[We sent five questions concerning green living, local economy and inclusiveness to all of the Election 2017 council candidates. We are posting their unedited responses in the order that they’re received. – Ed.]
What is the biggest challenge your Ward faces? What policy solutions would you seek if elected?
The concerns I hear door knocking are as diverse as our communities, but one major challenge that will connect Ward 11 is the construction of the Valley Line Southeast LRT. Right now, as a resident of Ward 11 myself, I know firsthand the adjustments we are all making in our daily commutes to navigate construction, all with the hope that this short term pain will provide us with much needed long term quality transit.
Sadly, our current council hasn’t had the best track record with infrastructure, and it is important to our neighbours to have the Valley Line LRT delivered on time and on budget. We do not want a Metro Line 2.0, we want residents to be excited to take transit in their neighbourhoods.
I have over a decade of experience in construction project management, and can ask the hard questions and advocate for more transparency. A simple policy solution would be to utilize the City of Edmonton’s open data portal to communicate project progress and challenges across the city, as well as utilization of CUPE recourses such as “Asking the right questions: A guide for municipalities considering P3s” http://archive.cupe.ca/updir/P3%20Guide_ENG_Final.pdf
How will you help Edmonton become a greener / more environmentally friendly city?
As an industrial designer, entrepreneur and founding partner of EcoAmmo Sustainable Consulting, I have specialized in incorporating sustainability into construction projects for over a decade. I have worked with companies, governments & non-governmental organizations across the globe to excite people about living, working, and thriving in healthy and sustainable communities.
Having kept bees outside of Edmonton, I also advocated for many years in front of council and behind the scenes to promote the value of urban beekeeping and hens. Which City Council approved when they passed an amendment to the Animal Licensing and Control Bylaw on April 28, 2015 to permit beekeeping in the city, and also approved an Urban Hen pilot program. Yay!
I will bring to council ambitious confidence and expertise to support bolder steps towards implementing the strategies outlined in the Way We Green, and advocate for continued support of Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy.
Building stronger leadership focused on financial, cultural and environmental sustainability at the City of Edmonton is doable, and I can help get us there.
How will you strengthen Edmonton’s local economy and support our city’s independent, locally-owned businesses?
These are tough but exciting times. As an entrepreneur in Edmonton, I know firsthand how hard these past few years have been. I have also witnessed the strength, diversity and resilience of our local business community. We now need to ensure that we can retain our skilled workforce, and support our local small to medium businesses, while also attracting new ones. To support local and independent business, and stay aligned with the Way We Green’s GHG reduction targets, we need to ask if our city is voting with their dollars, local sourcing can provide impressive GHG savings associated with shipping.
I will support a review of the City of Edmonton procurement processes to place value on sourcing locally, everything from catering to infrastructure. We all know about the Walterdale bridge opening 2 years late, due in part to shipping delays from South Korea. There are several local companies that could have built this, that pay local property taxes, and may have been more accountable to the city in regards to schedule and budget.
One final note, I will commit to working with the Edmonton Economic Development Corp. (EEDC) to support their “Drivers of Economic Success”. To attract new investment, new tourists, new meetings and conventions, new major events; all while growing new and existing businesses, support local talent and students and work hard to attract and maintain direct flights.
How will you make this a more inclusive city and support Edmonton’s marginalized communities?
I’m deeply concerned about the data recently released by Black Lives Matter regarding street checks or “carding” in Edmonton, and disappointed by the City’s reaction.
Carding is unlawful as per Section 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned”
I believe our black and Indigenous citizens, the arbitrary practice of “carding” should be stopped. It divides communities and creates mistrust.
The Edmonton Police Commission is now spending tax payers dollars to facilitate a 3rd party review, however I should note that similar 3rd party reviews have taken place and they all indicate carding should stop (Hamilton, Saskatoon and Toronto).
On Council I would like to support the following 3 actions (adapted from Desmond Cole):
1) Carding needs to end.
2) The government must honor the privacy of citizens and commit to removing non-criminal carding data from police databases.
3) Strengthen accountability for police who target People of Colour.
How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?
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