Edmonton Politics

my edmonton: reshaping the urban core.

The petitions have been delivered and it appears likely that there will be a plebiscite deciding the future of the City Centre Airport lands on October 18. After a two-month long petition drive, the Envision Edmonton lobby group claim that they have collected the signatures needed to support a vote on the issue.

If the signatures are successfully validated by officials from the City Clerk’s Office, City Council will likely begin the process of creating a question that Edmontonians can vote on in the October 18 election.

As a citizen who has been involved in this debate for the past two years, I am looking forward to sharing why I support the redevelopment of the City Centre Airport lands and why I believe our City will benefit from this redevelopment.

If a plebiscite is held, it will be a heated debate with passionate Edmontonians on both sides presenting their arguments for and against the closure. Envision Edmonton has talked about turning the Airport into a hub for aviation training and industrial development. Unfortunately, their proposal has largely been overshadowed by a public feud between Envision spokesman Charles Allard and Mayor Stephen Mandel. I disagree with Mr. Allard’s position, but I recognize and respect that the Edmontonians participating in this debate want what they believe is best for our City.

A few months ago, I outlined some of the challenges and positive opportunities facing our downtown and urban core. Over the next two months I will expand on these ideas and the opportunities presented by redeveloping the City Centre Airport lands. We have a unique chance to do something that most similar mid-sized North American cities would envy. The benefits of new smart communities filled with residential and commercial development could reshape our City’s urban core for the positive. The chance to break away from the traditional urban sprawl and reshape the urban core makes me excited to call Edmonton home.

I was glad to read that former City Councillors Michael Phair and Patricia Mackenzie have also shared their optimism for the redevelopment. As the October 18 election approaches, I hope that Edmontonians will look beyond the short-term spin and participate in an honest and positive debate about how we want our City to grow in the coming decades.

Alberta Politics

alberta politics notes 8/26/2010

– Finance Minister Ted Morton is not ruling out the idea of a Provincial Sales Tax for Alberta. Premier Ed Stelmach says it will not happen as long as he is in office. The Government of Alberta remains in a $4.7 billion deficit.
– Over 500 people packed a hall in Vegreville to voice their opposition to the construction of new electrical transmission lines. Although he is the MLA for this area and was invited to the meeting, Premier Stelmach declined to attend.
– Michael Walters is the new Executive Director of the Alberta Party. Mr. Walters previously served and excelled in his role as Lead Organizer for the Greater Edmonton Alliance from 2004 to 2010.
– Former City Councillors Michael Phair and Patricia Mackenzie have written an excellent opinion-editorial in the Edmonton Journal explaining why they believe redeveloping the City Centre Airport lands will benefit Edmonton.
Reboot 3.0 is scheduled for November 5 and 6 in Edmonton.
– Jeffrey Coffman is seeking election to Lethbridge City Council. Mr. Coffman previously served as an Alderman from 1995 to 1998 and later as Chief of Staff to MLA Ken NicolBridget Mearns, daughter of Lethbridge-East Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor, has announced her campaign for Lethbridge City Council. Also in the running is long-time conservative activist and college professor Faron Ellis.
– What motivated Wildrose leader Danielle Smith to jump to the defence of a failing private health clinic?
– Quebec Conservative MP Maxime Bernier has recaped his summer visit to Edmonton and his encounters with Wildrose leader Ms. Smith and Edmonton-Strathcona Conservative candidate Ryan Hastman. Mr. Bernier’s former colleague Ken Epp is now the vice-president of the Strathcona Wildrose Alliance association. Mr. Epp represented the Elk Island and Edmonton-Sherwood Park constituencies from 1993 to 2006.
– Michael Butler has been acclaimed as the federal Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont. Mr. Butler has ran twice for the NDP in 2008, federally in Mill Woods-Beaumont and provincially in Edmonton-Rutherford. The riding has been represented by Conservative MP Mike Lake since 2006 after the retirement of long-time Liberal MP David Kilgour.

Read more in the Alberta Politics Notes archive.