The Pulse: Oct. 20, 2021

Edmonton Elections has reported voter turnout of 37.6% for Monday's election. That's the highest turnout since 2004 when Stephen Mandel was elected mayor for the first time. See all the results on our dashboard.

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  • 13°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming south 30 km/h gusting to 50 in the morning. High 13. (forecast)
  • 964: There are 964 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 218 in intensive care. (details)
  • 6-5: The Oilers (3-0-0) defeated the Ducks at Rogers Place. (details)

The municipal election was held Oct. 18.

Five new mayors bring fresh leadership to Edmonton-area municipalities

By Nathan Fung in the Regional Roundup

Five communities in the Edmonton region will be welcoming new mayors — including some political newcomers — following the Oct. 18 municipal election.

Mayors from Edmonton and the 12 largest municipalities in the area make up the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB), one of the major mechanisms for regional collaboration.

In addition to Edmonton's new mayor Amarjeet Sohi, here's a look at some of the new faces that will soon join the board and what they've said about regional relations.

Beaumont: City councillor Bill Daneluik beat incumbent John Stewart by 1,299 votes. He told Postmedia his focus would be to attract new residents, business opportunities and investment to Beaumont while maintaining its small-town identity.

Devon: Former mayor and councillor Jeff Craddock was victorious over incumbent Ray Ralph by 346 votes. Craddock's campaign focused on fiscal responsibility and criticized some of the town's recent spending decisions.

"During this past term there have been great things accomplished at great cost and some questionable planning," he wrote in a Facebook post.

Morinville: Businessman and home builder Simon Boersma defeated incumbent mayor Barry Turner by more than 900 votes. Boersma is a political newcomer, but previously served as president of the Morinville Chamber of Commerce, and works with the Rotary Club of Morinville.

Boersma told the St. Albert Gazette that, if elected, he would look into amalgamation with Sturgeon County, an issue that he'd brought up in 2020 with Morinville council. He proposed a specialized municipality to be made up of Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, Morinville, and Redwater, arguing it would reduce administrative costs and improve the town's residential and non-residential tax split.

He said he'd also look at pursuing city status for Morinville.

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By Mack Male

  • Mayor Don Iveson and mayor-elect Amarjeet Sohi met at city hall the day after the election. "It's a fantastic day to be an Edmontonian and I am thrilled to welcome my good friend and your next mayor Amarjeet Sohi back to city hall and congratulate him on a decisive victory," Iveson said. He thanked Edmontonians for "rejecting the politics of fear and anger and division and embracing hope and a continued progressive vision for this city." Sohi said his first priority is to build relationships with all members of council.
  • Premier Jason Kenney said during a media availability on Tuesday that he had reached out to extend a "hand of cooperation and collaboration" to both Sohi and Calgary mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek.
  • Flair Airlines announced it will open its base in Edmonton in December with the addition of new aircraft and new nonstop service to Hollywood-Burbank, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and Phoenix-Mesa. In the spring, it will add routes to Nashville, San Francisco, Comox, Regina, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon.
  • According to the latest figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing starts in Edmonton increased 4% last month compared with September 2020.
  • Commonwealth Stadium will host Canada's World Cup qualifying games against Costa Rica and Mexico on Nov. 12 and 16, respectively. It will be the first time superstar Alphonso Davies, who grew up in Edmonton, will play a professional match in his hometown.
  • The province has announced that effective Oct. 25, residents at continuing care facilities will be required to quarantine until a negative COVID-19 test is received after returning from hospital or being admitted from acute care.
Pamela Round, left, and Christine Friedenreich, right

Virtual conference for Alberta's cancer researchers aims to inspire collaboration

By Nathan Fung

For the first time in eight years, cancer researchers from throughout Alberta will gather at a conference to share their ideas, challenges, and achievements.

The Alberta Cancer Research Conference, kicking off Monday and running from Oct. 25 to 27, is a free virtual event to offer 600 registered attendees, including researchers from Edmonton and Calgary, a space to learn and network.

"We do have quite a few cutting-edge leading researchers in the province who have won national and international recognition for their research," co-organizer Christine Friedenreich told Taproot.

"[The conference is] a way of recognizing that this research is happening and highlighting it, and giving people a platform to share what they're doing."

Friedenreich, a cancer epidemiologist in Calgary, said the Alberta Cancer Foundation used to organize an annual in-person conference for researchers to share and discuss their work. The last one was in 2013.

Without some kind of provincial conference, Friedenreich said researchers were mostly confined to collaborating within their respective universities. Earlier this year, Friedenreich and Alberta Health Services started discussing the motion of a virtual conference to fill the void.

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DrugBank CEO Michael Wilson

Launch Party was a pivotal moment for DrugBank


A message from Startup Edmonton:

"In preparation for Edmonton Startup Week 2021, we spoke with DrugBank CEO Michael Wilson about his experience launching a company during the week's festivities. Like many founders, the opportunity to participate in Launch Party was a pivotal moment in DrugBank's origin story."

DrugBank launched (as OMx) at Launch Party 5 in 2014. Today, the company offers the world's largest online database of drug and drug target information.

"We look forward to Startup Week every year!" Wilson said. "It's part of our origin story and coming back each year to see new companies launching, meeting new people, and learning a ton is why we have a countdown in our calendars."

"It helps us remember where we came from and how grateful we are to events like Startup Week that help companies get the footing they need."

Read the full interview here.

Ten new companies are launching on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Launch Party 12. RSVP now!

Learn more