Election 2013 questionnaire response: Ed Gibbons, Ward 4

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

Ed Gibbons, incumbent candidate for Ward 4

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


First of all, thanks for the opportunity to respond to your questions. Over the past 12 years as councillor, I’ve had many conversations about Edmonton’s growth and where we are heading as a city. I think that it really goes to show the strength of our city the growth that we’re experiencing – the city is expected to continue a growth pace well above the Canadian rate as our population continues to expand at almost two and a half times the national average.

As for supporting the development of existing communities I can tell you that I’ve supported appropriate redevelopment of older communities for both new and existing residents. And with the population growth that we’re expecting, it’s important to have a plan in place to develop responsibly. Effective city planning involves the appropriate zoning of land along with well-managed infrastructure that helps make Edmonton an attractive place to live and do business. This is why I’ve been working to develop the Northeast Land Study for future growth. By working with administrators and developers we can ensure the appropriate growth of our community in North East Edmonton.

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


I believe that independent locally-owned businesses are one of the things that make Edmonton a great place to live. I can tell you that my wife and I shop at them often in North East Edmonton. On council, I’ve supported the dynamic redevelopment of Fort Road, Alberta Ave. and Belvedere business zones and have worked to assist community groups in planning appropriate development within the rural zone.

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


We have many market gardens, tree nurseries, and farmers in our end of town that I fully support. I’ve also been very supportive of the Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy. There is some incredible talent on the Edmonton Food Council committee and they have provided valuable advice on matters of food and urban agriculture. 

On the topic of sustainability, residents in Ward 4 will soon be able to “reduce, reuse and recycle” even more when the new Eco Station opens in our community. Construction has begun on the Kennedale Eco Station (the fourth Eco Station in Edmonton) and it’s expected to open in 2014. 

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


I have been representing their needs for more than 16 years in my work as City Councillor and as an MLA for the province. I’ve done work on everything from accords signed with Metis and Aboriginal groups to working with families to my fullest capacity.

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


When you look at my voting record on the LRT, it quickly becomes evident that I played a role in bringing LRT and transit into new neighbourhoods. From 2001 to 2005 I was one of 7 votes, when the votes were consistently 7-6, that wanted to expand the LRT to new neighbourhoods.

In my travels representing the city of Edmonton, into places like Houston and New Orleans, I can attest to the fact that we’re further ahead on public transit than being totally dependent on people driving to work. When you look at a city like Houston, they have one line for a population of 3 million. 

We are always looking to improve routes, safety, and facilitate the way people use our mass transit systems.

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


Edmonton is a city with world-class post-secondary institutions and we are known as an educational city. I’m very proud of that. In Ward 4, I’ve worked hard to bring more schools and more libraries to the area and to provide easier access for residents to get to their post-secondary institutions.

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


As I indicated earlier, we’re seeing rapid growth in Ward 4. It’s so important for us to provide the services and infrastructure to all of our young families and aging population. 

This is why I’ve worked to have infrastructure like the Clareview Recreation Centre built in the Ward. Seniors programs will be available as well as child family and programs for newcomers to Canada. There is a Public Library attached along with a High School and Twin Arenas. Furthermore the Centre will have an aquatic centre with leisure pool, many play features, a children’s pool, a waterslide, a 25-metre, 8-lane pool with diving boards, a whirlpool and steam room, a fitness centre, a walking/jogging track, multi-purpose rooms, and a child-minding space. This is going to be a great facility.

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


Well the easiest way is to visit Edgibbons.ca. You can also email me at edgibbonsward4@gmail.com or give the campaign office a call at 780-454-VOTE (8683). Thanks again for your time, I really appreciated this opportunity!