The Pulse: Jan. 28, 2022

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

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  • 8°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 near noon. High 8. Wind chill minus 7 in the morning. UV index 1 or low. (forecast)
  • 1,469: There are 1,469 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Alberta, including 106 in intensive care. The province reported 14 new deaths on Jan. 27, bringing the pandemic total to 3,518. (details)
  • 3-2: The Oilers (21-16-2) defeated the Nashville Predators (27-14-4) in overtime. (details))

Three scanned in copies of newspapers from 2005, 2009, and 2011

Alberta Street News preserved for future generations

By Andy Trussler

Back issues of Alberta Street News and its predecessor, Edmonton Street News, have been digitally preserved, ensuring the history of a newspaper born to give a voice and income to marginalized people will live on.

The publication, born in 2003, features writing by people experiencing poverty or homelessness. Vendors in Edmonton and Calgary purchase papers at 50 cents a copy, then ask people to pay that plus a donation.

Founder, editor, and designer Linda Dumont has been the passionate driving force behind the street paper since its very first day.

"It gives people who are marginalized an opportunity to earn the money that they need," Dumont said. "Because what people need most is money. Not programs, not people telling them how to live, and not people organizing their lives — what they need most is money. If they had enough money, they wouldn't be poor."

Eric Rice, a former volunteer and writer, was the catalyst behind the preservation effort. "Knowing how hard Linda had worked over the years to publish ASN, how easy it was for print publications to disappear if they weren't preserved, and the wealth of stories that ASN contained, I thought it would be worthwhile to help facilitate the preservation," he said.

It was an article in Taproot about the digitization of See Magazine that inspired Rice to reach out to the U of A to preserve ASN.

"The significance of Linda's work lies in the importance of recording and preserving stories about people who are outside the mainstream and who may have nobody to remember them or sustain their memory," Rice said. "On a day-to-day basis, many homeless and marginalized people are passed by and ignored. Their lives deserve some recognition and remembrance."

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By Mack Male and Doug Johnson

  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi shared a series of funding requests ahead of the provincial budget on Feb. 24, identifying four urgent needs totalling $39 million: supportive housing, transit operations, downtown recovery, and the 2026 FIFA World Cup bid. "This will be an opportunity for our provincial government to show up for Edmonton," he said.
  • Snow-clearing crews are working non-stop to combat the pooling water near blocked catch basins, due to melting windrows. So far, the city has responded to around 23% of calls about the issue that came in the last four days, and they expect the challenge will continue as the weather continues to stay above zero for the next few days.
  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors' Caucus — which includes Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi — published an open letter, urging provincial and federal governments to provide more funds for public transit to deal with the impact the pandemic has had on revenues.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have signed Evander Kane to a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Kane will wear #91 for the Oilers. The deal followed an announcement from the NHL that there was not sufficient evidence to conclude that Kane "knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel."
  • Alberta Education will host a series of online forums from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28 to collect feedback on its proposed K-6 curriculum. "These new sessions will enable Albertans to have focused conversations and share specific, constructive feedback on the draft blueprint and subjects they are interested in," Education Minister Adriana LaGrange told Global News.
  • Alberta Health Services has opened its pandemic response unit in Edmonton to provide monitoring and support for patients "who are close to being released from hospital." Premier Jason Kenney said that he is confident that public health measures, including the Restrictions Exemption Program, will be relaxed by the end of March.
  • The United Nurses of Alberta voted 87% in favour of a new collective agreement with the province. The changes, which are retroactive from April 2020 until March 24, will see an increase in pay to the tune of 4.25% over four years, and a one-time, lump-sum payment for every hour of work the nurses did last year, to account for all the effort put in during the pandemic.
  • In the ongoing court battle between harm reduction organizations and the province, judges from the Alberta Court of Appeal are reserving a decision on the organizations' request to halt the province's supervised consumption site policy, which comes into effect on Monday. Critics say that this policy — which requires SCSs to take personal healthcare numbers of people who use their services — will push people to use drugs in unsafe conditions. It is not clear when the Court of Appeal will issue a decision.
Cover art for The 2nd Floor, with a picture of the hosts and the tagline How to survive, how to thrive, and keep up the good vibes in life and business

Podcast pick: The 2nd Floor

By Andy Trussler

There's no way around it: Edmonton businesses have been having a rough time lately. Almost three years of restrictions, closures, and unpredictable revenue have impacted local entrepreneurs in a profound way. The 2nd Floor podcast is a show dedicated to sharing their successes and the difficulties they've overcome when it felt impossible to do so.

"We understand from personal experience how overwhelming it can be to focus on building your passion into something monetary while juggling other demands in life," hosts Omid Qaderi/Qashus and Kenny Bhullar say on the show's website. As they say in their tagline, it's all about "how to survive, how to thrive, and keep up the good vibes in life and business."

During his biology degree in 2014, Qaderi got into media to stave off boredom and keep creative. Notably, he started Q Filmz Media, a video production company where he has shot and edited over 500 videos. In 2018, Qaderi went on to work as a creative director with Magnolias Consulting Group.

Bhullar boasts over 10 years of sales experience, a degree in marketing, and a knack for "guest interaction, strategy building, and holistic marketing solutions for the podcast." He's also a purple belt in jiu-jitsu!

Some recent tales of entrepreneurial accomplishments feature YEGfitness Magazine's nominees for Edmonton's best community supporters, the founder and CEO of Evolve Strength, and a makeup artist/nail technician. What they have in common? Resilience amid adversity.

The 2nd Floor is a place for business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with the struggles and successes of others, with weekly episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and the YouTube.

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

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