Headlines: April 25, 2024

· The Pulse
By and
  • Edmonton city council unanimously approved the spring operating budget adjustment, including a property tax rate of 8.9% in 2024. The number is higher than the 6.6% council approved last fall and the 8.7% proposed by administration for this budget adjustment. Of the 8.9%, 5.1% is meant to maintain city services at existing levels. An additional increase is due to council's decision to add spending for event attraction, cleaning the city core, and an assisted snow clearing program for seniors, Postmedia reported. Coun. Tim Cartmell appeared on Global News to speak about changes he'd like to see to council's approach to budgeting.
  • Global News obtained a two-page anonymous letter alleging that Coun. Keren Tang has tried to show a non-profit Edmonton organization co-founded by her husband in a favourable light during meetings and council discussions. In an interview, Tang told Global News that she has "always sought the advice of our ethics advisor" on potential conflicts of interest. The letter, which was received by the provincial government and referenced by Premier Danielle Smith on her radio show, has been forwarded to Edmonton's integrity commissioner, Jamie Pytel. In a statement, Pytel said she is reviewing the letter to determine whether it should be investigated.
  • Alberta Health Services issued a warning after a person with a confirmed case of measles visited several Edmonton-area locations in recent days, including the Edmonton International Airport on April 16 and the Stollery Children's Hospital on April 20 and 23. AHS says people who visited the locations are at risk of developing measles if they were born after 1970 and have fewer than two doses of a measles vaccine. Anyone who believes they were exposed should contact Health Link.
  • The Stadium Station on Edmonton's Capital LRT Line is among the 12 recipients of the 2024 National Urban Design Awards, offered by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. The redeveloped Stadium Station officially opened in 2023 and was designed by GEC Architecture.
  • WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech provided an update on the company's progress on its Edmonton growth strategy during a speech at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. The company says it provides 50% of all air travel from the Edmonton International Airport and has increased its capacity in Edmonton by 13% since 2022, with "aggressive growth plans to build upon this momentum."
  • CBC's This is Edmonton podcast explored Edmonton's food scene and asked, "what is the most Edmonton dish you can eat?" Host Clare Bonnyman discussed local food culture with food writers Phil Wilson and Sharon Yeo, who is also a Taproot contributor.
  • The Edmonton Opera released an Oilers-themed version of La Bamba performed by Edmonton Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark and soprano Helen Hassinger. La Bamba is played whenever the Oilers win at Rogers Place and was a favourite of long-time team attendant Joey Moss and young fan Ben Stelter, who died from cancer in 2022.
  • CTV News spoke to Edmonton Oilers superfan Dale Steil, who is known for the blue and orange face paint and costumes he wears to every home game. Steil has used himself as a canvas for 91 designs since 2022, and he hopes to do 100 by the end of this season. Steil keeps a catalogue of his designs on Instagram.
  • The Edmonton Elks announced their game day themes for 2024, which will be the club's 75th season. The team says history will be important this year, along with attracting the "next generation of football fans." The team also launched single-game ticket sales and this season will debut the Elks Fan Park outside Commonwealth Stadium, which will be an "epicentre" for pre-game activities.
  • The Alberta government implemented sweeping fire restrictions across the province's forest protection areas due to wildfire risk brought on by hot, dry weather. All outdoor fires are now prohibited on public lands, including areas for backcountry and random camping, except for Calgary's forest protection zone. Wildfires in Alberta have burned more than 755 hectares of forest so far this year, compared to 440 by this time in 2023. More than 200 fires have been reported so far, compared to 135 last year.
  • University of Alberta PhD students Ping Lam Ip and Andrea DeKeseredy published an article in The Conversation in response to the UCP government's tabled Bill 18, the Provincial Priorities Act. The act prevents "provincial entities," including post-secondary institutions, from entering into agreements with the federal government without the province's approval, which some argue could put academic freedom and research funding at risk. Ip and DeKeseredy, whose findings are based on data from the three main non-partisan entities that distribute federal research funding, wrote there is "no factual basis to suggest that federal agencies favour liberal or leftist research." The university's president, Bill Flanagan, said in a statement the bill has "caused uncertainty and concern across the post-secondary sector."