The Pulse: March 26, 2021

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

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  • 5°C: Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries changing to 30 percent chance of rain showers or flurries in the afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h in the afternoon. High plus 5. Wind chill minus 12 in the morning. (forecast)
  • $58.2 million: That's the windfall Edmonton is expected to get from the doubling of the federal gas-tax fund announced March 25 (details)

Edmontonians discuss integrity concerns ahead of upcoming municipal election

Edmontonians discuss integrity concerns ahead of upcoming municipal election

By Jackson Spring

Edmontonians want to see more transparency when it comes to election finances and less provincial interference in city council affairs — especially during campaign season.

The city’s next municipal election is this fall, and it is the first since the provincial government made changes to the Local Authorities Election Act. Some are wondering how this will affect the actions of Edmonton’s mayoral and council candidates.

At Taproot’s third of eight listening sessions, more than 20 Edmonton residents weighed in on issues of integrity within city council. The sessions were prompted by Taproot's People's Agenda, a document that’s being compiled based on responses to this question: What key issue do you want the candidates to talk about as they compete for votes in the 2021 municipal election, and why?

Participants at the event raised issues with the changes to local election rules, including removing some of the limits on campaign donations, changing regulations for third-party advertising spending, and moving the deadline for candidates to disclose finances until after the election. Attendees said the higher donation limits combined with the lack of disclosure may open the door for large donors to more easily manipulate election outcomes.

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By Emily Rendell-Watson

  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw says "at least four in 10 new Alberta COVID-19 cases were contracted at home." The new data comes as the province also reported that variant cases now make up more than 20.5% of the total number in the province.
  • Those who don't pay for a bus or LRT ride could face a lower fine beginning in 2022, of $150 instead of $250. The city's community and public services committee "directed city staff to make bylaw changes by early next year," reports CBC News.
  • A special pipe from Dubai has arrived for the sinkhole repair at 109 Street and 63 Avenue. The work is expected to be done in July — the sinkhole opened up in October 2020.
  • "Premier Jason Kenney says he will consult with Albertans and allied provinces about how to move forward after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that the federal carbon tax is constitutional," reports the Edmonton Journal.
  • Victoria Golf Course Driving Range opens on March 26. Its hours will be 10:30am to 6:30pm to start.
Jobber launches $100K grant program to support home service businesses

Jobber launches $100K grant program to support home service businesses

By Hiba Kamal-Choufi in the Business Roundup

Jobber has launched a $100,000 grant program to help grow businesses in the home services sector. The Edmonton-based home service management software provider announced Boost By Jobber on March 24.

It will award grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to 20 home service businesses across four categories: pre-business, new business owners, entrepreneurs with more than three years of experience, and businesses who need a boost to get back to their pre-COVID state.

Jobber CEO and co-founder Sam Pillar said the new initiative supports small businesses that are largely underserved when it comes to business financing.

"Home service entrepreneurs impact their local communities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways," said Pillar. "Boost by Jobber helps address this gap by providing service business entrepreneurs with some extra working capital that may not otherwise be available through traditional banks and government grant programs."

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Podcast pick: Canadian History Ehx

Podcast pick: Canadian History Ehx

By Karen Unland

Canadian History Ehx offers a deep dive into this country's past from one of Edmonton's most prolific podcasters.

Host Craig Baird releases three episodes a week, sometimes interviewing historians, authors, politicians, or celebrities, and sometimes taking a more documentary-style look at a person, incident, or phenomenon that has caught his attention.

He also has a series called Small Town Histories that explores the past of various municipalities in great detail. On top of all of that, Baird does a weekly show called From John to Justin on Canada's prime ministers, and another called Pucks and Cups on hockey history.

It appears he's not done, either — he just received a project accelerator grant from the Edmonton Heritage Council to do a podcast and video series on the history of rural areas in the Edmonton area.

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Quiz time: Advocacy

Quiz time: Advocacy


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

Which Edmontonian signed an open letter calling for a guaranteed basic income for artists?

  1. Daryl Cloran of the Citadel Theatre
  2. Catherine Crowston of the Art Gallery of Alberta
  3. Martin Garber Conrad of Edmonton Community Foundation
  4. Annette Loiselle of SkirtsAfire
  5. Sanjay Shahani of Edmonton Arts Council

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

The answer to the March 25 quiz was c — this week's People's Agenda listening session was about integrity in municipal politics. Sign up for the April 1 session, which is on transportation.

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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