The Pulse: Aug. 23, 2021

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

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • 11°C: Rain. Amount 10 to 20 mm. Wind northeast 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 11. (forecast)
  • 101-65: The Edmonton Stingers brought home their second CEBL championship in a row, with a 101-65 victory against the Niagara River Lions on Sunday. (details)
  • 2024: Edmonton is aiming to host the World Triathlon Championship for the fourth time in 2024. (details)

Two years ago, Edmonton declared a climate emergency and voted that city administration regularly update city council on its progress towards becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Countdown to 2050: Explaining Edmonton's carbon budget

The city wants to be carbon neutral within 30 years. This is how it plans to do it.

By Scott Lilwall

The devastating effects of climate change have become more clear than ever over the past few years, urging Edmonton and other cities around the world to aggressively curb their carbon emissions.

In April 2021, city council approved a plan with an ambitious idea — what if Edmonton budgeted for carbon emissions the same way it handles its money?

Building a carbon budget is part of a revised 10-year plan called the Community Energy Transition Strategy to help the city tackle climate change by increasing renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions from transportation, making buildings more energy-efficient, and increasing carbon capture.

Continue reading


By Michelle Ferguson

Herb Jamieson Centre

Coming up at council: Aug. 23-27, 2021

By Mack Male

Here are some of the items city council will discuss at committee meetings this week:

  • The Minimum Emergency Shelter Standard aims to increase accessibility and utilization of emergency shelters, though the city's ability to regulate the standards is limited. The report suggests that "increased resources and support from the Government of Alberta ... would be critical to success."
  • About 5% of the North Saskatchewan River watershed upstream of Edmonton is currently held by coal leases which "does pose a risk" to the city's sole source of drinking water. A risk assessment of upstream coal mining conducted by EPCOR indicates that in the event of a catastrophic mine failure, "there would be an extreme impact on downstream water quality." Administration recommends further review to determine the need for a formal watershed management plan.
  • Executive committee will consider the below market sale of two affordable housing sites that would result in 66 new units of affordable housing in the Garneau and Queen Alexandra neighbourhoods. They'll also look at a long-term land lease with GEF Seniors Housing that would result in 40-60 units of mixed-income, seniors affordable housing.
  • An update on district planning outlines administration's intended shift away from neighbourhood-level planning for implementation of the City Plan. Administration proposes 15 district plans and a district general policy to create "a simplified, consistent, and nimble policy landscape ... necessary to support future growth." The plans are scheduled to be brought to a public hearing by the end of 2022.
  • A proposed update to the Edmonton Design Committee Bylaw would provide administration with the ability to exempt certain projects from review, and makes changes to the structure of the committee.
  • A proposed update to the Naming Municipal Assets Policy includes new language to better reflect equity and inclusion "with prioritization and focus on Indigenous place names."
  • The City of Edmonton currently has roughly 160 peace officers. In the first half of the year, officers responded to more than 38,000 events with 315 of those documented as use of force incidents. Five formal complaints were filed against officers in that time.

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

Photo: The new Herb Jamieson emergency shelter, currently under construction, is expected to open in October 2021 with 400 beds. (Hope Mission)

A 3D rendering of the project as approved in June 2018.

Proposal to increase size of Holyrood Gardens project rejected

By Mack Male

Last week, city council rejected a proposal from Regency Developments to add another 250 units to the Holyrood Gardens project at 83 Street and 93 Avenue. The development was approved in 2018 with a total of 1,200 units.

It's the second time this year the company has attempted to increase the size of the development.

Administration supported the updated application arguing it would be a "positive contribution to residential infill and transit oriented development in accordance with the City Plan."

The proposal failed on its first reading. Councillors Tony Caterina, Jon Dziadyk, Bev Esslinger, Mohinder Banga, and Tim Cartmell voted in favour, while Andrew Knack, Scott McKeen, Aaron Paquette, Michael Walters, and Mayor Don Iveson were opposed. Sarah Hamilton, Ben Henderson, and Mike Nickel were absent for the vote.

"This sends a message that developers don't run carte blanche over the city," Troy Pavlek argued in Episode 143 of Speaking Municipally. "You can't just say 'City Plan' three times fast and get your project approved."

Regency COO Raj Dhunna told CBC News the decision "definitely put the entire phase two at risk." He argued the market has changed since the original approval in 2018. The Holyrood Development Committee spoke against the new proposal, saying a deal is a deal.

"Had it gone ahead, it would have been yet another example of how public engagement and community consultation is meaningless," said Mack Male, Pavlek's co-host on Speaking Municipally.

"It would have been a huge slap-in-the-face to the community had it gone ahead."

Photo: A 3D rendering of the project as approved in June 2018. (City of Edmonton)

An image of a session with The Mother Tree Rhythm Circles.

Coming up this week: Aug. 23-27, 2021

By Andy Trussler

Photo: (Deborah Bortscher/The Mother Tree Rhythm Circles)