Headlines: June 14, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The Edmonton Police Commission is requesting a mediator in its dispute with city council over the commission's refusal to share audit information about the Edmonton Police Service. The move comes after the commission wrote council a letter on April 19 explaining why it would not provide information about its audit plan for the police. Several councillors reiterated this week that the information would improve transparency, while police Chief Dale McFee told reporters the police service is "very transparent" and "there's nothing hidden." Commission members also refused to attend a council meeting at city hall this week, and council voted not to accept the commission's letter as information.
  • The City of Edmonton is launching a free bike valet this summer, which will give cyclists a way to securely park their bike while they visit downtown. Located at 100 Street NW and 102 Avenue NW, the service will able to hold up to 19 bikes in a secure parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis from 11am to 11pm. The program will run on Saturdays from June 15 to Aug. 24.
  • Some long-term head and neck and cancer patients of the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine, based in the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton, are worried about the clinic's future. Covenant Health, which runs the clinic in partnership with Alberta Health Services, said it is not closing or considering privatization, but patients said the clinic has been phasing out physician contracts, reducing services, and may lose its last specialist.
  • Some Dunluce residents are upset over the City of Edmonton's renewal plans for their neighbourhood, arguing certain aspects of the renewal plan are a poor use of money. Janina Syrnyk, chair of the Stop the Destruction of Dunluce group, told Global News some residents want infrastructure to be maintained, rather than upgraded with wider sidewalks and bike lanes. Ward Anirniq Coun. Erin Rutherford said the upgrades are needed to meet modern guidelines for sidewalks, lighting, and traffic safety, adding the changes are informed by "intensive public engagement" around neighbourhood renewal.
  • Explore Edmonton said the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs generated about $179 million for Edmonton's economy, mostly downtown. Data suggests about 60,000 hotel visits have been booked in Edmonton across the three rounds. The organization also wants to capitalize on the city's moment in the international spotlight by buying advertising in Florida that features Edmonton.
  • The City of Edmonton has decorated 12 traffic control boxes with the winning designs from the most recent Vibrant Streets Art Contest. Nearly 100 designs were submitted, which were narrowed to 28 finalists for the public to vote on. One design will be installed in each municipal ward.
  • A motion from Coun. Tim Cartmell, which requested information on how much the City of Edmonton could make by selling undeveloped parts of Blatchford to private developers, died because council did not get to it within meeting time this week. Cartmell said he will continue exploring ways to sell parts of the neighbourhood, suggesting Blatchford could grow at the same rate as other new areas. Council's utilities committee, which Cartmell chairs, will discuss Blatchford utilities later this month.
  • A new post on the City's Transforming Edmonton blog spotlights the work of Christie Smith, a registered social worker acting as a Community Safety Liaison with the City's Residential Inspection Safety Compliance (RISC) Team. The RISC team also includes police and health officers as part of a wrap-around services model.
  • The UCP government has dissolved the Canadian Energy Centre, also known as the energy 'war room', which was created by former premier Jason Kenney in 2019 to counter what he called misinformation about Alberta's energy industry. The province says the centre will be absorbed into its Intergovernmental Relations office. Premier Danielle Smith said large campaigns, like ads against federal policies, should be directly led by the province. CBC's Jason Markusoff wrote an analysis the "long doomed" war room.