The Pulse: March 22, 2021

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

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  • 4°C: Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries in the afternoon. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the morning. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 4 in the morning. (forecast)
  • 5pm: The Oilers (21-13-0) will play the Canadiens (14-8-9). (details)

Transit advisory board recommends changes to get people using transit again safely

Transit advisory board recommends changes to get people using transit again safely

By Mack Male

Service changes that enable physical distancing, better communication of cleaning procedures, and a strengthening of the existing mask mandate are some of the recommendations in a new report aimed at getting people to use transit again safely.

City council's urban planning committee will consider the report prepared by the Edmonton Transit Advisory Board (ETSAB) on March 23.

Although available evidence from other jurisdictions suggests that public transit is not a hotspot for COVID-19 transmission, a perception that transit is unsafe remains, the report says. A policy brief prepared by the International Association of Public Transport indicates that only 0.2% of traceable outbreaks were linked to public transit in Germany, for instance.

To better enable physical distancing, ETSAB recommends dynamically adjusting bus service to respond to busy areas and routes, and suggests looking at renting or leasing underused vehicles from other companies such as school buses.

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By Mack Male

Share your thoughts about municipal politics on March 25

Share your thoughts about municipal politics on March 25

By Karen Unland

Will city council have integrity? That's the question we'll be exploring March 25 at the next listening session for our People's Agenda project.

Join us at noon for another discussion to uncover what is important to you as we head towards the municipal election on Oct. 18. Please register here to attend.

The topic reflects the synthesis of a number of responses to our People's Agenda question concerning the nature of municipal politics itself. So far, people have told us they want to know what candidates think about interference from more partisan players in traditionally non-partisan civic politics, with some concerned about the provincial government's recent changes to campaign finance rules and the role it might play in this election. Some are concerned about the personal integrity of candidates and want to know who their donors are.

Chris Chang-Yen Phillips will once again be our host, and he'll set up a discussion with a guest who can speak to these issues, before sending people off to breakout rooms to further discuss the issues.

If you can't make it, we will recap it on Friday, as we did last week on the question Will Edmonton be a good place to live?

Save the dates for future sessions — we'll be convening every Thursday until the end of April.

Coming up at council: March 22-26, 2021

Coming up at council: March 22-26, 2021

By Mack Male

Here are some of the notable agenda items coming before city council for the week of March 22-26:

  • Administration recommends an exemption to the 2021 Edmonton Economic Recovery Construction Grant Incentive Program to allow a grant to be paid for the 42-storey residential tower portion of a mixed-use project in Ice District. With a development permit issued in 2018 and construction of the podium underway, the project does not qualify for the program which excludes projects that started construction prior to 2021. If a grant is awarded, construction on the tower would have to start in 2021.
  • An automatic waiver on business license fees in 2021 is one way the City of Edmonton could support businesses as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, administration says. Fee waivers ranging from 25% to 50% were considered and administration suggests the loss of revenue could be funded by the appropriated COVID-19 Financial Stabilization Reserve.
  • Waste RE-solutions Edmonton, created in 2013 with a mandate to "deliver profitable waste management services to municipal governments in other countries," has concluded all business and will become a dormant corporation. An estimated $378,000 will be returned to the City of Edmonton.
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Coming up this week

Coming up this week

By Emily Rendell-Watson

  • The National Summit on Anti-Racism in Public Relations and Communications Management is happening on March 22-23. The conference, which includes Edmonton speakers Katrina Ingram and Jesse Lipscombe, will address how to bring more diversity, equity, and inclusion to the industry.
  • Telus World of Science is hosting a virtual event on March 23 where "expert panelists will discuss the benefits, risks, and ethical considerations of personalized medicine, as well as how it is already being used today."
  • Check out Founders & Funders Alberta on March 23, a networking event that is open to investors and tech founders with products at all stages of development.
  • Alberta's Rural Connectivity Forum is on March 23-24.
  • Join Alberta Women Entrepreneurs on March 24 to learn how to use TikTok for your business.

Thanks to Nicholas Olu-Jordan for sharing his photo with us!

Speaking Municipally: Episode 121

Speaking Municipally: Episode 121

By Mack Male

In Episode 121 of Speaking Municipally, co-hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male focus on Andrew Knack's mayoral not-announcement and what it might mean for the mayoral race.

"With at least five new councillors guaranteed to be starting in 2021, having experienced voices to help people succeed will be necessary for the long-term success of our city," Knack wrote in his announcement.

But the part that really stood out was this: "I also believe a mayor who better reflects the diversity of our city would be best suited to address the serious issue of equity in Edmonton."

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Quiz time: Grants

Quiz time: Grants


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

How much money is EPCOR adding to its Heart + Soul Fund for arts organizations, cultural events, and charities?

  1. $250,000
  2. $500,000
  3. $750,000
  4. $1 million
  5. $1.25 million

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

The answer to the March 19 quiz was d - Pacylex Pharmaceuticals has receive Health Canada's approval to begin human trials for its anti-cancer drug PCLX-001.

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 of YWCA Rose Campaign via EPCOR Heart + Soul Fund

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