[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?
I believe that the biggest issue that ward 12 faces is uncontrolled development. I believe that growth is good but there needs to be more planning on the part of city to make sure that the proper infrastructure is in place. Issues like road expansions and traffic lights should be addressed before they become a problem. Preparation over reaction not only makes everyone’s life easier but costs less money. These issues are more than just an inconvenience, they affect public safety. I hope to implement policies that improve city planning.
How will you help Edmonton become a greener / more environmentally friendly city?
I believe the best ways to improve the environmental outlook of our city is to support renewable energy programs such as wind or plasma plants at an industrial level. At a residential and commercial level we need to have solar and geothermal incentives for home owners and developers. Investment in public transit such as the LRT system and bike lanes but done properly with follow through. The key to all of these ideas is proper follow through from planning to completion. the city has been great at starting projects but fails at follow through.
How will you strengthen Edmonton’s local economy and support our city’s independent, locally-owned businesses?
The key to growing our economy is diversifying. I would continue to grow the medical and technology industries as they have done well for us so far. Our strong independent restaurant and hospitality industry also needs to be grown as it encourages tourism and helps not only the restaurateurs but local farmers as well. We have lots of nationally recognized talent in our city that we should be more fervently promoting to bring business to our city. The best way to help small business owners is have a strong economy so people are spending. We achieve this as I stated by diversifying.
How will you make this a more inclusive city and support Edmonton’s marginalized communities?
To judge a person on anything other than their actions is foolish beyond measure. The color of their skin, size of their bank account, or any other snap judgement you make about a person could deny you the gift of meeting a wonderful person. I believe that the main reason for these issues come about due to ignorance. I support any programs that promote inclusion and education. Events such a Heritage Days are wonderful because they fight ignorance. Local organizations such YESS are great at helping the youth of our city find a better path forward in life. SAGE is a great association to help protect the rights and independence of our seniors. These and other great local organizations need the council’s support.
How can our readers learn more about your platform, contact you with questions or concerns, or get involved in your campaign?
I’d love to hear from the people of Edmonton, your readers can go to my website ward12walter.com, facebook.com/ward12walter, twitter.com/@ward12walter, email@example.com, 780-905-7477. As for getting involved in my campaign I can always use help canvassing. I have decided to self-fund my campaign and ask that anyone that wanted to donate please give the money to a local charity instead.