The Pulse: May 10, 2021

Good morning! He did it — Connor McDavid reached 100 points in 53 games during the Oilers' victory on Saturday. Here's what you need to know about this historical moment and more.

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  • 17°C: Mainly sunny. Fog patches dissipating in the morning. High 17. (forecast)
  • 5pm: The Oilers (33-18-2) take on the Canadiens (24-21-9). (details)
  • 100: Connor McDavid hit 100 points in Saturday's victory (4-3) against the Canucks. Putting up a goal and three assists, he became the ninth player to achieve the 100-point mark in 53 games, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. (details)

Deputy city manager asks Edmontonians for patience during packed construction season

Deputy city manager asks Edmontonians for patience during packed construction season

By Andy Trussler

As temperatures creep upwards and Edmonton gains a few more minutes of light each day, Adam Laughlin is preparing for one of the busiest construction seasons in his 16 years with the city.

The City of Edmonton has 268 projects underway, with plans to spend $1 billion on construction this year.

"It's a really ambitious capital program. The 2019 to 2022 (budget) is the largest that we've seen over my time at the city in terms of infrastructure spending,” the deputy city manager of integrated infrastructure services told Taproot's Speaking Municipally.

Work will continue on the already delayed Valley Line Southeast LRT, which Laughlin is cautiously estimating will be complete by late 2021. Other upcoming projects include road paving, neighbourhood renewal, playground construction, plus improvements on Yellowhead Trail and Terwillegar Drive.

While there has been some criticism about construction timelines in the city, Laughlin said any negative perception is the result of "how projects are reported.”

"The suggestion or the notion that you're going to be perfect on infrastructure delivery is a fallacy, because you can't," Laughlin explained. "When you get into construction, you're going to find some imperfect situations. You do your best to figure out how to mitigate those, but you're just not going to have 100% on time, 100% on budget."

Regardless of past delays, Laughlin said his department works hard to ensure projects are completed efficiently.

"We do our best," Laughlin said. "The unfortunate part of that is that we don't control all of the utility companies. We do our best to coordinate that but it's a big city — lots of projects, lots of different issues come up."

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By Michelle Ferguson

  • The Edmonton zone saw a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases being treated in intensive care units on May 9. The region recorded 10 new ICU cases, which represents the largest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic. There are now 67 patients in Edmonton zone ICUs.
  • Edmontonians enjoyed one last day of patios before the new COVID-19 restrictions took effect at midnight on Sunday. As of May 10, patios and personal services must close for at least three weeks and retail capacity is being limited to 10%. The restrictions won't impact Root 107, which is considered a park, reports the Edmonton Journal.
  • Erin Rutherford, a candidate running for city council in Ward Anirniq has paused her doorknocking campaign in light of the newest COVID-19 restrictions and is encouraging other candidates to do the same. "Politicians are leaders in the community, so it's our chance right now to lead by example," she said.
  • The Edmonton Convention Centre saw very little damage after acting as a temporary homeless shelter for five months, reports CTV News. The condition of the site has been questioned by some councillors.
  • The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new federal financial support program announced by the federal government at a virtual event last week. The Canada Recovery Hiring program will offset costs related to hiring back laid-off workers or bringing on new staff. The federal government will also be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Emergency Rent Subsidy to Sept. 25.
  • A mandatory evacuation order was lifted on May 8, after overnight rain helped contain the Parkland County wildfire that began Thursday. Fire crews continue to battle the blaze, which was still classified as out of control on Sunday evening.
  • One inmate and two staff members at Edmonton Institution, a men's maximum security prison located northeast of Edmonton, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from Correctional Service Canada.
  • The Yellowhead Tribal College received nearly $200,000 in joint federal and provincial funding to upgrade the college's STEM facilities.
Coming up at council: May 10-14, 2021

Coming up at council: May 10-14, 2021

By Mack Male

Here are some of the notable agenda items coming before city council this week:

  • Edmonton's sanitary trunk network, foundational to the city's ability to grow, is a system of deep pipes that facilitate sanitary flows to wastewater treatment plants. Executive committee will discuss a report on Monday, May 10 about the Sanitary Servicing Strategy Fund Oversight Committee which manages the fund that supports growth of the trunk network in developing areas.
  • Executive committee will also discuss an update from the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative Society, formed in 2018 to oversee implementation of the Chinatown Strategy. In its report, the society said "the future of Chinatown is uncertain" and that "there has been division and isolation during these current circumstances."
  • In a report on transit centre security measures, administration said lower ridership during the pandemic has led to "less natural surveillance" and "an increase in social and security disorder." Security guards are currently deployed at 19 transit centres and LRT stations and later this year the City of Edmonton intends to develop a "bystander awareness" campaign to "help empower bystanders to identify and effectively respond to forms of harassment and sexual violence." Urban planning committee will discuss the report on Tuesday, May 11.

Meetings are streamed live on city council's YouTube channel.

Coming up this week

Coming up this week

By Emily Rendell-Watson

Thanks to Luke for sharing his photo with us!

A construction site in downtown Edmonton for the Valley Line LRT

Quiz time: Construction


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

How many capital projects does the City of Edmonton have underway this year?

  1. 8
  2. 68
  3. 168
  4. 268
  5. 368

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

The answer to the May 7 quiz was d — Speaking Municipally is up for Outstanding News & Current Affairs Series at the Canadian Podcast Awards.

What do you want the candidates to be talking about as they compete for your vote? Add your voice to the People's Agenda.

Photo by Mack Male

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