Headlines: July 9, 2024

· The Pulse
  • Edmonton set a new daily record high temperature of 32.3°C on July 8, as a heat wave hit Western Canada. Temperatures are expected to drop out of the 30s later in the week but remain warmer than average, with highs in the upper 20s. People attending outdoor events are advised to take precautions, including staying hydrated and seeking shade. The heat is expected to increase the wildfire risk, particularly in the north. Little Red River Cree Nation issued a wildfire alert on July 8 for Garden River residents, advising them to prepare for a possible evacuation due to an out-of-control wildfire near the community.
  • Postmedia columnist Keith Gerein published a piece examining Edmonton city council's recent discussion of the "substantial completion" policy, which mandates finishing current suburban developments before starting new ones to curb urban sprawl. The policy aims to achieve climate and cost sustainability, though developers argue it could harm housing affordability and competitiveness. Council unanimously decided to delay major decisions to conduct further research on the policy's impacts and benefits. The research is expected to take two years, which passes the decision to the next council.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi appeared on Global News for its monthly Civic Matters segment to discuss housing challenges in Edmonton. Sohi said residential growth needs to be smart and coordinated to avoid continued sprawl, which is "very expensive for taxpayers." He added that the city needs to attract more industrial and commercial growth to shift the burden away from the residential tax base.
  • Margo Long will step down as president and CEO of Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS) on Sept. 15, after seven years in the role. Corey Mowles, currently the chief operating officer, will succeed her as CEO. Mowles said in a statement he is committed to YESS's strategic plan to establish 24/7 youth support centres in the region.
  • Edmonton's overall office vacancy rate stands at 20.6%, with downtown at 22.3% and suburban areas at 17.9%, according to the latest report from CBRE. Vacancy rates are higher in lower-quality buildings, while buildings with better amenities are seeing more leasing activity, the report says. The suburban office market is performing well, particularly in areas like South Henday, where vacancy rates are as low as 5.6%.
  • St. Albert native Matt Savoie is excited about being traded to the Edmonton Oilers. Savoie, who was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 2022, said he looks forward to contributing to the team he grew up cheering for. The Oilers have also re-signed forward Raphael Lavoie to a one-year, two-way contract.
  • CBC published an overview of the various provincial programs that cover dental care as the Alberta government says it will withdraw from the federal Canadian Dental Care Plan by 2026. Premier Danielle Smith argues dental care is the responsibility of the province, and said her government will instead negotiate for Alberta's share of federal funding to enhance its own programs. The federal government says its plan complements existing provincial programs and fills coverage gaps, with more than 100,000 Albertans already enrolled.
  • The Edmonton Elks have signed five new players, including notable additions Shawn Oakman and Derrick Moncrief, while releasing three others. Oakman, a defensive lineman, previously played for the Toronto Argonauts, and has a Grey Cup win and multiple All-Star selections. The team's next game is on July 14 against the Ottawa Redblacks at Commonwealth Stadium.
  • Dwight Lodeweges, a former Edmonton Drillers player and FC Edmonton coach, is an assistant coach with the Dutch national team at the UEFA Euro 2024. Lodeweges has had a diverse soccer career, including stints in Japan, Abu Dhabi, and multiple teams in Holland. The Netherlands recently advanced to the Euro Cup semi-finals and Lodeweges is optimistic about their chances against England.