I envision Edmonton as a world class city that is home to a strong and diverse economy. Attracting businesses to our city is not simply about slashing taxes and cutting red tape.
While competitive tax rates and limited bureaucracy can foster growth, it is not enough to bring the type of investments our city requires. We need to first attract the most innovative and brightest minds while ensuring we retain our homegrown talent and the investment will follow. To bring this talent to Edmonton, we need to focus on creating a more livable city that is safe and inviting for all.
Creating a more livable city starts with local communities. We must prioritize the developments that improve access to daily essentials. We must build carefully and grow wisely, with meaningful community consultation. Developing communities in this way will result in safer streets, stronger local businesses, more active lifestyles and a cleaner environment.
Along with responsible community development, investments in transportation will attract businesses. We need to work towards building a city that provides a range of reliable transportation options, including bus, bike, LRT and private vehicle. The focus should be on fixing the obvious gaps in our transportation and addressing barriers that prevent greater use. If the city’s transportation options were convenient, reliable and safe to use, more people will want to get on board.
A more livable city requires all Edmontonians be housed with proper, well-funded supports in place. As this vital goal requires funding from the Provincial and Federal governments, council should lobby and work tirelessly with both orders of government to increase and better allocate the resources available.
A livable city is one which celebrates and embraces diversity. We need to ensure that all Edmontonians feel safe and included, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual preference or physical ability. It is crucial that council not only acknowledge systemic racism, it should also design and implement policies that encourage equity. This starts with making Edmonton the model for reconciliation in Canada. Indigenous Edmontonians should not only be heard in development plans, they should be an important part of the identity and culture of our city.
By working on these issues while ensuring our beautiful natural environments are protected for future generations, we can create a city that attracts people and investment. We will lighten the growing household municipal burden and create a city with an economy that can weather future storms.