Headlines: May 3, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The Summer Streets program is returning to Edmonton, offering designated mobility lanes and shared streets for active transportation. Crews will install the separated lanes starting the week of May 6, with routes open to the public by mid-May. The program will operate on sections of Saskatchewan Drive, 104 Street, and Victoria Park Road, with speed limits reduced to 40 km/h.
  • The City of Edmonton is currently supporting construction efforts to build, convert, or renovate 2,600 affordable and mixed-market housing, including a new 63-unit site in Holyrood expected to be completed in late 2024. The City has invested $165 million since 2019 to support 3,127 permanent homes, including 783 supportive housing units. Edmonton's Affordable Housing Strategy has set a target of adding 2,700 new or renewed homes by 2026.
  • Edmonton had a 7.2% drop in overall crime rates in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to a new report from the Edmonton Police Service. However, police say overall crime severity increased by 4.6% and violent crime severity increased 7.3%. Chief Dale McFee attributed the drop in crime rates to increased funding and new policing initiatives, particularly in areas like downtown and the transit system, but added there is "more work to do, especially around violence in our community."
  • Edmonton-based Capital Power has cancelled its $2.4-billion carbon capture and storage project at the Genesee natural gas-fired power plant, saying it's not financially feasible. The project would have captured up to three million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. While the project's cancellation has cast doubts on the technology, the federal environment minister said carbon capture still has a role to play in addressing climate change.
  • Researchers at the University of Alberta are studying the resilience of trees to challenges like drought and wildfires by sequencing their genomes, focusing on species such as pine and spruce. The Genome Alberta Resilient Forests project, led by professor Barb Thomas, aims to identify which tree families can best survive harsh conditions and are suitable for reforestation in Alberta. With climate change altering the traditional growing environments of trees, the research can help inform how forestry practices can be adapted to include drought-tolerant and disease-resistant trees.
  • The Edmonton Valley Zoo announced its three-year-old Bactrian camel Tuyaa was euthanized due to severe complications from hyperparathyroidism. Despite extensive treatments, Tuyaa was unable to stand on her own and her condition worsened, leading to the decision to euthanize her to prevent further suffering. Born at the zoo in July 2020, Tuyaa was a "bright and special soul that captured the hearts of all who worked with her," the zoo said in a post.
  • The Edmonton Police Service said a man wielding an axe allegedly smashed the glass panes of the doors at the 97 Street entrance of the Edmonton Law Courts on May 1. Police said a 45-year-old man was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and faces charges of mischief over $5,000 and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
  • The Alberta government says it will introduce changes to its controversial Bill 20, which would grant it the power to dismiss local councillors and mayors, and modify or repeal local bylaws. Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver said the amendments would aim to ensure transparency in local elections and accountability of elected officials, adding that removing councillors or changing bylaws would be a last resort. Critics have called the bill a threat to local democracy that would give the province significant power over municipal governments.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces will conduct a large-scale road exercise on May 3 in north Edmonton and surrounding communities, involving 40 military vehicles and 100 personnel. The exercise will happen between 6am and 3pm, affecting travel on several highways, including Highway 216 and Highway 2, and areas in Fort Saskatchewan, St. Albert, and Morinville.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have shown significant improvement and maturity, writes Postmedia sports journalist Robert Tychkowski. The team's focus has shifted from a primarily offensive game to a more balanced strategy, Tychkowski wrote, an approach on display as the Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games during the first round of the NHL playoffs. "If words count for anything, the Edmonton Oilers certainly sound like a team that's capable of winning it all," he wrote.