Election 2013 questionnaire response: Dave Loken, Ward 3

[We sent your questions to all the Election 2013 candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.] 

Dave Loken, incumbent candidate for Ward 3
Dave Loken, incumbent candidate for Ward 3

1. In the context of our City’s growth, how will you support the development of existing communities as opposed to new neighbourhoods?


One of the biggest concerns is making sure that our Neighbourhood Renewal program receives the support and funding it needs to stay on schedule. When older neighbourhoods have streets and sidewalks that are in good repair, it goes a long way to creating an environment that is ripe for investing in. I will continue to support this program until it is fully funded and then work to ensure that any challenges to its success are dealt with in a timely fashion.

Through increased collaboration with community leaders, school boards and the province, we need to plan together the future of these neighbourhoods starting with the schools that serve as community hubs. As a council, we have a responsibility to actively encourage infill so that these mature neighbourhoods can remain active & vibrant!

2. How will you support and promote independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?


Local businesses play such a key role in the health of a city. As a council we have made some steps forward (looking at the work done to encourage more food trucks for example), but we can do more to make it easier and quicker for local businesses to start up. Edmonton is home to many, many innovative and outstanding businesses and we have to do a better job in supporting and promoting them!

3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?


First and foremost I will support fresh, Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture strategy, as well as lean on our Food Council. We’ve created this council to advise us on how to best support fresh, as well as to make suggestions on how we as a city can best support local food and agriculture. With that in mind, we need to work closely with the Food Council and make this a priority for the entire city.

As a councillor I’d look to the communities themselves for direction on what options may work best. Some desire programs to allow for keeping chickens within city limits, and I am always open to exploring these possibilities. 

As with everything, we need to continue to strike a balance between urban agriculture and development. Moving forward, we need to continue working with communities, businesses and property owners to create programs and areas that work for everyone involved.

4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?


Work that is currently being done on the Spirit of Edmonton project needs to be carried through. With my role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fort Edmonton Park Management Company, I’ve been growing more and more excited about the upcoming expansion, called the Indigenous Peoples Experience. This new facet to the Fort will tie in with many other projects in the city and really cast a spotlight on the history of indigenous people, who have been gathering in Edmonton long before it was established.

By supporting these projects and working closely with groups like the Indigenous Peoples’ Art and Culture Coalition, as well as indigenous leaders, we can ensure that these projects receive the support they require.

5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?


I’ve made it a personal goal to see the LRT expand north into Ward 3 and I intend to see this come to fruition! 

Aside from that though, we need to continue expanding the LRT network into all corners of the city (starting with the SE LRT), but not forget about expanding bus service as well. There are many newer neighbourhoods that don’t have bus service, or are inadequately serviced so that people couldn’t use public transit if they wanted to. It’s our job on council to create a healthy and expansive public transit network that works for all Edmontonians. If we can build that, then more people will choose to use transit on a day-to-day basis.

To pay for this expansion, we need a more stable source of funding from both the provincial and federal government. We’ve had significant issues over the past term in securing funding for LRT expansion, but I’m confident that we can work together to secure a stable stream of money. In coalition with our neighbouring communities, we need to make transit a priority and work to establish that funding model.

6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?


I’m concerned about the recent cuts to post-secondary institutions. While the City has no direct jurisdiction here, we can work closely with these institutions and the local community to create things like internships to support students. 

Open communication is the key and I commit to working with the institutions, faculty, student bodies and local businesses to ensure that we all do a better job of working together.

7. Councillor candidates: What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What solutions would you seek?


Ward 3 has a number of older neighbourhoods that are running into infrastructure issues. Through my work on the past term, I’ve been able to ensure these areas of need will be dealt with over the next couple of years, but as some get repaired, others will no doubt pop up in need of fixing. I commit to staying on top of these needs and have proven that I can be a champion for the communities of Ward 3 in this regard. 

We also need to improve access to public transit within the ward. From getting more bus routes, to bringing the LRT north, to getting more bus shelters in the ward, this is something that needs to be addressed. By working with my colleagues on counil, local community leaders and our administration, I’ve started working on these issues and am excited to tackle the challenges as we move forward into another term!

8. How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?


Please visit my website at electloken.com for more information. You can also find me on Facebook at my Re-Elect Dave Loken page, or on twitter @daveloken.

Or if you’d like, you can always call my campaign office at 780-237-8656.

1 thought on “Election 2013 questionnaire response: Dave Loken, Ward 3”

  1. Pingback: Edmonton Election 2013: Update #9 - MasterMaq's Blog

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