It was like groundhog day- the movie. Nearly every day since November 26th, Councillors woke up and marched back into chambers to discuss and debate our 4 year $4.3 billion capital budget and our annual operating budget. This was the culmination of a years worth of planning by our administration.
A year ago today I was elected to Edmonton city council. I was thrilled after working so hard for so many months to be elected with a very strong mandate from the good people of Ward 10. This mandate was built out of many years of community work, both professionally and as a volunteer, in Ward 10 and across Edmonton. This mandate was also built out of my proven track record of using and building community leadership to solve problems and to make our neighbourhoods and our city more vibrant, sustainable and fair.
I know many would like to see some of the bike lanes removed tomorrow. This has been the dominant view from the residents of my Ward over the past year. These lanes have been irritating, confusing, and not maintained properly in the winter when they disappear beneath the snow for months. Most people tell me they will never use them. They just don’t feel safe. But let’s be honest. It’s not possible to remove them tomorrow. It costs money to do this, potentially a lot. But they could be improved and changed or moved in time. And I am working hard to make this happen.
Edmonton is bursting with creative change-makers, tireless organizers, and passionate mobilizers - from entrepreneurs pushing for change, parents working to create stronger neighbourhoods, to engaged students or an invaluable member of your political campaign.
Just over a year ago I was on the homestretch of my campaign for City Council. By the time the campaign ended, I had knocked on over 15,000 doors over 8 months. At each door that opened for me, I spoke about my vision for the city, and about my commitment to fairness for mature neighbourhoods.
The cost of climate change will be buried but can’t be ignored
If you have experienced flooding in your home, you know how tragic it can be. Valuables, sometimes irreplaceable, are lost, while enormous repair bills for uninsured damages are found.
As a City, we are responsible for the maintenance of roughly 4800 kilometres of collector and arterial roadways, which is roughly the same distance as driving from Edmonton to Mexico City. In order to maintain these roadways, the City invests a major portion of its Capital Budget each year to renewal projects throughout Edmonton.
It’s no secret I have a dream that one day Petrolia Mall will be a thriving shopping centre. But I’m certainly not the only one. Most people who live near Petrolia have this same dream. Over the past couple of years I have been working with an amazing group of community volunteers to make this dream real. A centre we can walk to, letting us live and shop locally.
After reviewing the reports related to infill this past Tuesday, and after much discussion and debate, a motion was passed at Executive Committee to permit garage and garden suites in established neighbourhoods, and to allow the subdivision of properties into narrower lots (no less than 25 feet).
Why infill is important:
Edmonton is growing, and it is growing fast. In 2013, Edmonton welcomed 38,000 new residents. By 2044, Edmonton’s population is expected to reach 1.5 million. With this increase in population comes an increase in the demand for housing. To meet this demand, the City is expected to average 10,820 newly constructed units annually from 2014 to 2023.
I recently wrote an article on the River Valley Alliance (RVA) that detailed its history, and an outline on the RVA’s $90 million Capital Project to improve public access to the North Saskatchewan River. At Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting, two of the RVA’s major projects -- Mechanized Access and the Touch the Water Promenade -- were presented to Council for consideration.
Yesterday, an article detailing two of the River Valley Alliance’s cornerstone projects -- mechanized access and the Touch the Water Promenade -- was published in the Edmonton Journal. I, along with Councillor Ben Henderson, sit on the board of the River Valley Alliance representing Edmonton city council. At our Executive Committee meeting on July 8th these two projects will be discussed. But firstly more should be known about the River Valley Alliance and its amazing plan to create greater connections to arguably our greatest asset in the region.
If you’re a parent of school aged children you are likely aware of one of the biggest issues facing City Council – school zone traffic congestion and corresponding safety concerns. Families commuting to schools, busy fast-paced lives, big windrows, speeding cars, and increased traffic can all contribute to a tense and potentially dangerous situation during school drop-off and pick-up times.
Vibrant neighbourhoods and fairness for our mature neighbourhoods. These two commitments were a major part of my campaign platform and they continue to shape my decisions and actions as your Ward 10 representative. We have great neighbourhoods in Ward 10, but many of them, like Lansdowne have been neglected as capital investment has largely been concentrated within our downtown or new suburban neighbourhoods.
Since 2008, a lot has been said about Blatchford, the redevelopment of the downtown airport lands. Today we are closer than ever to shovels in the ground and the vision of creating an environmentally smart, sustainable, and economically feasible community. With the conversation freshly renewed, and top of mind for many Edmontonians, I’d like to offer my thoughts as to where we currently are in the discussion on Blatchford.