The Pulse: Feb. 2, 2023

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

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


  • -11°C: Mainly cloudy. 30% chance of flurries in the morning and early in the afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 11. Wind chill minus 29 in the morning and minus 17 in the afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 1 or low. (forecast)
  • Red/Blue: The High Level Bridge will be lit red and blue for the Flying Canoë Volant Festival and Races, which runs Feb. 1-4. (details)

City manager Andre Corbould behind a podium

City of Edmonton restricts hiring, travel, spending on consultants

By Mack Male

The City of Edmonton has introduced a series of operational measures to reduce costs in support of city council's request for $60 million in savings over the 2023-2026 budget cycle.

Effective Feb. 1, spending on new hires, travel, training, and some consultants will be restricted, the city confirmed to Taproot. All recruitment will be reviewed by deputy city managers, with only critical postings allowed to proceed, but some hiring will continue.

"This is not a hiring freeze, I want to be clear," city manager Andre Corbould said at a city council meeting on Jan. 25. "It's a restraint mechanism."

Corbould said the city would honour the collective agreements it has in place. "I recently expressed that we would do this in a meeting with the coalition of civic unions," he said. "We'll honour that commitment of collective agreements for sure."

Deputy city managers will also review all travel and external training requests, approving only essential or legally required activities. Likewise, expenditures for hosting must be pre-approved and only for essential business. The use of management consultants to provide external advice on business strategy will be limited.

While the city does not have an estimate for the financial impact of the measures, spokesperson Janice Schroeder said administration will report back to council next month on some of the initial savings. "For example ... we will likely know how many recruitments were cancelled before an offer was made, and how many vacant positions were deemed critical/not critical in the first weeks of the program."

The measures have been introduced in support of an amendment to the 2023-2026 operating budget put forward by Mayor Amarjeet Sohi that directed administration to find $15 million in savings per year, without impacting frontline essential services.

In a statement to Taproot, Sohi said he was pleased to see administration moving forward with the spending restraints. "This budget was about affordability, not austerity — making life more affordable for all Edmontonians continues to be a shared goal of both Council and City of Edmonton administration," Sohi said.

Corbould told council he's confident the desired outcome can be achieved.

"That $60 million has already been taken out of the budget," he said. "I'm confident we can accomplish that reduction, and I've called on all service areas of the organization to consider and contribute to that work."

Continue reading

Headlines: Feb. 2, 2023

By Kevin Holowack