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Amarjeet Sohi Bryan Anderson Edmonton City Centre Airport Karen Leibovici

edmonton businessmen recorded strategizing about city centre airport.

Discussion about how to get Councillors “on [their] side” broadcast live over the Internet.

During the afternoon recess of Thursday’s hearings on the future of the Edmonton City Centre Airport (ECCA), an interesting and revealing conversation occurred between a group of businessmen wanting to keep the ECCA open.

A longtime reader was listening to the public hearings online when a microphone, left on during the break, picked up what was believed to be a conversation between two prominent Edmonton businessmen whom had just spoke in favor of keeping the airport open. Likely without knowing that they were being broadcast over the Internet, the men began engaging in a strategy discussion (there may have also been a third person involved in the conversation).

During their broadcasted conversation, the businessmen hypothesized that there were five City Councillors who would vote to keep the ECCA open, and identified Councillors Karen Leibovici, Amarjeet Sohi, and Bryan Anderson as the most likely targets to “get on [their] side.”

The conversation topic quickly turned to Councillor Leibovici, who was suggested to be coming around on account of her rumored mayoral ambitions in 2010. The businessmen didn’t seem to know much about Councillor Sohi, but one of them either suggested or volunteered to “give [Anderson] a call.”

While the content of this strategy session shouldn’t come as a surprise to many Edmontonians, it does shine a spotlight on the backroom influence that some of our city’s wealthy businessmen are trying to exert in the debate about the future of the Edmonton City Centre Airport.

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