The Edmonton Metro Region has come a long way in the past four years - from a much more isolated region, to one that has become integrated, not least because of the Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Growth Plan. Uniting the Edmonton Metro area will not only help with creating a synchronized plan for protecting natural areas, reacting to regional issues that may arise, and planning for less sprawl, but also serve everyone’s economic interests as well.
The Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Growth Plan, once implemented, will preserve 250 ¼ sections of farmland and save $5 billion in infrastructure costs over the next 40 years. Together we developed a framework for a new regional Economic Development Strategy, including an accord to maximize the value of the Edmonton International Airport, and we’ve already taken the first step toward a more efficient regional transit system.
In addition to serving our collective economic interests as well as social interests by providing more cross municipality partnerships, these developments will also be huge boon environmentally. Edmonton is currently on track to eat up around 80% of the surrounding natural areas in the next 30 years if it continues its unsustainable growth pattern. Creating a feasible metro plan to avoid this issue and protect surrounding areas will go a long way in protecting these natural areas and the taxpayer's pocketbook in the process.
There is much more work to be done to create a cohesive metro region, but I am confident that it can be done, and I am committed to working towards it.