The Pulse: March 2, 2022

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  • -6°C: Periods of light snow ending in the morning then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 6. Wind chill near minus 13. UV index 1 or low. (forecast)
  • 1,225: There are 1,224 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 80 in intensive care. (details)
  • 3-0: The Oilers (30-21-3) defeated the Flyers (16-27-10). (details)

A portrait of Marcela Mandeville

Pandemic reveals need for systemic change, says advocate for women's entrepreneurship

By Emily Rendell-Watson

After two years of a global pandemic that has set female entrepreneurship back, the presence of women entrepreneurs is even more important now to bolster the economy, says the CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs.

"(The) innovation that comes with exploring different ideas, different ways of thinking, different experiences, that you can only get when there are different voices at the table, is incredibly important," said Marcela Mandeville, whose organization recently released Leveraging Economic Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs in Alberta, a paper that is the culmination of a two-year project to build capacity in the ecosystem supporting women entrepreneurs.

"And it's more than just having diversity, it is actually making sure that the voices are included in a way that's thoughtful and meaningful," she added. "Sometimes that can be uncomfortable, it may create a lot of change."

Mandeville noted that women have juggled their careers alongside caring for children and elderly family members, homeschooling, and domestic responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of those responsibilities have not shifted as much as they "should have and could have," even as things start to reopen. Some of that is due to an outdated model for child care.

"We have this inflexibility and this traditional structure of child care that has been a struggle for many women entrepreneurs for many years. It's not a nine-to-five job, as any entrepreneur can tell you," Mandeville explained.

"Women from diverse communities are looking into their own communities to help support the raising of their children. How is that being paid for? How is that being supported? There's a whole different model of child care."

She sees the pandemic as a catalyst to create systemic change for child care, which could positively impact how successful women entrepreneurs are going forward.

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By Mack Male

  • Premier Jason Kenney said the UCP government will introduce legislation as early as next week to amend the Municipal Government Act to prevent the ability of municipalities to impose their own public health restrictions. "We are concerned that a patchwork of separate policies across the province could just lead to greater division, confusion, enforcement difficulty with no compelling public health rationale," Kenney said. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the move was an unacceptable overreach. "It is about time that provinces recognize us as an equal order of government and do not meddle into the affairs where we can make our own decisions," Sohi said. In November 2020, Kenney said a province-wide mask mandate was unnecessary because municipalities could enact their own, "and we respect their authority to do so."
  • A new survey commissioned by the Downtown Business Association found that 70% of downtown workers plan to return to the office as public health restrictions are lifted. Executive director Puneeta McBryan said she expects many to adopt a hybrid schedule.
  • Some Edmonton businesses have been fundraising to support Ukraine, including Tisto Cakes which donated all of Saturday's profits to a Ukraine charity, and Confetti Sweets which sold $10,000 worth of gold and blue cookies for the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.
  • New LRT cars have been spotted rolling through downtown as testing for the Valley Line Southeast LRT continues. "Trains will be travelling anywhere between 10 km/h-50 km/h, depending on the location," said Brad Smid, director of the Valley Line for the City of Edmonton. There are three stops downtown: Quarters, Churchill, and 102 Street.
  • Edmonton has been named the best city in Canada to work from home for 2022 by PCMag. "Edmonton is the least-expensive Canadian major city, it has gigabit-fiber Internet, and it isn't isolated, with more than 4 million people within a few hours' drive and 36 nonstop destinations from its airport," the magazine wrote.
  • Edify has published its list of Edmonton's best restaurants for 2022. "From soup to steaks, pizza to pastries, we live in one flavourful city." RGE RD, Sabor, XIX Nineteen, Uccellino, and Bündok were named best overall.
  • Premier Jason Kenney has called for an end to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers. "We can't just be bloody-minded about this when a policy lever that we pulled is no longer useful," he said. A draft directive from Health Minister Jason Copping to Alberta Health Services would rescind the mandate as of March 15.
A newspaper clipping with the headline "Larger Premises for the City Post Office: Department Acts On Recommendation From Board Of Trade and Secures Offers of Premises"

A moment in history: March 2, 1906

By Scott Lilwall

On this day in 1906, the city's postal workers were calling for a bit more room. The desire for a bigger post office was enough to draw Canada's post office inspector, A.W. Cairns, to tour the city.

Edmonton's population was rising at a dizzying pace, and the city's post office didn't have a dedicated home, bouncing instead between various other buildings. According to the city's postmaster, the facilities were too small and crowded for the growing city.

Cairns's tour must have been convincing, as the federal government offered funding to build a dedicated post office. The result was an impressive stone-and-steel building on the corner of McDougall and Rice streets (now known as 101 Avenue and 100 Street), befitting Edmonton's growing importance. The white stone on the building's façade was shipped in from Manitoba. The domed clocktower on top of the four-storey post office made it the tallest building in Edmonton until the Legislature Building was constructed.

The new post office opened with surprisingly little fanfare in 1910. Then, after it had remained vacant and dark for nearly a year, the public woke up one November morning to find that staff had moved over and the office was open for business.

The post office served the city for more than half a century. Two new wings were added to the building in 1929. Eventually, the old building couldn't keep up with the new technological changes in mail delivery. In 1966, the post office moved to a new modern building on 104 Avenue, behind the CN Tower. The old building sat vacant for several years in limbo as both the city and the federal government debated over what to do with it. It fell into disrepair and, in 1972, was demolished to make way for the Westin Hotel.

While the building itself was lost, the clocktower was carefully taken apart and saved. The stonework was then preserved in a local cemetery. The clock itself was installed into a new tower that now stands on the site of the old building.

The city's main post office moved again recently to make room for the Royal Alberta Museum. (And, in what now seems to be tradition, the clock from that building was preserved as part of the RAM.) Now, Edmonton's main post office faces the reverse problem to the crowding it dealt with more than a century ago, with the Crown corporation suffering staff shortages across the country.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera via Twitter.