While on council I have promised to approach every issue as an environmental one. The reality is that all decisions we make have an effect on our planet, using this approach will help us understand the long-term impacts of our decisions. With that said, our city has limited resources and we need to ensure the climate action we take is meaningful and actually works as intended. If we want to effectively address the climate crisis we need to act with foresight and utilize all data available.
Ending poverty and homelessness not only makes ethical sense but it has economic and environmental benefits. We need to continue this work by utilizing existing organizations that are helping the unhoused and building much needed affordable housing. As a city we need to focus our resources appropriately. Municipal governments have limited flexibility within our budgets and taking on tasks outside the municipal realm will hurt us in the long run. The biggest part of this fight is to get the assistance needed from higher levels of government. As a candidate without any party affiliation I have the flexibility to work across party lines and I will utilize data to convince higher levels of government that housing first is the ethical and most cost effective approach.
The City Plan provides a blueprint to create a city that is well connected, highly livable, and sustainable. To attract talent we need to become a city that meets these goals. If we can attract the talent, more companies will want to make our city home. Edmonton needs to become a city that is easy to get around, while remaining affordable and increasingly green. In addition we need to foster our arts and culture which will help grow our festivals and enhance our nightlife. Making Edmonton a livable city is thriving year round will make us a top candidate for youth of today.
The realities of how hard our city was impacted by the pandemic will not become certain until we have come out the other side. Providing uncertainty through property tax increases could (as the metaphor goes) be the straw that breaks the camel's back. For the next two years at least, our city needs to freeze property taxes. Beyond the two years, we need to ensure that any tax increases are absolutely necessary. By shifting to priority based budgeting, and reviewing all expenditures, we can continue on a path towards a better city without over taxing our population at a time of uncertainty.