The Pulse: Oct. 23, 2023

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  • -3°C: Snow. Amount 2 cm. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h near noon. High minus 3. Wind chill near minus 10. (forecast)
  • Purple: The High Level Bridge will be lit purple for St. Stephen's College Convocation. (details)
  • 2-3: The Edmonton Oilers (1-3-1) lost to the Winnipeg Jets (2-3-0) in overtime on Oct. 21. (details)
  • 25-45: The Edmonton Elks (4-14-0) lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (13-4-0) on Oct. 21. (details)

Councillors Sarah Hamilton, Erin Rutherford, and Ashley Salvador sitting in council chambers

On the agenda: Zoning, transit safety, and construction accountability

By Stephanie Swensrude

This week, city council will continue a public hearing on the proposed zoning bylaw renewal on Oct. 23. Council will also have a private non-regular meeting on Oct. 23 to discuss updates on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and pre-budget submissions, and it will meet on Oct. 24 with a continuation scheduled for Oct. 25 if required.

Here are some of the key items on the agenda:

  • Council will continue a marathon public hearing on the proposed zoning bylaw renewal on Oct. 23, marking the sixth day of feedback and debate. Since Oct. 16, council has heard from more than 200 speakers in support of or opposed to the bylaw and started asking questions to administration on Oct. 19. Coun. Karen Principe introduced a motion on Oct. 20 to refer the bylaw back to administration for six months for more engagement, particularly about energy efficiency, heritage preservation, aging in place, adequate green space, and separation of supervised consumption sites. The motion was defeated 10-2 with Principe and Coun. Jennifer Rice voting in favour.
  • Three options to help with ongoing transit safety challenges will be considered: permanent enhanced cleaning of transit spaces; attendants to assist riders at stations; and supporting events, art, and busking in transit spaces. The programs would require about $2.3 million, $2.5 million, and $300,000, respectively, in ongoing annual funding. Administration will also present its latest bi-monthly update on the transit safety plan.
  • Ward Anirniq Coun. Erin Rutherford will introduce a motion calling for a review of the construction of Castledowns Pointe, including plans and documents, and for administration to share any lessons learned on construction accountability. In September, the city told residents to evacuate the building after structural engineers discovered the building was at risk of collapsing. Rutherford is also seeking a report on the roles and responsibilities in the construction process and how they've changed in the past 20 years.
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Headlines: Oct. 23, 2023

By Mariam Ibrahim

  • The warm October weather will be replaced with chilly Arctic air this week as Edmonton is set to get its first snowfall of the season. The snow was expected to begin on Oct. 22 and continue through the night, with 2 to 5 cm possible in Edmonton and other parts of the province by Oct. 24, Environment Canada said in a special weather statement.
  • The city proclaimed Oct. 21 to 29 as Heritage Classic Week in preparation for the upcoming outdoor NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. Mayor Amarjeet Sohi made the proclamation during the Pucks on the Plaza event outside City Hall, which featured a street hockey scrimmage, contests, and live performances. Edmonton hosted the first Heritage Classic 20 years ago in frigid conditions, recalled former Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe. "It was a magical time, no question, the temperature played into I'm sure," he said. The puck drops for this year's Heritage Classic at 5pm on Oct. 29.
  • Protestors squared off on Whyte Avenue on Oct. 21 as supporters of the 1 Million March 4 Children rallied against sexual orientation and gender identity school curriculum, while supporters of LGBTQ2 education held their own counter-protest across the street. Benita Pedersen with the 1 Million March 4 Children group alleged the curriculum is teaching children "to doubt their own gender and exposing young kids to concepts of sexuality that are too mature." Counter-protester Nikita Dabrowski argued the movement is "part of a campaign to demonize and eradicate LGBT people." Last month, protestors on either side of the issue rallied outside the Alberta Teachers' Association building in west Edmonton.
  • The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has cleared Edmonton Police Service officers of wrongdoing in two separate investigations. In the first case from April 2019, ASIRT ruled that three officers were justified in using their firearms as they responded to a stolen vehicle that posed a threat. In the second case from March 2022, ASIRT cleared four officers after a fatal shooting near police headquarters. ASIRT ruled that the officers were "acting properly in the execution of their duties."
  • The federal government announced a $1.8-million investment through PrairiesCan for a Francophone Economic Development Fund to support the economic development of Francophone communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The funding will support 30 community-based projects over the next three years, focusing on areas such as trade and investment, economic immigration, the green economy, youth, and tourism. Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta will administer the fund in partnership with its organizational counterparts in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
  • A blind, non-verbal woman who was the subject of an Amber Alert was found safe after she was abducted in a stolen vehicle on 118 Avenue on Oct. 19. The alert, issued at 8:27pm, was cancelled at 9:01pm after RCMP located the stolen vehicle in Fort Saskatchewan with the woman inside. She was unharmed. Police have released a surveillance image of two suspects in connection with the ongoing investigation.
  • Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is off the ice for one to two weeks after sustaining an upper-body injury during a game against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 21. McDavid was seen grabbing his left side with 4:20 left in the third period, and did not return to the ice for the remainder of the game. The injury puts his participation in the upcoming Heritage Classic on Oct. 29 at Commonwealth Stadium in question.
  • Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was unimpressed with a reporter's question about goaltender Stuart Skinner's on-ice mistake that allowed the Winnipeg Jets to score on an open net in the second period of their Oct. 21 game. The goal tied the game, which Winnipeg went on to win 3-2 in overtime. "What do you want me to say to him?," Draisaitl said. "He made a mistake, like, big deal ... we all make mistakes." The team has had a slow start to its season, with one win in five games. The Oilers next game is against the Minnesota Wild on Oct. 24.
  • The Edmonton Elks ended their regular season with their fourth-straight loss and are missing the playoffs for the third year in a row. The team lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 45-25 at IG Field on Oct. 21, ending their season with a 4-14 record. It was a rough season for the Elks, who set a record for the most consecutive home losses in North American professional sports. The Elks also announced they would close the upper bowl of Commonwealth Stadium next year, meaning fewer seats will be for sale at each game.
Portraits of Katrina Ingram, Kate Boorman, Eugene Chen, and Marilène Oliver

Coming up this week: Oct. 23-27, 2023

By Debbi Serafinchon

Events happening this week explore advances in protein biology, the collection of race-based data, the state of hydrogen, AI's effect on the arts, a path to entrepreneurial success, a piece of Edmonton's 2SLGBTQ+ history, developments in agtech, and Alberta's innovation scene.

Find even more things to do in Taproot's weekly roundups.

Photo: Kate Boorman (top right), the writer in residence at the Edmonton Public Library, will moderate a discussion about AI and creativity with panelists ethics consultant Katrina Ingram, artist Marilène Oliver, and developer Eugene Chen. (Edmonton Public Library/Facebook)