticized the reorganization as "chaotic and expensive," while the president of the United Nurses of Alberta called the changes confusing for nurses who will be impacted. Legislation to establish both new organizations will be introduced this spring.