Edmonton Notes for April 19, 2020

As of April 19 at 4:45pm, there are 2,803 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta including 429 here in the Edmonton zone. There have been 55 deaths in Alberta from the disease.

The Government of Alberta’s page on COVID-19 has the most up-to-date information for our province. Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.

Alberta Legislature

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • The City of Edmonton faces an estimated $109.8 million shortfall by September due to the pandemic and will consider additional layoffs as a result. Delays in infrastructure spending are also on the table. “If things get really bad, we’re going to need significant support from senior orders of government to avoid deficits or huge tax increases or massive loss in service delivery or crippling infrastructure cutbacks,” said Mayor Don Iveson. Council will discuss the budget again on April 27.
  • Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) has announced it began laying off nearly 1,100 hourly workers on March 12, and that a second round of temporary layoffs for full-time staff is coming. Cheryll Watson, VP of Innovate Edmonton, and Glen Vanstone, VP of Research and Strategy, have both "departed" the organization and other senior leaders have been impacted by salary rollbacks. See the latest edition of the Business Roundup for more.
  • Mayor Don Iveson has asked Premier Jason Kenney to support $2.1 billion in infrastructure projects, which could create 6,400 jobs in Edmonton. “We’re hopeful we can advance some priorities that also advance some of the city’s goals,” said Iveson. The list contains the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre and the Downtown District Energy Initiative.
  • Starting Monday, April 20, Edmonton Transit will end LRT services at 10pm every night and bus service will shut down at midnight. "The City is exploring options to assist essential services workers who may be impacted by this change."
  • The City of Edmonton will suspend license agreements with e-scooter businesses like Bird and Lime until at least the end of June. "This decision was made with the safety of the public in mind."
  • Edmonton’s hospitality industry should have been celebrating the NHL postseason, but thanks to COVID-19 there is just shared gloom, reports The Globe and Mail. “Our ultimate dream as bar owners in Edmonton was a matchup between the Oilers and Flames,” said Jerry Rota, co-owner of Central Social Hall. “Now, the restaurant industry is in a major crisis. It is very sad. We expected this to be a good time in our lives,” said Devin Pope of Mercer Tavern.
  • The 39th annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival has been cancelled. "Sometimes it simply isn’t possible for the show(s) to go on," wrote festival organizers. "The decision to cancel is difficult, emotional, but necessary." Last year, a record 147,358 tickers were sold generating $1.4 million for participating artists, reports CBC News.
  • Edmonton Public Schools is temporarily laying off 1,868 workers as of May 15, including 1,094 educational assistants who have been deemed non-essential.
  • Edmonton Catholic Schools is temporarily laying off 708 staff as of April 30, including 479 educational assistants who have been deemed non-essential. The cuts will save $5.7 million. Board chair Laura Thibert said when schools reopen, "they will be back."
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services is reminding Edmontonians to stay off the North Saskatchewan River and away from the river banks.
  • According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, home sales in Edmonton declined 13.2% between February and March. "Home price trends have ticked downwards in Calgary and Edmonton to start 2020 but have generally been stable since the beginning of last year."
  • "The aggregate price of a home in Edmonton decreased 1.4% year-over-year to $371,118 in the first quarter of 2020," according to the latest Royal LePage market forecast.
  • The Edmonton Oilers have announced the creation of the Colby Cave Memorial Fund to "help carry on the memory and legacy of Oilers forward Colby Cave, who passed away suddenly and tragically on April 11."
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, the Region, Music, Arts, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

Upcoming Events (April 20-26)

The vast majority of upcoming events have been cancelled or postponed. If you’re unsure, just stay home – especially if you’re feeling sick.

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