[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?
Being the voice of the fastest growing ward in the city will come with its challenges. I believe that transportation will be the biggest issue. I would seek to ask council: What do we want to look like in 20 years and why are we not building for that. While constructing roadways is necessary, I believe that the city should focus more on the interchanges, building effective free flow systems to reduce pressure on roadway flow capacities. With these techniques, we could focus less on widening roads and more on other modes on transport on the same right of way. We also appear to be rapidly expanding without proper planning with our partners. We have communities with insufficient infrastructure, transit services and schools. This can be tackled by forming better relations with local/provincial counterparts rather than personal relationships with developers. I have chosen to distance myself by not seeking any monterey donations on this campaign to ensure that, post-election, I only owe my community and show responsible fiscal habits by someone who is going to be in charge of your tax dollars. Sustainable lifestyles also include fiscally sustainable and effective approaches with regards to long term planning. We often build something because it costs less now only to end up paying more for it in the long run. An example is: an inefficient interchange will force us to expand/widen the roadway due to a capacity issue. Efficiency is almost always more sustainable.
How will you help Edmonton become a greener / more environmentally friendly city?
Having an effectively accessible grid for electric vehicles is the recent proposal that one of my core campaign members has recently proposed and won with the City. We are now working on 2 projects that promote sustainable lifestyles. One piloted by my campaign’s core team member (PhD in Sustainability Engineering) is a project within residential and commercial properties. This is to revolutionize the way we heat our homes rather than conventional forced air methods. Another project is local sustainable indoor farming project in which one of my core team members is the head of. My entire campaign team is comprised of 58 volunteers including 6 amazing and well educated core team members. We all contribute to ensuring we live and campaign in a ‘green’ manner.
How will you strengthen Edmonton’s local economy and support our city’s independent, locally-owned businesses?
As a business owner of 3 local businesses, I would be a strong advocate for supporting local. My campaign principles and focus has been with local businesses. I own a restaurant and I understand the challenges local business owners face and would like to believe that I have the support of many local business such as the support shown towards me by the locally owned Remedy Cafe. I am a realtor and own my own real estate team. This should demonstrate my knowledge of where industry and residents of given communities want to grow and how we could do that through progress in local business. I am in the energy sector as a project manager and a consultant with my own consulting business. This allows me to understand how a local small business can be included in the big picture and on major projects, run by major businesses such as Trans Canada and Suncor. Being a strong voice for this community is the right approach on city council.
How will you make this a more inclusive city and support Edmonton’s marginalized communities?
As the vice president of a cultural society and my heavy involvement with the heritage festival (chair of a pavilion for 2 years, on 2 of their committees and a mentor for new pavilions), an active volunteer at the hope mission downtown, endorsed officially by and an active volunteer of a women’s housing, a mixed-martial arts coach to kids, a youth committee member and volunteering with my former law enforcement colleagues allows me to understand the bigger picture with regards to local and marginalized communities. I hold seminars for fundraising techniques and grants (even though my campaign has no fundraisers and I’m not seeking any monatery donations) throughout the year for non-profit organizations that often face challenges in delivering their programs due to a variety of factors. My attitude is my attitude and being elected as one of our councillors would help empower the marginalized communities as someone who has understood the various aspects of these communities from engagement, support, dialogue, education, and enforcement.
How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?
My social media is very active. Every platform has the same username: @pparseyan. My website (www.parseyan.ca) was launched on January 23rd and the only thing changed/added were pictures. This gives you an idea of the mindset I had before knocking 11,000+doors (as of August 23rd). This should show the ward and city who I am rather than me tailoring my website to what I believe voters want to hear. Being genuine and open has been the key message I want to drive forward and if a resident sees themself aligned to this, we would be appreciative to call them a teammate on this Campaign. My email is email@example.com 2PM or AM, ask and you shall receive…an answer.