We had a break week from Council and Committee meetings this week, but this week was a busy one nonetheless. Here are a couple of the highlights.
Housing, neighbourhood safety, and a healthy business community
The community consultation process in Keheewin continued this week, looking at the kind of housing that may be provided on the surplused school site. The decision before the community now is to find the balance between their desired housing form and the members of the community it could serve. Thank you to all of the community members that came out participate and share your views.
Wednesday morning I met with community leaders from Malmo and Royal Gardens Community Leagues along with our local EPS community Liaison officer and a member of the city’s residential compliance team. There have been growing concerns about illegal rooming houses in each community. We are working to provide more focused resources to head this issue off as well as providing more information to the communities to identify and report any concerns. Stay tuned for a joint community meeting about this issue in June.
I also had the opportunity to sit down with a board member and Executive Director of the Southeast Business Association about challenges and opportunities for business in south Edmonton in this current economy. There is a clear need for a more targeted and grassroots focus on economic diversification and innovation and SEBA seems poised to take some leadership here.
Growth Plan Task Force Report
On Monday, the Capital Region Board moved closer to finalizing an update to the regional growth plan. The update to the Capital Region Growth Plan will focus on setting targets that look to ensure our region grows in a more compact and responsible manner, which will ultimately better position the region for the future.
Our regional partners are looking at setting density targets for their growth. This regional work is part of the reason why it has been so important for Edmonton to get moving, albeit slowly, on improving density in our city.
The best analogy I can think of to explain it is to do with climate change. By now, everyone’s heard the argument made by some that there is no point in smaller contributors to climate change, like Canada, investing in reducing GHGs unless the big players, like China, are already making moves to reduce their emissions. While obviously there are a lot of differences, when it comes to dealing with density in our region, Edmonton is China, and we realistically can’t expect the smaller players to make changes to their growth planning if we aren’t walking the walk and tackling our rapid outward growth.
EndPoverty Edmonton Road Map
This Thursday, we received a report that will be coming to Council next week on the next steps for the EndPoverty Edmonton initiative. This important work, spearheaded by Mayor Iveson and Bishop Jane Alexander, is moving forward from the conceptual stage towards implementation of the 35 priorities that were identified through the Task Force’s earlier work.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to read through the report, you can check it out here. If the priorities set out in this report can be accomplished in the next 5-10 years, I’ve confident that we will be much better off as a city.
City Facility Tour
Today, I had the pleasure of visiting a number of City of Edmonton facilities in Ward 10. My team and I visited both the George Hughes and Confederation Arena facilities, the Whitemud Crossing Libraries, and Fire Stations 13 and 20. It was great to get to connect with some city staff in their workplaces and see all the great work they’ve been doing to enrich Ward 10 communities.
Some of the great crew at Fire Station #20 in Kaskitayo