The Pulse: March 3, 2021

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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  • 7°C: Sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 7. Wind chill minus 10 in the morning. (forecast)
  • 6pm: The Oilers (14-10-0) host the Maple Leafs (17-4-2). (details)

City to roll out new community-led street safety program this spring

City to roll out new community-led street safety program this spring

By Jackson Spring Jackson Spring

The City of Edmonton wants to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on city streets by 2032, and starting this spring, it will be asking community members to help make that happen.

The Street Labs program aims to introduce temporary measures in an attempt to make residential streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It is the latest initiative under Vision Zero, the city's long-term traffic safety plan. Neighbourhood residents will come up with their own ideas, and city officials will provide materials, funds, and guidance.

In a meeting with city council’s urban planning committee on March 2, Jessica Lamarre, Edmonton's traffic safety director, said that officials will start soliciting ideas for Street Labs this spring.

"We'll be ready to go ... for the public to start telling us that they're interested in participating and for us to support some co-creation of plans in their areas, to get pieces on the street for the summer," she said.

No precise date was given for when the program will be introduced.

Lamarre gave examples of what the measures might be, including barriers for shared streets, curb extensions to slow car traffic, and paint or signs that draw more attention to crosswalks. However, she emphasized the point is for individual communities to come up with their own solutions, since they may have different needs when it comes to traffic safety.

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By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

  • The City of Edmonton has received $1.48 million from the federal government to support downtown vibrancy and business recovery. "The funds will enable businesses to reach customers online and support unique activities that draw visitors downtown, contributing to the ways in which the city provides businesses with opportunities to thrive and increases access for Edmontonians," said the news release.
  • Edmonton police chief Dale McFee told media on March 2 that the tiki torches some carried at a rally in Edmonton last month don't appear to have been used for racist intent.
  • The province is considering extending the period of time between COVID-19 vaccination doses. Currently it is within 42 days, and Alberta hasn't yet decided what the new amount of time would be. B.C. announced on March 1 that it was extending the wait period to 16 weeks.
  • GLC Medical has developed an instant COVID-19 test that can deliver results in less than 15 seconds using saliva. The company has early data suggesting the test is 89-90% effective, reported CTV News.
  • The City of Edmonton has filled twice as many potholes this year than it had by this time in 2020. “The weather has been very favourable for potholes. If you remember last year, we had more precipitation and we didn’t have the nice January we had this year,” said Eduardo Sosa, the city’s director of infrastructure maintenance.
  • Environment Canada says that Edmonton has had the second-driest winter in more than 100 years, reported CTV News.
  • Dani Paradis and Tim Querengesser have teamed up to launch a weekly newsletter that will focus on the 2021 municipal elections across Alberta.
Edmonton International Airport planning $36M cargo expansion

Edmonton International Airport planning $36M cargo expansion

By Stephen Cook Stephen Cook in the Regional Roundup

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is planning a large expansion of its cargo operations area, helped in part by an $18-million grant from the federal government through the National Trades Corridor Fund. EIA will fund the other half of the necessary funding.

The project will increase the cargo area apron by 47,000 square metres, allowing for more planes loading and unloading, as well as a new hydrant fueling system specifically for cargo refueling. The airport's cold-storage area will also be expanded.

Vice-president of air service and business development Myron Keehn said in a news release that cargo operations have increased in the past five years, especially during the pandemic.

“We had a phenomenal year, the best year in cargo charters," he told Postmedia.

“What cargo is really about is driving regional economic prosperity within the Canadian landscape. This investment in cargo infrastructure really established both Canada and Edmonton’s leadership in global logistics and promoting trade and clean exports and really helps position the region for the post-COVID-19 recovery."

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Entos Pharmaceuticals is one step closer to manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine

Entos Pharmaceuticals is one step closer to manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine

By Hiba Kamal-Choufi Hiba Kamal-Choufi in the Health Innovation Roundup

Edmonton-based Entos Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Alberta Cell Therapy Manufacturing (ACTM) and The Ottawa Hospital's Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (BMC) to manufacture and prepare its COVID-19 DNA vaccine for clinical trials.

Entos Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr. John Lewis said that his company has partnered with ACTM, which is based at the University of Alberta, to manufacture enough Covigenix VAX-001 to fill the 400 vials required for Phase 1 of its clinical trials, as well as the safety testing that needs to be done before vaccination can occur.

"We have already completed the manufacturing of our Covigenix VAX-001 vaccine for the adaptive Phase 1/2 trial starting at the (Canadian Centre of Vaccinology) in Halifax," Lewis told Taproot.

According to a statement by Entos, Covigenix VAX-001 is a single-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine. It is similar to the recently approved mRNA vaccines, but with the advantage of stability at room temperature for up to a month and in a fridge for a year. Covigenix VAX-001 is also designed as a pan-coronavirus vaccine and incorporates all of the variants.
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Quiz time: Internet

Quiz time: Internet


Test your knowledge with this daily quiz, brought to you by the People's Agenda project:

Which mayor called on residents to ask provincial and federal politicians to help fund broadband in rural areas?

  1. William Choy of Stony Plain
  2. Rod Frank of Strathcona County
  3. Alanna Hnatiw of Sturgeon County
  4. John Stewart of Beaumont
  5. Bob Young of Leduc

See Thursday's issue of The Pulse for the answer.

The answer to the March 2 quiz was d — Sharon Yeo of Only Here for the Food and Taproot's Food Roundup was not named to Western Living's Foodies of the Year list (but should be!).

Taproot wants to know what key issue you want the candidates to talk about as they compete for votes in the 2021 municipal election, and why. Add your voice to the People's Agenda.

Photo by Wilson Hui

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