I wrote a blog post back in October emphasizing my support for the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre. Alleviating the need for additional recreational capacity in West Edmonton remains a priority of mine, and given everything that happened through 2019-2022 Capital Budget deliberations I’d like to give you a brief update on where we are today with the proposed rec centre.
One of the most important responsibilities I have as a City Councillor is to act as a steward for public funds, ensuring that taxpayer dollars and City resources are used efficiently and effectively. As part of this role, my Council colleagues and I spent several months in the latter half of last year deliberating and fine-tuning the 2019-22 Capital and Operating budgets to ensure the City will continue to deliver services Edmontonians need and value over the next four years, and well into the future.
Our responsibility doesn’t end with these larger budgets, though. We also have a number of other funds and expenditures to oversee, including our ward budgets, which have drawn some attention over the past month. I’d like to take this opportunity to outline what these budgets are used for and the policy that regulates their use.
The proposed Bus Network Redesign has been the source of much discussion and community-led engagement in Ward 5 over the past several months. Some Ward 5 residents are rightly concerned about how this change could impact their travel patterns and their access to our transit network, and given the current uncertainty from a process perspective I would like to offer some information as to where we are today on this issue.
As Edmontonians we are fortunate to have an exceptionally well-organized and extensive network of community leagues focused on creating liveable, inclusive, and connected neighbourhoods. Today we have close to 160 leagues in operation, so it is safe to assume that your life has been improved by the work of a community league.
The Lewis Farms Recreation Centre is a project that I campaigned heavily on, and it is clear that it would fill a significant need for West End residents that has been met in other areas of Edmonton. We need this project built. Not only would it add much needed recreation capacity to West Edmonton, it would also add a library, a daycare, a high school and several other community-minded amenities that West Edmontonians need.
Access Without Fear policy does not direct or contradict law enforcement; it has no bearing on law enforcement whatsoever. The policy simply affords people with precarious immigration statuses the ability to apply for a Low Income Bus Pass or a Leisure Access Pass without having to produce current government identification.
Last February we learned that our waste management system is failing to meet our 2012 outlined targets of achieving 90 per cent of residential waste diversion from landfills. Unfortunately, we weren’t even close, with only about 50 per cent of our waste over the past five years being recycled or reused.
As a city that strives to lead the way in sustainable practices and in reducing our environmental impact, it is crucial, now that we know how we’re performing, to make tough decisions that will improve our future results.