Headlines: June 27, 2024

· The Pulse
  • The City of Edmonton is beginning construction on Warehouse Park, a 1.78-hectare downtown park spanning from 106 Street to 108 Street and from Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue. A portion of 107 Street was permanently closed this month to become part of the park, which has been in planning for more than a decade. Construction is expected to be done by the end of 2025.
  • The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers has officially been renamed the Newcomer Centre, a decision made to improve inclusivity. "We really recognize and honour the legacy of our founding churches, but it caused a lot of confusion for people who don't understand what Mennonite meant, or if they were eligible to come here to get services," said executive director Meghan Klein. The organization serves about 1,700 newcomers every year, and is seeing rising demand and growing waitlists, Klein said.
  • Shell Canada announced it is moving ahead with two carbon capture projects in the Edmonton area that are expected to be operational by the end of 2028: the Polaris Carbon Capture Project at Shell's Scotford refinery and chemicals complex near Fort Saskatchewan, and the Atlas Carbon Storage Hub east of Edmonton, which is a 50-50 partnership with ATCO EnPower. The Atlas project's first phase will provide permanent underground CO2 storage capacity for the Polaris project, which will capture 650,000 tonnes annually, the company says. The announcement comes amidst uncertainty about the financial viability of carbon capture and storage technology.
  • Corus Entertainment has ended programming on two AM radio stations: 880 News (CHQT-AM) in Edmonton, an all-news sister station to 630 CHED, and AM 730 in Vancouver, a sister station to 980 CKNW. The 880 News station will host shared content from 630 CHED for an interim period, after which Corus will have only one AM station in Edmonton. "As a result, certain roles have been impacted," a Corus spokesperson said.
  • The union representing WestJet aircraft maintenance engineers issued another 72-hour strike notice, which could lead to a work stoppage as early as June 28 at 5:30pm. The airline cancelled flights across Canada last week, including at Edmonton International Airport, when the union issued a previous 72-strike notice, although the parties later returned to negotiating. Flight cancellations could begin again as early as June 27, said WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech.
  • Edmonton Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch confirmed that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were both playing through major injuries during the Stanley Cup playoff run. During exit interviews, Draisaitl also spoke about his future with the team beyond his current contract but did not commit to anything. Fellow forward Adam Henrique, who joined the Oilers in March, will become an unrestricted free agent within days. Sports writer David Staples offered his take on whether Draisaitl and other key players are likely to stay on with the team.
  • Glen Sather, a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee known for his time with the Edmonton Oilers during their famous Stanley Cup run in the 1980s, is retiring after six decades as a coach, player, and executive. Sather won five Stanley Cups between 1984 and 1990 as the Oilers' general manager.
  • Basketball organizer Paul Sir appeared on Global News to talk about Hoop City 3×3, the largest 3x3 basketball event in Canada, which is taking place at the Fan Park at Ice District from July 5-7. The event will feature international teams from the FIBA 3×3 World Tour and the FIBA 3×3 Women's Series, the final tournaments before the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
  • Premier Danielle Smith said the province plans to opt out of the federal government's dental plan by 2026 and begin negotiating a share of federal funding to make its own decisions about dental care. The Alberta government argues the program infringes on provincial jurisdiction and duplicates coverage already offered by the province's low-income dental programs. The federal program is currently available to seniors and children under 18, and will expand to remaining eligible Canadians in 2025.