Headlines: April 11, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The City of Edmonton's pest management team has begun targeting mosquito larvae in standing water and ditches. Mike Jenkins with the pest management department said not to expect a lot of mosquito activity in early spring, as conditions are currently "incredibly dry," but added that precipitation could increase mosquito levels in the summer. Crews will once again use "biological methods" to control mosquitos after council voted to discontinue the aerial spraying program in 2022.
  • Edmonton city council's executive committee voted to spend $33 million to support two affordable housing projects in the Canora and Garneau communities. City administration told councillors that both projects, which have not received federal funding support, were at risk of losing provincial funding if they didn't proceed soon. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said investing in the projects now will help them get started while the City watches for additional funding opportunities in the upcoming federal budget.
  • Applications are open for the latest round of the City of Edmonton's Downtown Vibrancy Fund. Up to $5 million is available through the fund, which has a "renewed focus on long-term investments" and prioritizes projects aligned with the funding streams of recreational amenities, lighting, downtown events, and public art and place-making. A total of 174 projects have shared more than $8.2 million since the fund launched in 2021. Applications for the latest round will be accepted until May 10.
  • Edmonton city council's urban planning committee discussed future plans for the Edmonton Exhibition Lands redevelopment project. Bart Jarocki, branch manager of real estate at the City, said phase two of development and the Borden Park expansion "present significant challenges" for the City of Edmonton and Explore Edmonton to host K-Days and other festivals, suggesting it may be possible to hold events on the Coliseum lands. Demolition of the arena is scheduled to start in 2025, but the lands are not slated for development for about a decade. Another report on the Exhibition Lands is expected in the fourth quarter of 2024.
  • The City of Edmonton held a graduation ceremony for 13 new Community Peace Officer recruits on April 10. Eight will join Edmonton's transit safety, animal care and control, and downtown safety teams, while five will be deployed to other organizations, including the University of Alberta and NAIT.
  • CBC's This is Edmonton Podcast took a look at Edmonton's electronic dance music scene. Host Clare Bonnyman spoke with DJ David Stone, host of the show BPM on CJSR, which has been on the air for more than two decades.
  • Sacred Turtle Woman Healing Centre, which provides trauma-intensive programming rooted in Indigenous culture, has opened in Yellowhead County about 48 minutes north of Edson. The co-ed, 18+ facility has capacity for 60 people.
  • Service Alberta Minister Dale Nally said he will not impose floor prices on alcohol, one day after expressing concern over the sale of four-litre vodka jugs for $49.95 at a south Edmonton liquor store. "We're not looking to get in between the retailer and the consumer in any way," Nally said. St. Albert-based T-Rex Distillery, which bottled the vodka, said it has stopped production of the jugs, while Super Value Liquor, the store where they are sold, said it would end its special price sale on its remaining stock "in light of the minister's perspective."
  • Premier Danielle Smith tabled legislation called the Provincial Priorities Act that would require "provincial entities," including municipalities, school boards, and universities, to obtain provincial approval before negotiating agreements with the federal government. The act, which is modelled after similar Quebec legislation, is expected to come into effect in early 2025, but officials have not determined how many agreements could be affected. Smith said she is most concerned about the federal government clashing with provincial priorities on net-zero goals, housing, and safe supply. Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the legislation creates "unnecessary red tape" that could harm Edmonton's economy or slow down projects.