The Pulse: Oct. 19, 2021

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

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  • 9°C: Clearing in the morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the morning. High 9. Wind chill minus 6 in the morning. (forecast)
  • 7pm: The Oilers will host the Ducks at Rogers Place. (details)

The faces of the new mayor and city council for Edmonton

What to expect from the new mayor and council

By Karen Unland

Based on their responses to the Taproot Survey, it appears that Edmonton has elected a council that believes every decision is a climate decision, wants to expand Housing First programs, supports the city's current approach to infill, and wants more bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Mayor-elect Amarjeet Sohi and his newly elected council appear to be more divided on whether the city should build more affordable housing without funding from other orders of government, how best to bring the City Plan to life, and what should be done about transit fares.

You can see the responses of the elected candidates on Taproot's election site.

Note that Karen Principe, who unseated Jon Dziadyk in tastawiyiniwak, did not fill out the Taproot Survey, so we don't know where she stands on these issues.

The full results are available on Taproot's election results dashboard.

You can also see how the first 16,000+ voters who took the Taproot Survey lined up on each issue. In the end, more than 21,000 responses came in.

A pie chart showing Sohi with a large yellow wedge of support

'An Edmonton for all of us': Amarjeet Sohi elected as our city's next mayor

By Emily Rendell-Watson

Amarjeet Sohi was elected as Edmonton's next mayor on Oct. 18 with 45.1% of the vote, handily beating the next closest candidates, Mike Nickel (25.3%) and Kim Krushell (17.3%).

Sohi, who has served Edmonton both municipally and federally, will lead a council on which four incumbents were unseated and onto which more women were elected than ever before. Sohi is also the first person of colour to be elected as the city's mayor.

"I came to this city as a young man ... I had nothing, yet I had everything. As an 18-year-old immigrant without much to my name, I had ambitions and dreams to build a better life in a new home," said Sohi on a livestream broadcast in lieu of a public event on election night.

"Dreams that sometimes seemed impossible, and today because of you ... we have made the impossible, possible. "

In a passionate speech, Sohi spoke about tackling racism and discrimination; nurturing arts and culture; building a sustainable and climate resilient city; and helping the economy recover and grow to withstand challenges in the years to come.

He also addressed voters for whom he was not the first choice, promising to show up for every Edmontonian as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We will build an Edmonton for all of us," said Sohi. "So let's get to work."

The race for mayor, which many expected to be closer, was called early on as Sohi edged away from the other eight contenders (Rick Comrie and Abdul Malik Chikwudi both pulled out before election day, endorsing Mike Nickel).

Sohi will replace two-term Mayor Don Iveson, who announced last year that he would not seek re-election. Iveson congratulated Sohi in a statement, saying: "I know Edmonton will thrive under your leadership."

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By Mack Male

An array of logos from the 10 companies featured at Launch Party 12

Ten Edmonton companies to pitch products, solutions at Launch Party 12

By Emily Rendell-Watson

Edmonton Startup Week's annual Launch Party is back for its 12th year, with 10 up-and-coming startups set to share their plans with the local innovation community.

"Innovation is a team game," said Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren.

"With the local connectivity, support, and exposure that companies receive during Startup Week, they have a strategic advantage — and a platform for sustainable growth. Successful startups spark job creation, investment stimulation, and Edmonton's economic diversification."

The flagship event kicks off at 7pm on Oct. 21. Here's a look at the featured companies:

  • Agriolabs Technologies Inc. makes compact stackable home gardens that turn unused space into convenient sources of fresh veggies.
  • Air Trail helps regional airlines save time and money by replacing traditional paperwork with its suite of automated tools.
  • Areto Labs helps to make digital communities more positive and inclusive by building apps and bots that post culture-building messages and prompts.
  • Browse AI lets you train a robot to scrape any website in two minutes with no code, essentially turning any website into an API.
  • Elev helps students get matched with ideal homes, including signing the lease and paying rent through its app.
  • Fly & Fetch is a modern shipping company that provides cheaper, faster, and friendlier shipping rates by hiring travellers to transport packages.
  • HRing is an app that shortens hiring time, reduces cost to hire, and allows companies to make more informed hiring decisions through video introductions.
  • Luuze helps people lose weight sustainably like its founder, Andrew Luu, did when he lost 100 pounds.
  • (Re)Waste helps businesses divert plastic from landfills and transforms it into 100% recycled plastic products.
  • Zipstall is an app that's bringing a new strategy to the parking industry.
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Bottega 104

Downtown restaurants had front row seat for filming

By Sharon Yeo in the Food Roundup

Several streets were closed downtown over the last two weeks to accommodate filming for HBO's The Last of Us. Edmonton is standing in for Boston, twenty years after the apocalypse. While businesses remained open as the post-apocalyptic sets were being constructed outside their storefront windows, in a few cases, they had to close completely during filming and were compensated for doing so.

On 104 Street, when filming took place on Oct. 15, businesses from DOSC to Tzin shut their doors for the day. Most restaurants temporarily relocated their patios, but Bottega's set-up required more intentional dressing with strategically placed vines. Bottega 104 was contacted about their involvement in the production, but declined to comment.

Over on Rice Howard Way, the set was much more elaborate and required Dalla to close for two days from Oct. 13-14. Server Trish Morgan confirmed that although Dalla wasn't ultimately reconfigured into a salon as was reported by Postmedia, the restaurant did act as a green room for the cast and crew.

"It was an exciting week in the restaurant," said Morgan. "Dalla had front row seats to the action on Rice Howard Way."

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Edmonton Startup Week

Edmonton Startup Week features 50+ community events


A message from Startup Edmonton:

"Edmonton Startup Week offers workshops, socials, and events celebrating the vibrancy of the startup community in Edmonton. It's a time to build connections, discover what is possible, celebrate new companies, and inspire entrepreneurship in all of us.

An amazing network of community leaders organize hundreds of tech-focused meetups each year and Edmonton Startup Week is a chance to check-out the scene and celebrate together. Hear from local and visiting entrepreneurs as they share their experiences and stories."

Upcoming VIRTUAL events include workshops on raising funds, the how's and why's of data science, and lessons learned from entrepreneurs. Sign up today!

Learn more