The Pulse: June 16, 2022

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

Sponsored by:

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • 21°C: Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness early in the afternoon then 30% chance of showers in the afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 21. UV index 7 or high. (forecast)
  • 719: There were 719 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alberta as of June 15, down 97 from the previous week. (details)
  • 81-84: The Edmonton Stingers lost to the Fraser Valley Bandits on June 15. (details)
  • Green/Gold: The High Level Bridge will be lit green and gold for University of Alberta Convocation. (details)

A smiling Filipina with her arm around her six-year-old daughter

Mother and advocate wages final campaign to avoid deportation

By Brett McKay

A Filipina who came to Edmonton as a temporary foreign worker and went on to win a human-rights award for her advocacy work is scheduled to be deported in July, likely bringing her six-year-old Canadian-born daughter with her if she has to go.

Evangeline (Vangie) Cayanan has lived in Edmonton since 2011. It's where she established her life and community, and where she gave birth to her now six-year-old daughter, McKenna Rose. After McKenna was born in 2015, Cayanan's application for another work permit was denied, and she has been living here without status since then.

In 2017, Cayanan and others successfully campaigned to secure health-care access for McKenna Rose and other children of non-status parents in Alberta, for which she was given a Human Rights Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, using the alias "Lynn" at the time.

Cayanan has pursued and been denied all legal pathways to stay in Canada. Now advocates are pulling out the stops to try to keep her and her daughter here.

"Vangie and McKenna are integral parts of our Edmonton community," Edmonton-Griesbach MP Blake Desjarlais said in a letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. "They deserve permanent status and to remain in Canada. Our immigration policy must remain humane and sensitive to all."

In the House of Commons, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that his department was aware of the case and would "ensure that the rules were applied fairly but also with a compassionate lens."

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for Cayanan to be given permanent resident status, and teachers and community members have organized a show of support in Edmonton on June 16.

While Cayanan has no official status in Canada, her daughter is a citizen by birth. McKenna Rose also has severe ADHD, and advocates worry that without the behavioural therapy she is receiving – and with the stress of being removed to the Philippines – her health will suffer.

"It's very complicated because Immigration would say, yes, the child is Canadian, and that she can stay," explained Marco Luciano, the director of Migrante Alberta. "But for a six-year-old child, going through foster care because the mom is deported is also not in the best interest of the child. Essentially, McKenna is being deported with her mom. The issue is not just about deportation. It's about splitting the family – the mother and daughter – and bigger issues will come up when that happens, particularly for McKenna."

Cayanan's application to be granted residency under a humanitarian and compassionate immigration claim has already been denied, but a legal challenge deferred her original date of removal from May to July, when a final decision on her case is expected to be made.

Continue reading


By Kevin Holowack and Mack Male

  • City council's executive committee has directed administration to prepare a package of infrastructure projects as outlined in the Chinatown Strategy — which was approved in 2018 without capital funding — for consideration in the upcoming 2023-2026 budget. "I think, clearly, this is investment that's been needed for a long time," said Coun. Anne Stevenson. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the investment is "absolutely necessary" and that Chinatown deserves the same "concerted focused attention" as downtown has received. "Chinatown has been neglected for decades. We need to step up," he said.
  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi told Postmedia that the relationship between city council and the police commission is improving despite friction during recent police funding debates. "The tension is lessening, but there is still a lack of clarity around who is to hold police accountable when something goes wrong," Sohi said.
  • Several legal experts told CBC News the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service deviated from standard practice in their handling of Justin Bone and could have made interventions that would have prevented fatal attacks in Chinatown on May 18. Ritesh Narayan, a criminologist with Mount Royal University, said that the RCMP could have detained Bone but instead executed "a reverse starlight tour." He also said EPS had the power to make an arrest. "There was plenty to detain the individual and take him into custody," he said.
  • A memorial for Edmontonians who died for reasons related to homelessness was held on June 15 at the Homeless Memorial Plaza. The annual event had been cancelled since 2019 because of COVID-19. According to Jim Gurnett with the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, many individuals that have died in recent years were without adequate housing for over a decade. The city said in April that the number of people living on Edmonton's streets doubled to 3,000 during the pandemic.
  • Effective June 15, worksites within five meters of an open space tree or ten meters of a natural vegetation area need to implement tree protection measures and apply for a permit. The city's new Public Tree Permit process applies to all city land including boulevards, and applications can be made through an online self-service tool.
  • City staff are expecting high fuel prices to factor into upcoming 2023-2026 budget deliberations. The city is currently over its fuel budget, but Harmalkit Rai with the financial services department says budgetary pressure can be handled internally, so tax levies and service reductions are off the table for now. Edmonton has around 2,250 municipal vehicles operating at any time.
  • Veteran sports columnist Terry Jones, who started with the Edmonton Journal in 1967 and the Edmonton Sun in 1982, announced on Twitter that he has been fired by Postmedia via a phone call from Toronto. "Thank you all so much for reading," wrote Jones. "Hardly the way I hoped it would end." Sympathy rolled in from fellow Edmonton news icon Bob Layton from 630 CHED, TSN sports broadcaster Ryan Rishaug, Postmedia hockey columnist Bruce Garrioch, and others. In 2017 — the 50-year anniversary of Jones's career — Postmedia called him "synonymous with Edmonton sports" and published a career retrospective.
  • According to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts in Edmonton increased 67% year-over-year from May 2021 to May 2022.
Taproot Edmonton's Bloom podcast, brought to you by Innovate Edmonton

Bloom: Sending robots where humans fear to tread

By Karen Unland

In Episode 18 of Bloom, Karen Unland shares an interview with Nicolas Olmedo, CTO of Copperstone Technologies, which offers "robots as a service" to help companies monitor hazardous sites.

Olmedo and his co-founders, Stephen Dwyer and Jamie Yuen, first met in a robotics club at the University of Alberta, back when you couldn't just buy a camera-equipped drone off the shelf. They did a Mitacs internship together in 2014 and got an offer to work for the company where they interned. Instead, they started Copperstone, and that would-be employer became their first customer.

"We made a lot of money that then we could invest in robots," said Olmedo, who accepted an Entrepreneur of the Year award from Mitacs on June 2.

And invest they did, building a line of HELIX robots with screw-shaped pontoons that can navigate mud, snow, ice, or rocks, getting into places where humans either can't go or shouldn't go due to the dangerous conditions.

Along the way, they developed a business model that aligned with the needs of their customers.

"Over the last 10 years, robots have exponentially increased their capabilities, like delivering pizza, flying vaccines into remote areas, and so on. And initially, everybody thought that everybody would want to own a robot," Olmedo said. "But it didn't happen. Most people just want the service, they just want what the robot can do for them. So we had to adapt."

Listen to the episode to hear more about the other smart moves Copperstone made to get to where it is today. You'll also hear Unland and co-host Faaiza Ramji share notes on Zero Point Cryogenics, Element 4, and Correct-AI, three industrial innovators who will be making a pitch for investment at Startup TNT's Investment Summit V finale on June 23.

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