As part of Edmonton’s continued collaboration with the Edmonton Metro Region as a whole, a regional economic development strategy will go a long way in ensuring the region’s competitiveness not just in Alberta or Canada but on a global level. On May 23rd, 2017 Council received an analysis of the Regional Economic Development Entity memorandum. Simply put, this entity would provide a united metro region strategy on economic development and by doing so make the region much more competitive moving forward.

Work on creating this entity has been many years in the making. In my capacity as a City Councillor for Edmonton, I served along side Mayor Iveson on the Capital Regional Board team. This board represents the interests of the entire metro region. Here I have supported a more unified region, whether in terms of transit or economically speaking. A regional economic plan has to align with and serve the entire Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Growth Plan. I strongly believe that this strategy supports those goals. I am committed to seeing a Regional Economic Development Strategy through; this will be among my most important goals should I be re-elected in fall. I am grateful to Mayor Iveson for his tremendous leadership on this important work to date.

A Regional Strategy for the economy fits naturally within the Edmonton Metro Plan. While including a variety of technical pieces of policy for governing the region’s economy as a whole, the Strategy also includes broader principles, taken directly from the memorandum, such as:

  1. To advance economic development and cooperation in and among stakeholders located in the Edmonton metropolitan region and is [sic] consistent with the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Growth Plan
  2. To promote the Edmonton metropolitan region globally to attract and retain business investment in the Region
  3. To pursue a regional brand, database, and economic development strategy
  4. To advocate at the local, provincial, and federal levels for policy that removes barriers to economic development in the Region
  5. To pursue business and investment opportunities to support the Region

In a highly globalized world economy, having an economically competitive metro region is critical. Time and time again Edmontonians have shown their ability to innovate and adapt to the latest advancements in technology and business, and we will continue to do so.