[We sent your questions to all the Election 2013 candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.]
1. In the context of our City’s growth, how will you support the development of existing communities as opposed to new neighborhoods?
I’ve had the privilege of living in Edmonton all my life. I have seen it grow and expand at a rapid pace, as any great city should. Although I do believe that a city should always be growing, I think that with too much growth could come trouble for older communities. I think that this is evident in basic infrastructure found in older parts of the city. Look at the roads in some of these neighborhoods, the city side walks, the condition of some of the parks ect. As a city, we have to encourage and fight for “smart growth”. We need to elect councilors who have their entire ward in mind when thinking about Edmonton’s growth as a city. I hope Edmonton continues to grow, because Edmonton is amazing city and it’s a city that attracts people from all around the globe. We just need to make sure that every part of the city is taken care of before we get in over our heads.
2. How will you support independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?
I believe that we should be investing into our own businesses and working together to create a strong community. I plan to support the organizations that are currently working with local businesses such the Edmonton Chamber Of Commerce. I also believe that city council should be fighting to get locally owned businesses tax breaks and advertising assistance.
3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?
I think the best way to support local food and urban agriculture is by helping to spread the word on the importance and initiative that these organizations bring. Also, I think it would be wise for city council to begin working with organizations such at the Edmonton Food Council in greater detail. Also, farmers markets are fantastic and I would fight to bring more of these to Edmonton and put greater emphasis on them.
4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?
A simple question, I’ll address them with respect. It’s as simple as that. I believe in a city that has a zero tolerance to racism or discrimination of any kind. This is everyone’s city. The indigenous population of Edmonton should be celebrated. It’s a rich, deep, interesting history that many people could learn from. I plan to hear the needs of the indigenous population and deal with them in a timely matter, just as I do with any diverse group in Edmonton.
5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?
Edmonton’s public transit system is a big part of my platform. A working, affordable, dependable transit system is a must for any city and thankfully Edmonton is well on its way to getting there. I’m a firm believer in the continued expansion of our LRT systems, and I am going to fight to make sure that our rates for riding the transit become more reasonable. A key to a successful transit system is making sure that prices are affordable and it attracts the “everyday” person to using transit instead of them driving to work. Keeping prices affordable is also essential to the individuals who use this as a daily mode of transportation. It’s also better for the environment as well. Keeping a green, clean Edmonton is important to me.
6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?
If you actually take time to think of how many post-secondary institutes have in Edmonton, it’s amazing. I love that Edmonton is one of leading cities in Education. I think the best approach to this, just because of the sheer numbers of Education institutes would be to have regularly scheduled meetings with the administration board of each institute to keep the information flow at the best it can be.
7. What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What solutions would you seek?
I think the biggest challenge that Ward 10 faces right now is not getting the answers the people deserve. I’ve talked with hundreds of residents all around Ward 10 and the answers from the people are all basically the same. I would say the top 4 issues that I’ve heard by going door-to-door and conversing with the residents are very poor communication between city council and Ward 10 residents, decaying roads and infrastructure, fighting to keep green space and parks alive and the debt of the city. My solution is a simple one, listening to what the people of my ward want, answering their questions and working with them to solve it. People need to remember, when you elect a councilor for your ward, they are there to listen and fight for you and that’s exactly what I plan to do if elected. I have a lot of drive and I don’t like when questions don’t get answered and problems are not solved.
8. How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?
Readers can learn more about my platform and contact me by the following :
Official website – www.danjohnstone.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone – (780) 934-4144
Twitter – @thedanjohnstone