[We sent your questions to all the Election 2013 candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.][14Sept13: Edited at the candidate’s request to correct a typo in the 1st paragraph of the 1st answer. Original text is crossed out, replacement is in red. – Ed.]
1. In the context of our City’s growth, how will you support the development of existing communities as opposed to new neighbourhoods?
I have been researching this issue, and continue to do so. I personally live in a mature, core neighbourhood and walk/cycle/LRT to work in the downtown core. At the end of 2011 (latest figures I have found), we had 57 planned or developing neighbourhoods, and our absorbtion rate between 2002 and 2011 was 3,748 low-density lots per year. Our current
investment assessment ratio is $5 billion in non-residential development to $20 billion in residential. I ask, is that appropriate? While I understand the need to build communities for continued inmigration, it also needs to make sense (be financially viable) and not place a drain on what I believe are our abilities to service our existing footprint. I really am a “numbers” girl, and I do believe in balance.
2. How will you support independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?
3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?
4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?
I am a huge supporter of our Indigenous people. I recently read about an approved building project which will take the place of the Terrace Building in the Edmonton River Valley, and I was excited. In my twenties, I was going to volunteer my services to land title claims work being undertaken by the Indigenous people at that time, but I thought they would think me silly (me, blue-eyed and blond-haired), and I lacked the confidence to pursue it at that time. Complete supporter; they were the original keepers of our land and are owed our honour and respect.
5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?
6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?
Interesting question; ARE they disconnected? I didn’t realize this was an issue. I think I meet many of them on the doorstep, and I get the sense that they are well-engaged in Edmonton, and Edmonton’s issues. Please tell me more.
At the time of writing, I have been out meeting folks in Ward 2 for almost two months now, with two months yet to go. The primary issues I hear are: Roads, Arena Funding Model, and City Debt (in that order). The people in Ward 2 could have written my brochure! There are also community-specific issues (e.g., the Charles Camsell redevelopment, concerns about the city centre airport redevelopment and how that may affect some neighbourhoods, school closures, lack of LRT). I continue to listen and learn, absorb. I am committed to representing Ward 2, and representing it well — and that includes pressing their issues forward.