Headlines: April 26, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The Alberta government introduced Bill 20, which would increase provincial authority over municipalities by allowing cabinet to remove councillors from office and force councils to repeal undesirable bylaws. The bill also proposes political parties be piloted at the municipal level in Edmonton and Calgary. Critics argue the changes could lead to decisions being centrally controlled by the provincial government, rather than reflecting the will of local constituents. In a video response posted online, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi criticized the proposed changes, saying it's "unfortunate that this provincial government is focused on issues that are not really top priorities of Edmontonians."
  • A large grass fire erupted in a field between the southeast edge of Edmonton and Beaumont on April 25, producing smoke visible from as far away as Sherwood Park. Around three dozen firefighters from Edmonton Fire Rescue Services responded to the blaze, along with fire services from Nisku and Leduc County. As of the last update, the cause of the fire remained unknown, no injuries were reported, and it was unclear if any buildings had been affected.
  • City council appointed Janine Mryglod as Edmonton's new head auditor after serving more than 17 years in the audit department, including taking on the role of acting auditor since May last year. The City auditor reports directly to city council and plays a critical role in auditing municipal departments and advising council on various issues.
  • Health officials are urging the public to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date following a confirmed case of measles in Edmonton. An outbreak of the highly contagious disease could strain the already burdened healthcare system, officials say. Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist, emphasized the need for high vaccination levels to prevent transmission, noting the current 82% coverage rate in Alberta is insufficient for measles.
  • Leston Holdings has acquired Edmonton House for $51 million, with plans to upgrade its exterior and redevelop much of its office space while retaining its residential units. The building, located at 102 Street and 100 Avenue, has been a key feature of Edmonton's skyline since its construction in 1971, and was originally designed as a luxury residential complex. "It's a pretty predominant and iconic tower in Edmonton, so it deserves something special," said Leston Holdings president David Mitton.
  • Sales in Edmonton's real estate market are accelerating and prices are projected to reach new highs by the end of 2024, according to recent data. The average home price in Edmonton could grow by 6.5% to approximately $458,300, a Royal LePage report suggests, driven by strong demand and a low inventory of available homes. "It's an extreme seller's market for affordable homes," said associate realtor Nathan Mol with Liv Real Estate.
  • The Edmonton Elks are partnering with My Radio 580 for the league's first Punjabi broadcast rights agreement to air every Elks home game beginning May 25. The deal follows the team's first-ever Punjabi broadcast last season and is part of the club's strategy to expand its fan base by showcasing Canadian football to new Canadians in their language.
  • The Eco Move Out initiative at the University of Alberta encourages students to donate items they no longer need, such as clothing, electronics, and non-perishables, to community organizations like Goodwill and local food banks. The annual campaign helps prevent recyclable materials from ending up in landfills, supporting sustainable practices and facilitating a seamless move-out process.
  • MacEwan University in Edmonton announced the recipients of its 2024 Alumni Awards, recognizing five graduates in two categories: Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader. They include Josh Languedoc, an Anishinaabe playwright and teacher; Mallory Yawnghwe, co-founder of Indigenous Box; Andrew Dunn, an accountant involved in local and international volunteer work; Cheyenne Rain LeGrande, a Nehiyaw Isko artist and community leader; and Reakash Walters, a lawyer and activist with significant contributions to social justice. The awards ceremony is scheduled for June 14.
  • Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch says he continues to have confidence in goaltender Stuart Skinner, despite Skinner struggling with a .857 save percentage in the first two games of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings. The series is currently tied 1-1, with Skinner aiming for redemption in Game 3 after the Oilers lost 5-4 in overtime in Game 2. Hockey analyst Tom Gazzola encouraged Oilers fans to remain confident, highlighting the team's potential and noting weaknesses in the Kings' lineup, particularly in their goaltending and defence. When the Oilers are "sharp and on top of things," they're a "far superior team" to the Kings, Gazzola said.
  • Firefighters rescued a man from a balcony during an apartment fire in a building on Jasper Avenue near 110th Street in Edmonton on April 25. The man, who is in his 20s, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said the fire, which was contained to a single suite but caused smoke damage to neighbouring units, was extinguished quickly.