• 'They feel … betrayed': Pockets of toxic workplace culture drive some city employees to quit

    The City of Edmonton is overhauling its workplace complaints process in the face of serious concerns about pockets of festering harassment and discrimination.
    Past and current employees in multiple city departments told Postmedia the system allows a toxic work culture to develop in pockets of the city administration. Their stories — along with city surveys evaluating employee satisfaction, interviews with councillors hearing staff complaints, and union officials managing an increasing numb
  • Catholic education under attack in Alberta, retired bishop Frederick Henry tells trustees

    Catholic education is under attack and school trustees must celebrate, preserve, promote and enhance it.
    That was the message to delegates as the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association opened its annual general meeting Friday at the Westin hotel with a keynote address from Calgary’s retired bishop Frederick Henry.
    Henry also said society is overloading children with data on sex without giving them the ability to deal with what they are hearing.
    Children, he said, face “a
  • 'Smallest distillery in North America' starting retail sales in Old Strathcona operation

    Strathcona Spirits owner Adam Smith is so keen to put local ingredients in his company’s booze, he flavours the gin with wild juniper berries and sea buckthorn he picks himself.
    What Smith claims is North America’s smallest distillery opened last December in a 69-square-metre former radiator shop on a gentrifying Old Strathcona industrial block, outfitted with a $100,000 custom-made still he and a friend drove 10,000 km to pick up in the Ozarks.
    Although Strathcona Spirits has b
  • Edmonton playwright gets six months for possession of child porn

    An Edmonton playwright has been handed a jail sentence after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. 
    David Belke was sentenced to six months behind bars in an Edmonton courtroom Friday, according to court records. 
    The 57-year-old playwright, performer and former substitute teacher pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography Oct. 26. He was arrested March 17 after turning himself in to police. 
    Belke came under investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcem
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  • Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Edmonton but doesn't meet with Premier Rachel Notley

    Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh heaped praise on Premier Rachel Notley during his first official visit to Edmonton on Friday, but the two leaders failed to meet to discuss disagreements over pipeline projects considered vital to the provincial economy.
    “I think Premier Notley is an incredible premier … Someone who I have personally always really respected and looked up to and continue to do so,” Singh told Postmedia following a tour of the Alternative Energy Centre at the Nor
  • Mayor Don Iveson wants extra design review for developments near major LRT stations

    Mayor Don Iveson said he’ll push for all major new developments around LRT stations to get an additional design review after more than two dozen people turned out Friday to oppose towers proposed for Holyrood Gardens.
    The project would have three 22- and 18-storey towers lining 85 Street in the Holyrood neighbourhood, but neighbours worry new site rules sought by Regency Developments are too vague.
    Residents say the buildings don’t follow Edmonton’s planning guidelines, put tow
  • Students' union won't replace smashed piano installed in mental health initiative

    A mental health initiative at the University of Alberta has been smashed.
    Two “street pianos” had been installed above the Health Sciences LRT station pedway as part of a mental-health initiative in 2015 by then students’ union president William Lau.
    “The street piano initiative has ended, and plans were underway to donate the pianos to another organization,” said Alix Kemp, speaking on behalf of the University of Alberta Students’ Union.
  • Santa Claus parade set for Jasper Avenue on Saturday

    Santa Claus is coming to downtown Edmonton with a modified route from previous years.
    The Santa’s Parade of Lights will start on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on Jasper Avenue and 100 Street and travel westbound to end at Jasper Avenue and 108 Street, organizers said.
    Food trucks and Porta Potties will be located north of Jasper Avenue at 105 Street in Beaver Hills Park and south of Jasper Avenue near 102 Street.
    Jasper Avenue will be closed to traffic for the length of the parade, but north-south
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  • Paula Simons: Fixing "abysmal" Edmonton corporate culture a tall order

    According to a disturbing new report by City of Edmonton auditor David Wiun, almost 20 per cent of city staff feel they’ve been victims of workplace harassment or bullying. 
    Of those, only 36 per cent reported the alleged abuse. As an investigation this week by my Postmedia colleague Elise Stolte revealed, many city employees have lost faith in a complaints system which, they say, does little or nothing to stop abusers, and which brings down means of retribution on those who speak up.
  • City of Edmonton employees say they were harassed on the job

    Elise Stolte reads some of the emails she’s received from former and current City of Edmonton employees who say they have been harassed and how voiceless they feel.
  • Press Gallery #206: The Potcast edition

    With the Alberta government announcing rules around legal marijuana legislation this week, we finally get to use this much-awaited pun for the podcast title. 
    Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Dave Breakenridge, Paula Simons and Clare Clancy talk all things weed, from retail sales plans to new legislation around impaired driving. The team also asks what on earth former Alberta Party leader Greg Clark was smoking when he stood down, and the newly announced byelection (or high-e
  • Edmonton playwright gets six months on child porn possession charge

    An Edmonton playwright has been handed a jail sentence after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. 
    David Belke was sentenced to six months behind bars in an Edmonton courtroom Friday, according to court records. 
    The 57-year-old playwright, performer and former substitute teacher pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography Oct. 26. He was arrested March 17 after turning himself in to police. 
    Belke came under investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcem
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  • Medical cannabis clinic, possible pot shop coming to Old Strathcona

    An Ottawa company announced Friday it’s setting up a medical marijuana clinic in Old Strathcona that could become a retail outlet when recreational pot is legalized next July.
    National Access Cannabis Corp. intends to open a 195-square-metre office at 10401 82 Ave. in January where staff will discuss medical marijuana options with patients, the company said in a news release.
    The former bank building on the southwest corner of Whyte Avenue and Calgary Trail is “a prime location for a
  • Alberta Liberal Party leader tosses hat in the ring for Calgary byelection

    Alberta Liberal Party Leader David Khan announced Friday he’s tossing his hat in the ring in the upcoming Calgary byelection.
    He’ll face off against United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, who also needs a seat in the legislature.
    On Thursday, Premier Rachel Notley confirmed the byelection in Calgary-Lougheed will take place Dec. 14. 
    Longtime MLA Dave Rodney, a former Progressive Conservative who has held the seat since 2004, stepped down to pave the way for Kenney, shor
  • What will Accidental Beach look like after its first winter?

    A water expert who monitors the North Saskatchewan River said what Edmonton’s Accidental Beach will look like when the ice melts is anyone’s guess. 
    The beach, which formed downstream from a construction berm last spring and captivated Edmontonians last summer, is beneath a layer of snow and ice for the first time in its brief existence. Parts of the beach appeared to be submerged in the icy river earlier this month. 
    Hans Asfeldt, manager of water literacy with North
  • Premier Rachel Notley stands by pipelines despite TransCanada oil spill

    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is standing by the safety of pipelines to transport oil despite a 795,000-litre spill on the Keystone XL pipeline in South Dakota earlier this week.
    The spill on Thursday could not have come at a worst time as Nebraska is set to vote Monday on whether TransCanada Corp. can cross the state with its Keystone XL pipeline project.
    Once in Nebraska, it would connect with pipelines that feed Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
    Speaking Friday, Notley said the timing of the
  • Bean-to-bar production expands with renovation at Jacek Chocolate Couture

    Jacqueline Jacek of Jacek Chocolate Couture has expanded her chocolate-making facility in Sherwood Park, tripling the space to 7,600 square feet from 2,200 square feet in a renovation topping $150,000.
    “We couldn’t continue to take on more business if we didn’t grow,” says Jacek, 36.
    The business has been burgeoning by some 30 per cent per year since Jacek started making and selling chocolates from her basement in 2009, moving to the Sherwood Park facility at 406 Kas
  • Councillors shocked one fifth of city employees report harassment at work

    Edmonton’s auditor is adding his voice to calls for a review of the city’s internal complaints system after nearly one-fifth of city employees said they have experienced harassment.
    Eleven per cent also said in a citywide employee engagement survey in September 2016 that they had experienced discrimination.
    But only 36 per cent said they told someone about it.
    “The reporting process is broken,” said David Wiun after releasing his audit Thursday. He urged the city to ensur
  • Social Seen: Christmas in November

    For this special event, Donna Christensen, visuals editor and arts and features editor at the Edmonton Journal, was at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and took photos for an extra edition of Social Seen edition.
    Our regular weekly Social Seen column is shot by Edmonton photojournalist Codie McLachlan, who hits some of our city’s best bashes to snap photos for our weekly Social Seen column. Email your event suggestions to 
  • Man accused of having sexual chats with 12-year-old girl

    A 30-year-old man from Rocky Mountain House is facing charges of child luring after parents found sexually explicit chats between a man and their 12-year-old daughter.
    Tyler James Cumberland, 30, was arrested on Thursday after an investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.
    According to police, parents reached out for help in August after discovering sexualized photos and online conversations between their 12-year-old daughter
  • Missing woman may be with man wanted for first-degree murder

    Lac La Biche RCMP are looking for a missing woman who may be with a man wanted for first-degree murder after a father of three was fatally shot in his home.
    Earlier in November, Lac La Biche RCMP issued an arrest warrant for Lloyd Wesley Boudreau, 22, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection to the death of Michael Mountain, 26.
    Mountain was fatally shot at his home in Lac La Biche, where he lived with his wife and three young daughters, on Oct. 28.
    Michael Mountain, 26, was fata
  • Third arrest made after woman's body pulled from Lesser Slave River

    Slave Lake RCMP officers have made a third arrest in connection to the death of 21-year-old woman whose body was found in the Lesser Slave River in August.
    Nicole Brenda Robar, 21, was reported missing to Spruce Grove RCMP on Aug. 1 after she was last seen in Slave Lake on July 10.
    Robar’s body was found in the Lesser Slave River on Aug. 5.
    Nicole Robar pictured here was last seen in Spruce Grove on July 14.
    Warren Kyle Warren, 34, of Slave Lake, and Melinda Davis, 27, of Spruce Grove were
  • Get way down with Hadestown, onstage at the Citadel

    There is a reason myths stick around. Forever and always, there is a villain to be vanquished, and a love story to believe in. 
    The myth that roots Hadestown, which made its Canadian debut Thursday at the Citadel, is that of Orpheus, the charming musician, and Eurydice, his beautiful bride. The ancient Greek myth involves death by snake bite and a speedy descent for Eurydice to the underworld. But in the reimagined version by Anaïs Mitchell, Eurydice does not die, but chooses to leave
  • Construction on new southwest high school to start as early as 2019

    Construction on a new southwest Edmonton high school will begin in late 2019 or early 2020, premier Rachel Notley announced Friday morning.
    The new school will be located west of James Mowatt Trail and north of 35 Avenue in the Heritage Valley area. There will be space for up to 1,800 students.
    “We know that building new schools is one of the most important investments we can make as a government, and we know this area of Edmonton desperately needs a new high school due to growing enrolmen
  • Large class sizes becoming unmanageable, says Alberta Teachers' Association president

    A Grade 5 teacher has 36 students in his class. Fourteen of them need extra help.
    An Edmonton mom said 31 children are crammed into her son’s too-small kindergarten classroom. An Edmonton high school English teacher says all five of her classes have 30 or more students, and 50 of the students are learning English. It adds up to 165 papers to mark.
    The Alberta Teachers’ Association is prompting teachers and parents to share scenarios like these on social media, and with their MLAs, af
  • Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits Edmonton

    Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is making his first official visit to Edmonton since being selected as the party’s leader earlier this year. 
    Singh, who is in the midst of a cross country tour, will visit the campus of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology early Friday afternoon with Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan.
    He is also scheduled to have a media availability at NAIT and will later hold a “Jagmeet and Greet” with students at a pub near the University of A
  • Another milestone for Edmonton's Stantec Tower

    Construction in the downtown Ice District reaches another milestone Friday when a ceremony will be held to mark the completion of the Stantec Tower’s commercial section.
    A restaurant and offices for such companies as Stantec, financial services company PricewaterhouseCoopers and Dentons law firm will take up the first 28 floors of the 66-storey tower, slated to be Western Canada’s tallest building when it’s finished in 2019.
    The office half is expected to be ready next yea
  • Dear Canada: We just became two of your newest citizens. Thank you.   

    Many people have asked us what it was like to get our Canadian citizenship this week. 
    Thankfully, your editor doesn’t often ask you to write a first person piece about the symbolic meaning of an event — but it’s not often you become the citizen of your adopted homeland, either.
    Here’s a few questions you might want to know about how and why we ended up here. 
    Australia has great weather. Why did you even move to Canada? 
    Emma: C’mon, Canada. Don&rsqu
  • Opinion: GSAs only work if students know it's a truly safe space

    The point of a gay-straight alliance (GSA) in schools is to provide a safe space for gay and supportive straight students. In 2004, my son started the GSA at Strathcona High School.
    In his proposal to the school principal, he said high school students have three groups in their lives; their family, their friends and their school. He knew there were students who couldn’t go to their family for support and didn’t have friends they could turn to for help. These students needed a place a
  • Friday's letters: Leadership needed to realize ski club's potential

    Re. “City terminating lease with Edmonton Ski Club,” Nov. 14
    The fact the Edmonton Ski Club will not be able to operate this winter after 106 years is a tremendous loss for our city and has me very concerned about the future prospects of reopening after an as-yet undetermined hiatus.
    This is a recreational area in the heart of our city, which is already accessible by public transit, but will soon have an LRT station less than a block away. It is ideally situated in the central r

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