The Pulse: March 24, 2021

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

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  • 6°C: Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries changing to 60 percent chance of rain showers in the morning. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 near noon. High 6. (forecast)
  • 197: Alberta reported 197 new variant cases on March 23 bringing the total active variant case count to 1,127. (details)

More than $19M in federal funding allocated for regional infrastructure projects

More than $19M in federal funding allocated for regional infrastructure projects

By Stephen Cook in the Regional Roundup

Seventeen projects in the Edmonton region will share $19.7 million in federal funding for infrastructure as part of the Investing in Canada Plan.

The projects, announced last week, are part of more than $73 million in funding for 61 infrastructure projects in Alberta aimed at creating and maintaining active transportation infrastructure as well as repairing and upgrading recreation centres, municipal buildings, and health-care facilities.

Six allocations were for Strathcona County projects, including $3.2 million to replace flooring at Millennium Place, and $1.4 million each for bus safety improvements and new trail connections.

Seven allocations were listed for St. Albert, including $2.5 million for the design and construction of a community park on the Kingswood Park site and $2.3 million for refurbishment of the track surface and field amenities at the Fowler Athletic Park facility.

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By Mack Male

  • TransEd said on March 23 that the Valley Line Southeast LRT project reached 89% completion as of the end of February. The new line is expected to begin operation later this year.
  • City council's urban planning committee has asked for a report on the effectiveness of current security measures at transit stations and the use of transit security guards and peace officers. The report is due back in mid-May.
  • New statistics from the provincial government show that 1,281 Albertans died of drug poisonings last year, up significantly from 797 deaths in 2019.
  • The Oilers were scheduled to play the Canadiens on Wednesday and Friday this week but both games have been postponed as a result of two Montreal Canadiens players being in the NHL's COVID protocols.
  • The Edmonton Valley Zoo will reopen on Thursday, March 25 amidst a spring baby boom. "In the past few weeks a baby camel, a pair of takins, and a few baby lambs have been born," reports Global News.
Biotech innovators see 'growing opportunity' in Alberta's drug and vaccine industry

Biotech innovators see 'growing opportunity' in Alberta's drug and vaccine industry

By Hiba Kamal-Choufi in the Health Innovation Roundup

Alberta's world-class talent and expertise, as well as its biotechnology infrastructure, will help the sector thrive through COVID-19 and beyond, a panel said this week.

Representatives of Entos Pharmaceuticals, Providence Therapeutics, and Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) discussed the province's strengths in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals during an online conversation hosted by Lynette Tremblay, vice-president of strategy for Edmonton Global, on March 22.

The industry is at a turning point, said API CEO Andrew MacIsaac.

"We do have phenomenal anchor companies within the region, and a lot of companies are showing a whole bunch of promise, such as Entos and Providence," he said. "The next three to five years, what I think we will start to see is the development of a very mature and robust industry around drug development and life sciences much more broadly."

Entos Pharmaceuticals has developed a DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently awaiting approval from Health Canada to begin clinical trials.

"Companies like Entos and Providence have a very bright future with safe and effective vaccines," said Dr. John Lewis, CEO of Entos. "The estimated worldwide market for COVID-19 vaccines is 73 billion by 2027, and if we build this industry in Alberta, we are looking at, from COVID alone, a huge market opportunity."

The same infrastructure used for COVID-19 can be used to help with other programs, said Providence Therapeutics president Jared Davis, whose company recently started clinical trials for its Alberta-made COVID-19 vaccine.

"The infrastructure we are building, both manufacturing-wise as well as development programs, is going to allow us to go to other infectious disease, to go to gene medicine, gene therapies, to look at gene editing," he said. "It's all the same types of technology — DNA or mRna technologies that are used for those."

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Quiz time: Telecommunications

Quiz time: Telecommunications


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

When did Shaw move its headquarters from Edmonton to Calgary?

  1. 1966
  2. 1995
  3. 2001
  4. 2016
  5. 2020

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

The answer to the March 23 quiz was a — 48Hour Discovery has customers in Germany, Korea, Singapore, and the U.S., but not yet in Canada.

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 Mack Male

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