The Pulse: March 17, 2022

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

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  • 10°C: Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 10. Wind chill minus 8 in the morning. UV index 3 or moderate. (forecast)
  • 989: There are 989 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, including 70 in intensive care. Alberta revised the total number of deaths to 4,013. (details)
  • 7pm: The Oilers (33-23-4) will play the Buffalo Sabres (20-32-8) at Rogers Place. (details)

A smiling David Dodge holds a camera and microphone in front of an array of solar panels

Decade of renewable-energy stories fuels David Dodge's optimism

By Nathan Fung

While he was doing a story about a net-zero home builder in Calgary, environmental journalist David Dodge learned it was one of his videos that inspired the company's environmentally conscious approach.

"I had a tiny small part in inspiring him, so I take a lot of solace in that … that's the kind of thing that gets me jazzed," Dodge said as he reflected on the past 10 years of Green Energy Futures, a video, radio, and blog series about businesses that focus on clean energy and sustainability.

After 310 episodes, Dodge is still optimistic about society's ability to address climate change, especially as low-carbon power becomes more affordable.

"When I started Green Energy Futures, solar didn't even exist in Alberta. Now we're dealing with the fact that solar and wind power are the cheapest sources of energy that money can buy," he said.

"I think I've built a compelling case in more than 300 episodes that there's a lot of potential … In fact, I would argue our future economy and the success of places like Alberta and Edmonton depend on (clean technology) now."

A recent post on the Sundance Housing Cooperative in Edmonton's Riverdale neighbourhood is an example of the kind of story that keeps Dodge hopeful. There, 59 townhouse units are being retrofitted by Butterwick Projects Ltd. with new insulation to meet net-zero standards. These homes will require 70% less energy to heat, enabling them to replace their gas furnaces with air-source heat pumps that run on electricity.

Dodge launched Green Energy Futures in 2012 because he was "absolutely appalled" at the quality of media coverage around renewable energy. He wanted to find inspiring people in the clean technology area that were doing things that could be replicated. After pitching his idea to several corporate sponsors, he was able to get three years' worth of funding, which also allowed him to travel across Canada for some of his stories.

Since then, some funding for his work comes from the businesses he covers, but Dodge maintains editorial control of his content. He also accepts donations from readers or viewers.

Continue reading


By Mack Male

  • City council has approved a rezoning request for the lot between Gateway Boulevard and Calgary Trail on 46 Avenue that has been vacant for 12 years. The proposed EVER Square project would be a commercial complex consisting of four buildings varying in height from four to 10 storeys. A motion from Coun. Anne Stevenson directing administration to work with the applicant to "provide a development that is more street-oriented and incorporates opportunities for active transportation adjacent to the site" was defeated 9-4.
  • About 12,000 potholes have been repaired since Jan. 1, according to the city. That's down from the number fixed by the same time last year, which the city blames on the weather. Philip Herritt, director of infrastructure operations, also said more than 5,800 catch basins have been cleared so far this year. Crews are no longer removing windrows as the weather warms up.
  • The closure of the 102 Avenue bike lane between 115 Street and 117 Street for the installation of a manhole for sewer line maintenance is frustrating commuters. "We're hearing pretty loud and clear from a lot of the commuters in Oliver that they're not looking forward to the unsafe detour that this is going to result from," said Oliver Community League president Robyn Paches. Construction, which began this week, is expected to last until the end of August.
  • Global Edmonton's Gord Steinke spoke about his pre-journalism music career, his love of motorcycles, and his 30 years in news on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast.
  • Health Minister Jason Copping announced the province will now update COVID-19 numbers only once per week. "We are at a point where trends over longer periods of time are more relevant than day-to-day fluctuations," he said.
Taproot Edmonton's Bloom podcast, brought to you by Innovate Edmonton

Bloom: Philanthropic innovation and a community look-ahead

By Karen Unland

In Episode 8 of Bloom, co-host Emily Rendell-Watson interviews Martin Garber-Conrad, who is about to retire after 17 years at the helm of the Edmonton Community Foundation. They talk about the foundation's many innovative approaches to philanthropy during his term, including the launch of the Social Enterprise Fund, the foundation's rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creation of The Well Endowed Podcast.

"It's actually our endowments that were set up years ago that give us the capacity to respond in often very innovative ways now," he said. "And ... we're going to be able to do that for many decades, and for many generations into the future."

Rendell-Watson and co-host Faaiza Ramji go on to take a look at some upcoming events of interest to the innovation community, including the finale of Startup TNT's Life Sciences Investment Summit on March 17; the Rainforest Summit (at which Taproot co-founder Mack Male is the keynote speaker) on March 24; the Cleantech Investment Summit on April 7; the Alberta Technology Symposium in Calgary in April; and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute's AI Week in Edmonton in May.

You'll also hear a message from Bloom's sponsor, Innovate Edmonton, in which CEO Catherine Warren discusses how the term "innovation" has been somewhat hijacked by Silicon Valley and needs to be reclaimed.

If you have an event or a story that's related to the spirit of innovation in Edmonton, Bloom is interested! Send it to

Bloom is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and everywhere else you get your podcasts.