The Pulse: March 29, 2021

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

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  • -4°C: Mainly cloudy. Wind northwest 50 km/h gusting to 70 diminishing to 30 gusting to 50 in the afternoon. High minus 4. Wind chill near minus 18. (forecast)
  • 5pm: The Oilers (21-13-1) will play the Maple Leafs (22-10-2). (details)
  • 25.6%: Variants of concern now account for 25.6% of active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. (details)

‘Boldest to date’ plan on climate change action to be considered

‘Boldest to date’ plan on climate change action to be considered

By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

A revised strategy to help the city tackle climate change proposes a 10-year plan to increase renewable energy sources, reduce carbon emissions from transportation, make buildings more energy-efficient, and increase carbon capture.

“It's about accelerated and transformational change. This change will reimagine our energy systems and will transform our community and economy,” said Chandra Tomaras, the city's environmental project manager.

“There are 105 actions with various impact levels and funding requirements. The targets are our boldest to date. This plan is the first of its kind for Edmonton, and it's the first time Edmonton has targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.”

The revised Community Energy Transition Strategy was prompted by the city declaring a state of climate emergency in 2019, which included a request for city administration to re-examine “how to achieve a low-carbon future, to develop a funding strategy that would achieve the necessary investments in this space, and to implement a carbon accounting system for budgeting decisions and priorities,” deputy city manager Stephanie McCabe explained at a media availability on March 26.

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By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

  • More than 100 people gathered for the Building Bridges Against Hate walk on March 28. “There is so much sadness,” Serena Mah, a member of Act2End Racism and co-organizer of the event, said in a speech. “(We want) an Edmonton that is safe for everyone.”
  • Home sales in Edmonton are up, with realtors calling it a "seller's market." CTV Edmonton wrote that "there's a new sense of urgency to close on homes, leading to multiple-offer situations," following an interview with local realtor T.J. De Villa.
  • "The Alberta government said Friday it has given the City of Edmonton and Enoch Cree Nation $300,000 to begin planning a provincial park on the 68-hectare parcel of Crown land along the North Saskatchewan River valley," writes CBC News. It's called Big Island, and the aim is for the park to be operational by 2023.
  • GraceLife Church pastor James Coates returned to service on March 28 after he was jailed for refusing to follow public health orders.
  • ATB Financial is closing 10 of its Alberta branches on March 31 and letting go of 13 workers.
Share your thoughts about transportation on April 1

Share your thoughts about transportation on April 1

By Karen Unland Karen Unland

Will we be able to move around the city easily? That's the question we'll be exploring April 1 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 related to transportation. Some people are interested in making transit more accessible and active transportation more attractive, while others are concerned about automobile traffic flow and are skeptical about bike lanes. There are lots of changes coming to transit in the coming weeks (listen to this episode of Speaking Municipally for more on that), which may come up as well.

Chris Chang-Yen Phillips will once again be our host. He'll set up the discussion with Emily Grisé from the University of Alberta's School of Urban and Regional Planning, before sending people off to breakout rooms to discuss further.

If you can't make it, we will recap it on Friday, as we did last week on the question Will city council have integrity?.

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

Speaking Municipally: Episode 122

Speaking Municipally: Episode 122

By Mack Male Mack Male

In Episode 122 of Speaking Municipally, co-hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male focus on transit safety and upcoming changes to the bus network.

They also discuss potential new rules for e-scooters aimed at keeping them off the sidewalks. A recent City of Edmonton survey found that riding on sidewalks is one of the main complaints people have with e-scooters. Nearly 95% of respondents said they've seen e-scooters on sidewalks.

The executive directors of the Downtown Business Association and Old Strathcona Business Association have called for changes, including reduced speed or no-ride zones. That didn't sit well with Pavlek and Male.

"Why are we complaining about more people getting to their destination?" wondered Pavlek.

Listen to audio
Coming up this week

Coming up this week

By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

Quiz time: Safety

Quiz time: Safety


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

What did fire chief Joe Zatylny ask city councillors last week to regulate further, to no avail?

  1. E-scooters
  2. Fireworks
  3. Shisha bars
  4. Smoking
  5. Vinyl siding

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

The answer to the March 26 quiz was e — Sanjay Shahani of the Edmonton Arts Council called for a guaranteed basic income for artists with four other Canadian arts leaders earlier this month.

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 from Kurt Bauschardt

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