The Pulse: Jan. 3, 2023

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  • -8°C: Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 8. Wind chill minus 18 in the morning and minus 13 in the afternoon. (forecast)
  • 7pm: The Edmonton Oilers (20-16-2) play the Seattle Kraken (19-12-4) at Rogers Place. (details)

Headlines: Jan. 3, 2023

By Kevin Holowack and Mariam Ibrahim

  • Mayor Amarjeet Sohi predicted that city council will continue to experience tension with the Edmonton Police Service in 2023 and also anticipates challenges in council's relationship with administration, which has been tasked with cutting $60 million over the next four-year budget cycle. "There will always be some tension between authorities and city council," the mayor said in a year-end interview with CBC. "And that tension is also between city council and city administration because our role is to challenge the status quo."
  • In a year-end interview with Global News, chief Dale McFee of the Edmonton Police Service expressed frustration with council's decisions for police funding and said money is stretched "to the bone" going into 2023. In 2022, council increased the police budget to more than $414 million but has plans to discuss a police funding formula in the spring. McFee also suggested conversations about mental health and addictions have focused too much on housing and said he will be more vocal about these issues from "the safety perspective."
  • Brookside Hall, one of two rental spaces run by the Riverbend Community League, was significantly vandalized for a second time in three months on Dec. 31, including smashed ceilings and racial slurs spray-painted on the walls. The damage happened a week before the hall was set to reopen after being vandalized in October 2022. "The damage is far worse than the first time around, so it's going to be quite some time before our hall is able to open up," said league president Miep Raedschelders. All community events at the facility will remain on hold. Police are investigating but so far have no suspects.
  • A list of cannabis retailers released by the city in December indicates that more than half of Edmonton's 162 cannabis stores are located in only four wards: O-day'min (central), Karhiio (southeast), Anirniq (northwest), and papastew (south-central). According to some retailers, the high concentration makes it challenging for new stores to find space, particularly in the city core. In April 2022, a report by Cannabis Benchmarks found Alberta's cannabis market was oversaturated, and some in the industry have called for a cap on new stores.
  • Timothy Caulfield, a University of Alberta professor and Canada Research Chair in health law and policy, was among six Albertans appointed to the Order of Canada. Caulfield was named to the order for his work on health law, policy and ethics, and his efforts to counter misinformation. "Misinformation is a defining issue of our time," Caulfield told CBC. "I think it's good news that more and more people, including governments, are taking this battle against misinformation really seriously, because that's what's required."
  • Sarah Bisbee said her family of six has saved $25,000 since selling their minivan and replacing it with an e-bike four years ago and is encouraging more Edmontonians to go car-free. "Take what you've got, throw a trailer on the back for your kids, throw a trailer on the back to go get groceries," said Bisbee, who also runs a Twitter account to detail her savings. "It just gives you a new way to experience the city."