Monthly Archives: September 2013

Debt or Not To Debt – That Is The Question

The election coverage of the past few weeks has seen a lot of discussion of Edmonton’s debt.  $2.2 billion is a lot of money, but the number alone without any context is meaningless, and denouncing it does not substitute for a vision for our city and a plan to achieve that vision.

The comparison of Edmonton to Detroit has been well rebutted.  Detroit was using debt to fund day-to-day operations, while Edmonton’s debt is for capital projects only.  It is illegal in Alberta to plan an operating deficit budget and Edmonton has a balanced operating budget.  Detroit had a shrinking …

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Striking a Balance – Infill Development vs. Urban Expansion

Urban expansion is a complex issue in Edmonton for a number of reasons.  We are a growing city, with about 20,000 people moving here annually.  It is a good problem to have, but it is still a challenge on how best to offer the appropriate housing for them and for the existing residents of our city.

I feel that our zoning options need to attract and support Edmontonians and ensure there are a number of options for housing, for all stages of the lives of our citizens.  When they’re growing up and raising a family.  When they’re empty nesters and …

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LRT Plans Into Ward 5

Knocking on doors in Ward 5, I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about the need for better public transportation, with the need felt most strongly the further south or west I go, towards and into the newer areas of the city.  The Valley Line of the proposed LRT expansion, a 27 km line starting in Millwoods and extending to Lewis Farms via downtown, will help address the transportation needs of Ward 5, and bring the city closer to its goal of increasing Edmonton’s use of public transportation from 8% to 20%.

On Wednesday evening, there was a public …

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Capital Region Tax Planning – We need a better deal

I have lived, schooled, and worked in Edmonton for the vast majority of my life.  I believe we live in an amazing city.  It has a vibrant business community as well as excellent post-secondary institutions – the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan, Norquest and NAIT.   Edmonton has sports teams – soon a new arena – and a strong arts community – the Citadel, the ESO, the Edmonton opera.  We have the Winspear stadium for concerts.  We have many festivals, Whyte Avenue and “the Mall”.

The various communities that comprise the surrounding Capital Region – 24 in total – all enjoy …

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Lymburn / Callingwood / Thorncliff – Community Policing

We all want to feel safe in our cities.  It is encouraging to read about falling crime rates in Canada, which in 2012 were the lowest in 40 years.  Edmonton, even as it grows, is following this positive trend.  There are a host of factors that may account for falling crime, and high on list among these is increased police connection with the community and focus on prevention.

Ward 5‘s Callingwood South and Lymburn are communities where crime rates and juvenile offenses exceed city averages, but where police/community engagement seems to be working.  Each Edmonton Police Services (EPS) district has …

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Wedgewood / Cameron Heights / Anthony Henday Bordering Communities – Henday Noise Issue

The Ward 5 communities of Wedgewood and Cameron Heights are defined in large part by their natural boundaries – the North Saskatchewan River and extensive ravines.  The ravines and river valley are beautiful, and open up amazing recreational opportunities to residents of these neighbourhoods and beyond.  A good friend of mine in Riverbend, David, a keen cyclist, makes the route from Terwillegar Park across the pedestrian bridge under the Henday to Cameron Heights, then down the ravine into Wedgewood, a regular part of his morning ride.

Like several Ward 5 neighbourhoods though, Wedgewood and Cameron Heights are also bordered by …

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