The Pulse: March 5, 2021

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

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  • 8°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. Wind becoming south 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 8. Wind chill minus 6 in the morning. (forecast)
  • 8pm on Sat.: The Oilers (14-11-0) will play the Flames (11-11-2) on Saturday evening. (details)

COVID-19 casts shadow over summer events

COVID-19 casts shadow over summer events

By Paul Cashman Paul Cashman in the Business Roundup

Downtown is getting an injection of federal funding to host free exhibits and exhibitions in April but the organizers of Edmonton’s big summer festivals face a tough battle against COVID-19 restrictions to welcome fans back to ticketed events.

Under the Alberta government’s reopening plan, it’s not until the fourth and final stage that changes are possible for festivals, amusement parks, and sporting events. That won’t come until the number of people in hospitals across the province falls below 150. Alberta moved into Step 2 of its reopening plan March 1 by allowing fitness centres to offer low-intensity activities and libraries to open as hospitalizations dropped into the 250 range.

While hospitalizations have fallen from the late December peak of more than 900, Health Minister Tyler Shandro cautioned the government can’t say now what case counts will be in coming months but promised to work with summer festival organizers to provide information when available on whether in-person events can go ahead this year.

Edmonton Folk Fest producer Terry Wickham said a final decision on this year’s event won’t come until early April, but the odds are low it can proceed. "I just can't see 25,000 people gathering in August. Not with the slower rollout here, with the vaccines, and variants, etc., etc.," he told CTV Edmonton.

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By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson and Mack Male Mack Male

  • The province announced that it expects all Albertans over the age of 18 should be offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30. It provided more details about its vaccine plans on March 4.
  • "It may very well be a jobs budget for Alberta, but it ain't a jobs budget for Edmonton," said Mayor Don Iveson after city council discussed the provincial budget. Councillor Ben Henderson said he is "really worried about the cuts to post-secondary in this city, which is very much part of what makes our city tick."
  • The City of Edmonton is projecting a $150 million cut to infrastructure funding over the next four years as a result of changes to municipal funding in the provincial budget.
  • Tech startup Social Awareness Group has received $250,000 from the Raven Indigenous Impact Fund, which will help to expand the "technology that integrates with a company’s payroll to assess their hiring practices when it comes to Indigenous people and other visual minorities."
  • Alberta has earmarked $600,000 to replace paper health ID cards this year, which have been issued since the 1960s.
  • A John Deere facility in Edmonton is set to close, following a decision to consolidate remanufacturing at one American facility. It expects that approximately 180 employees will lose their jobs as a result.
  • James Coates, pastor of GraceLife Church, is appealing his bail conditions, and a decision about whether he will remain behind bars until his trial is expected Friday morning. The pastor is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of public health restrictions.
Podcast pick: Three Things from Edmonton

Podcast pick: Three Things from Edmonton

By Karen Unland Karen Unland

Three Things from Edmonton sends you into the weekend with a bite-sized bit of gratitude, delivered by Glenn Kubish.

The concept is simple: "Every Friday I collect three things from the week gone by that made me happy," he writes. "Big things, small things. They add up."

Kubish is the director of story and brand for the City of Edmonton, and he had a career in journalism before he went into communications, so he knows how to get his observations across. The content and tone of this personal project will be familiar if you follow him on Twitter. He bikes a lot, he thinks deep thoughts, and he likes to make connections.

He also keeps it tight. The episodes tend to be about five minutes long, but they're packed with sonic texture. Episode 5 weaves in a clip of Masai Ujiri and a reading from Wendell Berry, and Episode 6 features his wife's laugh and audio from a recent bicycle commute. No filler, just pure delight.

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Quiz time: Restaurants

Quiz time: Restaurants


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

For how many years has King Noodle House been in operation?

  1. 14
  2. 18
  3. 22
  4. 26
  5. 30

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

The answer to the March 4 quiz was e — Connie Stacey of Growing Greener Innovations has received numerous honours in recent months, but has not yet received an Alberta Business Award of Distinction.

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 Sharon Yeo

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