Headlines: May 8, 2024

· The Pulse
  • In a letter to city council, Edmonton's Energy Transition Climate Resilience Committee has raised concerns about the use of blue hydrogen, which is derived from natural gas with carbon capture, for reducing the city's carbon emissions. The letter suggests that alternatives like green hydrogen or zero-emission technologies for personal vehicles and heating should be prioritized instead, recommending further research and analysis. Both the province and the federal government have promoted hydrogen energy in recent years, with the province releasing a road map in 2021 and the Canadian government releasing a national strategy in 2020.
  • Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi met with Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver on May 6 to discuss restoring provincial funding to the municipality. The meeting followed a six-page letter Sohi sent to the province last month outlining how the province could help the City with its finances. Sohi said the City is seeking more than $60 million in retroactive payments from the province, which could alleviate the need for the planned property tax increase of 8.9% in 2024. "I was very clear that I wasn't there to ask for more, I was there to ask for restoration of the support that we had in the past," Sohi said following the meeting.
  • University of Alberta graduates contribute about $250 billion annually to the global economy, according to a 2024 Ernst & Young survey. The survey highlights that the university's alumni have founded more than 75,000 companies worldwide, employing 922,000 people, and have contributed $136.4 billion annually to Alberta's economy, which is 41% of the province's GDP. The survey also found that 86% of alumni have volunteered over the past year and have made $979 million in charitable donations.
  • Applications are open for the City of Edmonton Youth Council, which offers young people aged 13 to 23 an opportunity to engage in municipal governance and influence community issues. Six positions are available and interested candidates can apply online until June 9. Appointments to the youth council will be made this summer.
  • Health experts are recommending Albertans, especially those who are high risk, ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date as COVID-19 cases rise in the province. Hospitalizations and positivity rates are increasing, and although severe cases remain uncommon, hospitals are facing challenges with overcrowding. People are also asked to consider masking in crowded areas to mitigate risks.
  • University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan is advocating for research funding to be exempt from Alberta's proposed Bill 18, which would require provincial approval of federal funding agreements with post-secondary institutions. "We're a research powerhouse to the great benefit of Alberta," he said on CBC's Edmonton AM. "So we don't want anything that comes in between us and our ability to secure even more federal funding." Last year, the university received $215 million in federal research funding.
  • The 2023 Edmonton JUNOs Host Committee held the Together YEG Concert series between October 2023 and March 2024, featuring 36 Edmonton artists and raising funds for iHuman Youth Society, YONA-Sistema, and MusiCounts, which each received $4,460. The series highlighted Edmonton's diverse music scene across various venues, including The Buckingham and The Starlite Room.
  • Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has been nominated as a finalist for the Hart Trophy, aiming to secure the NHL's MVP award for the second consecutive year. McDavid is up against Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning. McDavid won his third Hart Trophy last season.
  • Edmontonian Shane Osepchuk spoke to CTV News about his childhood memories in the 1980s and 90s when his father, Dwayne, was part of the Edmonton Oilers equipment team during their Stanley Cup victories. Later in life, Osepchuk purchased a replica of the Stanley Cup, though he eventually sold it. With the Oilers now in the second round of the NHL playoffs, he hopes to see the real Stanley Cup return to Edmonton for a sixth victory.