The Pulse: Dec. 17, 2021

Environment Canada is warning of extreme wind chill values of -40 to -45. Conditions are expected to improve early this weekend. Stay warm!

Taproot is taking a publishing break from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2 to recharge and spend time with family and friends. The next edition of The Pulse will arrive on Jan. 3. Happy holidays!

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  • -19°C: Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 19. Wind chill minus 40 in the morning and minus 26 in the afternoon. Frostbite in minutes. (forecast).
  • 59: Alberta announced 59 new cases of the Omicron variant, bringing the case count to 119 — nearly double what it was yesterday. The province also saw 473 new cases of the COVID-19, but there were no new deaths. (details).
  • 5-2: The Oilers (17-11-0) defeated the Blue Jackets (14-13-1) snapping a six-game losing streak. (details).

University of Alberta Land Trust map shows proposed development sites

Surplus U of A land tapped for future development profits

By Paul Cashman in the Business Roundup

After years of waiting for the green light to develop surplus land, the University of Alberta Properties Trust will seek city council's approval in 2022 for its first residential redevelopment plan and begin consultations on turning farmland into a new south Edmonton neighbourhood.

The goal of the arm's-length land trust is to generate revenues to fund teaching and research at the U of A, which faces increased financial pressure from the provincial government. It's modelled after a University of British Columbia land trust that was dubbed a river of gold.

Recently appointed CEO Greg Dewling said in an email interview it is too early to forecast how much the trust will earn for the U of A. "The expectations are high; we are working very hard to meet those expectations," he told Taproot.

The land trust was established in 2015 but only received provincial government approval to develop specific parcels of land in 2020.

"Michener Park is the first of several properties that the trust will develop in the coming years," Dewling said. "Stantec was engaged in 2020 to assist the trust in planning and rezoning the entire parcel. Two public engagement sessions have been held in 2021 which informed the design and submission to the city."

Area residents have been told the former 380-unit student housing site bordering South Campus will grow into a mixed-use area of 750 to 950 low- to high-density units, with commercial space anchored by a grocery store. "We anticipate the project will take five to seven years to complete. Market conditions will dictate the uptake of parcels and absorption of homes," Dewling said.

Continue reading


By Mack Male and Doug Johnson

  • A temporary 24/7 homeless shelter has opened at Commonwealth Stadium, as the city continues experiencing extreme cold. The shelter is operated by the Mustard Seed and currently has capacity for 50 people, though this will increase to 200 on Dec. 20.
  • The city has extended the Phase 1 parking ban for an additional one to two days because crews have been unable to clear snow from some main roads on which vehicles have remained parked. Since Phase 1 began, 186 tickets have been issued.
  • The impact of the smaller than expected increase to the Edmonton Police Service budget for 2022 is something chief Dale McFee is still considering. "Rule number one is we're going to protect the jobs of our folks, and we're going to protect public safety the best we can with the resources we have," he told CTV News. Michael Elliott, president of the Edmonton Police Association, called council's decision "sad and disappointing" on social media. "One does not require a crystal ball to predict the future of crime & disorder in Edmonton," he warned.
  • City council voted unanimously to keep Edmonton Transit Service fares at $3.50 on Dec. 15. Fares were set to increase to $4 with next year's budget — the city will replace the $3.45 million in lost revenue with money from the 2022 COVID-19 funding strategy.
  • Two harm reduction organizations are filing an emergency injunction against the Government of Alberta, hoping to stop the province from mandating IDing at supervised consumption sites. The organizations — the Lethbridge Overdose Prevention Society and Moms Stop the Harm Society — are currently embroiled in a lawsuit against the province after it made sweeping changes to how SCSs are handled in Alberta.
  • CBC Edmonton's Make the Season Kind campaign saw more than $920,000 raised for Edmonton's Food Bank, as of Dec. 16. The effort's goal was $500,000.
  • The Edmonton Elks will open the 2022 regular season on June 11 in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions.
House of Hush will ring in the New Year with flair.

Holiday agenda: Dec. 17, 2021- Jan. 2, 2022

By Andy Trussler

Art and markets

New Year's Eve

Get in the holiday spirit

Photo: House of Hush will ring in the New Year with flair. (Aaron Pederson/Violette Coquette)

Entrepreneurs of Edmonton cover art featuring a sketch of the skyline backed by a rainbow of colours

Podcast pick: Entrepreneurs of Edmonton

By Andy Trussler

Local entrepreneurs saw many highs and lows in 2021. While some found great success, other businesses have had to overcome never-before-seen adversity. So, what does it take to start, maintain, and succeed as an entrepreneur in Edmonton?

On Entrepreneurs of Edmonton, hosts Chad Banman and Matthew Donnelly seek to answer that question.

Their show talks to local entrepreneurs about their biggest failures, make-or-break decisions, the creation of healthy work cultures, managing doubt, and more. In that way, it's similar to the Mawji Centre's Let's Do Coffee, a podcast previously recommended in this space.

Since kicking off in March of 2021, Entrepreneurs of Edmonton has spoken with Geoff Stewart from Rig Hand Distillery, Jacquie Fenske from Fifendekel, Blaine MacMillan from Cowan Graphics, and Sophie Gray from DiveThru, among others.

If you want to know the secrets, trials, tribulations, and successes of local businesses and the people behind them, you can listen to new and old episodes on Buzzsprout, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

You can listen to podcast picks from Taproot on Listen Notes or Spotify.

More information