Last week over 1300 emails were sent to City Council as a sign of support for downtown development. Because people took a few minutes out of their day to voice support, there were several days of news coverage on the fact that this issue is near and dear to the hearts of Edmontonians. Councillors Batty and Loken remarked that they have never seen such an overwhelming show of support for any issue before.
We are nearly there. Last week Edmonton city council voted to defer the decision on the arena development. And, in a wise move by Mayor Mandel, he asked for and received a show of support from the Capital Region Board of 24 surrounding municipalities. This support is for the City of Edmonton’s application for Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant funds that are earmarked for regional collaboration initiatives. The region’s leaders rightfully believe that a strong downtown core benefits us all. This is a glimmer of hope for long-term and big picture thinking.
But there is a risk that the Alberta Government won’t recognize this strong show of support. The final terms of the grant have not yet been decided, and they may drag their heals on a decision. Either of these possibilities could scuttle the opportunity. We need to convince Premier Alison Redford, Finance Minister Doug Horner, and Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths that this is the right thing to do and that they have the political support to do this.
We need to voice our support for this. We ask that you once again help us by showing your support. We really believe this is important, and very time sensitive.
Please send an email to Premier Redford, Ministers Horner and Griffiths, and each of our city councillors. We are a few mouse clicks or iPad taps away from a decision to invest in our future!