Newcomers – Building A Life In Edmonton

I participated in the Ward 5 Forum on Monday night with the other Ward 5 candidates for city council.  It was great to meet the other candidates in person, and talk with constituents and respond to their questions.  One thing that really struck me as I listened to the stories of each of the candidates, is that almost half of us began our lives in Canada as immigrants.

My family arrived in Edmonton from South Africa in 1974 when I was 7 years old.

We left a troubled country.  It was a huge change for us: starting a new career …

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We Need A Better Funding Deal With The Province

The province of Alberta’s Municipal Government Act  (MGA) is the principal piece of legislation governing the provincial relationship with municipalities – the cities, towns and villages of our province.  It sets out the framework for municipal governance, planning and development, and assessment and taxation.   In 2012, the provincial government announced a three year process for review of the MGA, which was last substantially reviewed and revised in 1995.  I believe this is one of the most important issues facing our city as many of our issues in Edmonton, when drilled down, are due to lack of funding. 

This round of …

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Campaign Contributions

I committed to releasing the list of my campaign contributors one week before the election.  Here is the latest list as of Oct. 5, 2013

$100 – $500

Mr James Kent Lee

TransAmerica Investments

Rehana Chatur P.C.

Shelly Bobroff

Joseph Doz 1994 P.C.

Liden Financial & Estate Planners Inc

Mr John B Mitchell

Sherrick Management Limited

Alberta and NWT Building and Construction Trades Council

Belay Benefits Inc

Reg Greenslade

Volvo of Edmonton

Mr Joe Yurkovich

Amalgamated Transit Union

Henry & Jane Bereznicki

Ross Haffie

Terry Whittingham

Sorrell Financial

Oshry & Company

Robert V Lloyd P.C

Marvin Horwitz

River City Metalworks

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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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