Regional beat followups: Transit, travel, and trees
By Karen Unland
Just because a story is written doesn't mean it's over. Here are some updates on regional stories we covered in 2022:
Sohi sees economic growth, sustainability, social issues as key regional issues (Jan. 5, 2022)
The original story: As Amarjeet Sohi looked ahead to his first full year as mayor of Edmonton, he spoke to Taproot about his interest in pursuing both economic development and social issues in the metro region.
Then what?: One of the big stories to come out of Edmonton's four-year budget decisions was city council's decision not to approve $13 million for the first phase of the Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Service Commission's service plan, despite endorsing the plan in September. Coun. Sarah Hamilton called the decision "the death of regionalism," but Sohi disagreed. "I want to take exception to the notion that us pulling from the regional commission is going to damage our relationships," he said. EMTSC chair Wes Brodhead said "trust has been broken" in a release, and St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron said she was "heartbroken," but Leduc Mayor Bob Young said he understood the decision.
Relaunched Port Alberta expands concept from airport to region (March 25, 2022)
The original story: Edmonton Global relaunched Port Alberta, a concept describing the convergence of air, rail, pipelines, and roadways in the Edmonton region that facilitates the movement of goods.
Then what?: Level 42 AI, a med-tech company based in Silicon Valley, announced plans in September to set up a digital health subsidiary called Vibrome in the Edmonton region, which Edmonton Global attributed in part to the region's connection to world markets via Port Alberta. The Edmonton International Airport (YEG) has continued to build out its cargo capacity. "We're seeing dramatic cargo growth because companies are realizing the efficiencies of actually using Edmonton as their jumping off point into the U.S. and then conversely, back into Asia or the Middle East," Myron Keehn told FreightWaves in August, a couple of months before he was named CEO of YEG.
Wisdom of wild boar farming questioned in light of feral pig problem (June 24, 2022)
The original story: People involved in both conservation and agriculture expressed concerns about the continuation of wild boar farming in Alberta, including in Parkland and Strathcona counties, as the threat posed by feral pigs grows.
Then what?: In October, Strathcona County updated its responsible livestock ownership bylaw, banning new wild boar farms and requiring current producers to register for a permit before Jan. 1.