[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 neighbourhoods?
I am in support of efforts to revitalize existing communities and to reverse the trend of outward growth and urban sprawl. Current zonings of older neighbourhoods must be reviewed so that infill housing reflects the needs of each community. Taxation reform may need to be addressed as well, so that that there are incentives in place for those who would rather improve than move. There also should be housing alternatives, detached and attached housing, row houses and affordability to encourage young families to move into our central communities, rather than have to move to the annexburbs.
2. How will you support independent locally-owned businesses in Edmonton?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our city. They are engines of creativity, industry and employment, and bring colour and texture to our home town. In my campaigning, a message I have been hearing is that the permitting and licensing processes fro small business owners are far too bureaucratic and slow moving as compared to other cities, namely Calgary, and Grande Prairie for example. I would support changes to curb unneccessary red tape for start up businesses.
3. How will you support local food and urban agriculture in Edmonton?
I would move to implement policies that encourage more urban gardening,support the continuation of city markets selling locally produced foods,as well as offer incentives to local farmers to keep them producing,and put a moratorium on encroachment of valuable farmland by developers. A ring placed around our city like Portland’s very successful one, should be considered.
4. How will you address Indigenous Edmontonians’ history and needs?
We must respect our indigenous population’s history within our community, and give them more acknowledgment as a vital component within our city, listening to their needs,and addressing racism and discrimination.
5. How do you envision the public transit system evolution?
We neeed a more efficient and more comprehensive public transportation system that extends beyond the current thirty year plan.
For example,Scientists at Columbia University studied data from over 13,000 adults living in New York City and discovered correlations between New York’s built environment and public health. Residents in densely populated, pedestrian- friendly neighbourhoods have significantly lower body mass index levels compared to others. Those residents living in areas with mixed residential and commercial zoning,and living near bus and subway stops,and densely populated areas were found to have lower BMI levels.
By addressing our public transportation needs in Edmonton, we will have not only a greener, more ecologically friendly city, but also a healthier population.
6. What will you do to better engage post-secondary research / students / faculty with the rest of the community?
If elected as councillor, I would encourage my fellow council members to invite the students and researchers to the table and to give them voice and a platform. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and their thoughts and and findings should be considered. If heard and acknowledged, they may be encouraged to remain in our city rather than seek greener pastures elsewhere.
7. What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What solutions would you seek?
Our biggest challenges in Ward 6 are homelessness, inner city poverty and drug abuse. There is an over saturation of these challenges within a single Ward that does extend to other parts of the city. One solution would be to create a greater dialogue with the agencies that currently support the needy. There ought to be a dispersal of their services to other Wards within the municipality, which would help to improve the overall challenge we are facing now.
8. How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?
My website is terryforward6.com. I am on Twitter (handle @terryforward6) and Facebook (terryforward6) and eager to hear your concerns and to answer any and all of your questions. While I am online and using social media to connect with voters, I am a face to face candidate and would be happy to speak to anyone personally who has the time or the inclination.