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Month: October 2011

Edmottawa

One of the best of the best sites for Federal political watchers is the word for word OpenParliament.ca

A quick search on the site shows us 150 references to ‘Edmonton’ in the House of Commons, so far this year (albeit a number of those are just references to local MP’s and not issues at hand).  To quote and provide commentary on some of the highlights:

 

October 28th, 2011

Ending the Long-gun Registry Act
Government Orders

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

That is consistent with any matter of policing. I live in the city of Edmonton where there has been over 40 murders this year and, incidentally, not one by a long gun. The weapon of choice most frequently used for murder in Edmonton is a knife, but that is a story for another day.

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member will no doubt know that the City of Edmonton is currently facing a murder epidemic. There have been 38 murders in the City of Edmonton in this calendar year alone, more than in any other city in Canada. I am curious as to why she and her party are opposed to the government’s safe street and communities agenda, given that crime is out of control in the city in which both she and I live?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

The government has yet to table in the House the projected costs of the prison expansions needed under Bill C-10. It has also not yet revealed if there will be cuts to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. In the last budget the government cut support for the healing centres. As many provinces are facing significant deficits, the downloading of prison expansion costs will have implications for their programs, such as for addictions and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Alberta already has faced public displeasure over the decision to cut its restorative justice program. Municipalities are begging for support for housing. Sadly, a good percentage of the Edmonton murders recently are related to mental health and homelessness. One victim was murdered as he slept on a bench. He was slated to move into his first home the next day after 20 years of living on the street.

The situation in which far too many aboriginals find themselves growing up fosters criminal activity and abuse. Why not respond to the myriad commission reports calling for increased investments in housing, in youth programs, in schools, and addictions counselling, and reduce the probability of yet more victims of crime? Why not invest in programs that may provide a ray of hope instead of legislation and policies that merely entrench despair?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

September 27th, 2011 / 4:30 p.m.

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member will no doubt know that the City of Edmonton is currently facing a murder epidemic. There have been 38 murders in the City of Edmonton in this calendar year alone, more than in any other city in Canada. I am curious as to why she and her party are opposed to the government’s safe street and communities agenda, given that crime is out of control in the city in which both she and I live?

Safe Streets and Communities Act
Government Orders

4:30 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am fully aware of the murder rate in my city and it is reprehensible. What Edmontonians want is action by the federal government and all governments, including the police forces and all government departments and agencies to prevent more violent crime. It provides little redress to the victim of a crime that we are going to incarcerate somebody after the fact.

As I mentioned, there is the very sad case of a mentally troubled individual allegedly causing a fire in a building and causing the death of someone. A number of homeless people are being murdered on the streets as they are sleeping. This calls for a much broader response than simply locking people up on a minimum mandatory sentence.

 

43 murders in 2011, in a city which also bears a significant weight as the defacto centre for social services for central and northern Alberta, and the only references by our Federal reps to these issues, would seem to be the above.  A few comments and some party bickering offering little to no depth, debate, or solutions, and that’s all folks.

 

On the Royal Alberta Museum:

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2011/ 2:55 p.m.

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Prime Minister is once again giving the people of Edmonton the back of his hand.

First, there was the broken promise on the portrait gallery, then the Conservatives denied funding for the Edmonton folk music festival and then they failed to back Edmonton’s bid to host the World Expo.

The Conservatives have no trouble finding 50 million bucks to build gazebos in Muskoka, but when it comes to funding Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum, it appears they are weaseling out of their previous commitment.

Why does the government continue to show such disrespect for the capital of the province of Alberta?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I should just correct the record. Our government has been proud to support the Edmonton folk music festival with funding. Again, I reiterate that our government has not withdrawn any funding from this project.

We committed $30 million to the Royal Alberta Museum. We are very proud to do that. That funding commitment stands and we have not withdrawn that funding.

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

October 27th, 2011 / 2:45 p.m

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, Edmontonians are stunned and angered at the government’s sudden 11th hour backtracking from the new Royal Alberta Museum.

With no explanation, the government again pulled the rug out from under Alberta’s capital city to the tune of $92 million. The project is shovel ready. Millions have already been spent by the province and city.

Would the Conservatives explain why they left Edmonton out in the cold again?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that no funding has been withdrawn from this project by the federal government. We committed $30 million to this project. It was announced the day the project was announced. We are still committed to that funding. We have not withdrawn any funding from this project.

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the $30 million was promised by the previous government.

The Minister of Public Works expressed concern that a provincial Alberta minister went public on her decision to withdraw support for this important project. She called him a rookie.

The Conservative government committed money to Alberta under the building Canada fund.

Do any other Edmonton MPs share my concern? Will any of them stand up for Edmonton and demand this funding be restored?

Infrastructure Funding
Oral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the funding that the member is speaking of was never allocated. Our commitment was for $30 million and it stands. We are not withdrawing those funds from the project. We cannot withdraw funds that we have never given.

I will explain for the member that out of the $30 million, the Government of Alberta has only accessed $10 million. So there are still $20 million there for it to access immediately should it be needed for the project today.

 

And since the RAM conjures up thoughts of an Expo bid:

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

November 23rd, 2010 / 2:50 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, after encouraging Edmonton’s bid on Expo 2017 as recently as three weeks ago, the government now pulls the rug out from under Alberta’s capital. That same government, for a one-day G8 meeting, gave tens of millions to a Conservative cabinet minister’s Ontario riding: $16.7 million for an arena, $100,000 for a gazebo, $200,000 for a welcome sign, $300,000 for a toilet and $400,000 for a steamboat refit.

Why the open government wallets for Ontario ridings, but austerity for Edmonton?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spoke to the mayor of Edmonton, Mr. Mandel, and Sheila Weatherill of the bid committee to let them know that our government would not go forward with Edmonton Expo 2017 because this project was too large, too expensive and it was too large of a financial risk for Canadian taxpayers.

We think it is the responsible thing to do, and I am glad we are not alone. Here is what was said by the Taxpayers Federation. It said, “Citizens of Edmonton and the province of Alberta should be thanking the federal government for showing leadership in saying no to this dangerous project”.

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is what the federation says about the Conservative spending.

Edmonton’s expo on clean energy was supported by municipalities across the country, with the resulting benefits to all provinces from the influx of 5.3 million tourists and badly needed jobs. Clearly the government can find the money for pet projects in target ridings.

This decision is not about money. It is about politics. Why are Conservatives taking Edmonton for granted? What exactly did the regional minister do to secure federal support?

Government Priorities
Oral Questions

2:50 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this Conservative government has delivered more projects to Edmonton and Alberta than any government in Canadian history. This government has done the responsible thing.

When it comes to large international projects such as Expo 2017, we did the right thing. We examined this project. We gave it the respect it was due. We looked at all of the costs associated with it. The reality is this is too expensive of a project. They were asking for over $700 million from the federal government. It would have cost well over $1 billion. This is a financial risk that taxpayers of Edmonton and Alberta do not want us to take.

Expo 2017
Oral Questions

November 17th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, by not yet endorsing Edmonton’s bid to host Expo 2017, the government is putting Canada’s only bid at risk. Edmonton’s Expo theme is energy and our planet. It would showcase innovations in clean energy technology and sustainability, initiatives the government claims are among its priorities. Supporting this bid would help deliver on the government’s stated clean energy policy.

Where are the Edmonton Conservative MPs? Will the government immediately endorse Edmonton’s bid to host Expo 2017 for Canada?

Expo 2017
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, we are aware that the City of Edmonton has put together a proposal to host Expo in 2017. As a matter of fact, Mayor Mandel was in Ottawa last week, and theMinister of Finance and I met with him.

I should let the member know that we are doing our due diligence on this project. We are concerned about the large price tag associated with this. We are doing our due diligence and we will give our response to the city very soon.

 

Oh, oh! Gazing into the campaign crystal ball.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are hiding behind an administrative error to disguise their lack of ethics. But it simply proves that they are incapable of managing. TheMinister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism ordered his director of multicultural affairs to raise money for the Conservative Party. He did not ask a party employee, but one of his office’s directors. Parliamentary resources would be used, and the minister knew it.

Why is he not doing the honourable thing, since he is the one accountable for this decision? He must resign.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the use of parliamentary resources for partisan political purposes is completely wrong and completely unacceptable. The employee in question has offered the minister his resignation. The minister has done the right thing and accepted it. The minister has assumed responsibility for these actions. He has apologized for his former employee’s actions and believes they were unacceptable.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, that director of multicultural affairs did not get fired for an ethical breach. He was fired because he was dumb enough to get caught. It is the minister’s head that should roll for breaking faith with the Canadian people, for using his office and the weight of his title to orchestrate the Conservative Party’s ethnic outreach strategy at the taxpayer’s expense. Conservatives cannot pass this off on some overzealous flunky. The buck stops with the guy whose name is on the masthead.

Mulroney used to fire ministers who stepped in a cow-pie. Whatever happened to ministerial accountability for the current Conservative government?

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister has done the right thing. He accepted the resignation of his staff member. Let us see if New Democrats will live up to that same standard.

I have in my hand an email from the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona‘s office where she is seeking to have a federal election. It states:

–a federal election called in the next month or two. Help your Edmonton NDP candidates get ready! Re-elect the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona and for details on how to work on the campaign, you can contact Erica Bullwinkle at duncanl1@parl.gc.ca.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has done the right thing. Will the NDP member for Edmonton—Strathcona follow—

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where Conservatives are burying the bodies of all the political staffers they are throwing under the bus. It is a good thing Skippy is practising his mortician routine because the Conservative lobbyists like Tim Powers could only absorb so many of these guys.

The minister of immigration is abusing his office. He is exploiting the hopes and dreams of the very people he is sworn to serve. There is an implied quid pro quo when the minister of immigration is the one heading up the outreach to new Canadian voters and he knows it.

The minister of immigration—

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am afraid the hon. member’s time has expired.

The hon. government House leader.

Political Party Financing
Oral Questions

11:30 a.m.

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the facts. The facts are that the NDP member forEdmonton—Strathcona knows she cannot beat Ryan Hastman and she is trying to cheat to keep her seat. She should apologize and then she should demand this staffer resign.

 

 

I’ll hold the ball, and you come running up and kick it.

*First impressions on the news that the new Royal Alberta Museum had joined the Edmonton Expo as a grass stain on Edmonton’s arse after being yanked away at the kick-off (or thereabouts).  At the very least, the analogy of children playing ‘government’ seems pretty accurate*

Wednesday, Edmonton –  City Council approves a downtown arena deal which includes a funding request to the higher powers for $100 million plus a little extra for a ‘community rink’ if they’d be so kind.

Wednesday, Edmonton/Ottawa – The Royal Alberta ‘off again, on again’ Museum is off again after the higher powers break out into an incomprehensible ‘he did it’ ‘no he did it’ shouting match following the announcement of the project’s cancellation/postponement/not gonna happen at least anytime soon…ness.

 

 The 2005 Announcement

2005 Alberta’s centennial federal funding announcement 

The April, 2011, revival announcement

Some April coverage of the announcement from the Edmonton Journal (The Edmonton Commons)

“That’s what we get from Ottawa to commemorate our history and our role in Confederation. A plaque.”

“One envelope has $30 million in it. The other envelope has had $92 million in it.”

“They could fund the project on their own. Fair enough. Carry on,” he said.”

” Fingers were pointed, blame was levelled”

Rona Ambrose Talks about RAM Money

They didn’t think that maybe they should get that in writing?

A night at the museum

“There is a good deal of finger pointing going on…”

 

The Mayor blames Rona Ambrose (for the 2nd time in this calendar year), Rona blames the Province, the Province blames the Feds, Laurie Hawn blames the province, meanwhile science and history in downtown Edmonton are set back seemingly further than hockey and the true story, like with the Expo, is far more likely to come from the pages of a Freedom of Information request than from the mouth of anyone in the triangle of blame.

 

 

 

 

YegArena

This Edmontonians letter to Council

_________________________________

October 25th, 2011

 

Mr. Mayor, members of Council, I write to you, not on behalf of any corporate entity or organization, but as a resident of Edmonton, someone who was born here, raised here, and desires for Edmonton to grow and do well for itself and by its citizens into the future.

I do consider a downtown arena to be a worthwhile project and an attractive amenity for our downtown core. However, I can’t express the same support for placing public funding directly into the project without the taxpayers of Edmonton absorbing the revenue stream produced from the facility as majority owners, while at the same time a substantial public investment is going to be required in public works infrastructure to serve the facility, and in traffic corridors and public transit service to feed the site, its events and amenities.

“The folly of building-centric urban renewal reminds us that cities aren’t structures; cities are people”

Edward Glaeser “Triumph of the City”. 

We’ve heard of Columbus Ohio and its arena district. We’ve heard of Los Angeles and LA Live. To pull again from Mr. Glaeser’s book, a must read for all urban advocates, what he haven’t heard of is Detroit. A city which constructed Joe Louis Arena in its downtown core at a cost in today’s dollars of $205 million. Followed through the next decade by several other ‘structure’ based urban renewal projects. None of which helped to foster the ‘human capital’ to prevent or protect the city from a stagnation in economic diversity, or its eventual economic collapse.

We’ve seen in recent weeks and months, reports detailing the true financial costs of urban sprawl. Pulling back from the precipice of sprawl, and competing with suburban development to attract residents back to the core, to mature neighbourhoods and urban living is going to require more that just an increase in housing stock and affordable housing options, more than the integration of family-friendly amenities in multi-unit developments to compete with suburban single-family homes and large suburban parks.

Safe streets, well maintained infrastructure, vibrant public spaces, walkable communities with vibrant local amenities, these are the core services that we need to draw people and families into the city, and as they come, in a city with a proven track record in fostering entrepreneurs and innovators in what is becoming more and more a knowledge based economy, Edmonton’s economic growth will continue downtown and in our urban core. Providing core services to renew infrastructure, to fund and foster neighbourhood revitalization, to encourage entrepreneurial growth, and to address the social and economic issues our mature neighbourhoods and downtown core face, is the responsibility of civic government. All politics is local, and there is no other level of government to do so, or with which we interact in some way every day of our lives.

Since it seems likely that Council will approve a degree of civic funding to construct and own the proposed arena, that the City of Edmonton will not seek control of the arena’s revenue stream, and that private investment in surrounding developments on the part of the Katz group will rest on a still undefined metric of “commercial viability”, as a resident of a mature neighbourhood near the downtown core I will make two requests regarding the remaining potential uses of public funds (both municipal and provincial) in the project:

First, that the investment in funds from a downtown CRL be capped as to prohibit the use of the CRL to compensate for funding shortfalls and ensure funds from this source are available to invest in projects across the CRL boundary.

Secondly, that any increase in Municipal Sustainability funds from the province be used for the purposes of funding neighbourhood revitalization/renewal and reducing Edmonton’s infrastructure deficit. If the remaining funding shortfall is to be met, not by the Katz Group, but from a public source such as the Province, then such monies should be designated and presented to Alberta taxpayers specifically and clearly for this purpose.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and the best to you all with a difficult decision this week, and continued negotiations with other stakeholders on this issue.

Sincerely,

Jamie Post

___________

Update, November 3rd

The email replies I’ve recieved from Councillor’s offices.  The EA’s have obviously been busy on this one:

Thank you for sharing your views on the downtown arena district. I received many emails and phone calls about this issue over the past few weeks. Please know that I have given each one consideration in coming to a decision. I have waited until now to respond so we would all have time to reflect on the deal reached over the past weeks.
Ultimately, I supported the negotiated framework for a new downtown arena district. Please allow me to explain why.
The status quo
This was a difficult decision with many factors involved. The first one is that, no matter what decision we had come to, City Council needed to act. Rexall Place no longer meets the needs of the Edmonton Oilers or its fans, according to current NHL standards. A 2007 report (commissioned by Northlands) told us that Rexall lacks restroom and food service capacity, concourses, and loading areas, among other things. The cost to bring Rexall to a modern facility would be about $200 million. As owner of the facility, the City—taxpayers, through their property taxes—would pay this bill. Over 20 years, we would pay $14 million per year to renovate Rexall. This would increase your property taxes by 1.4% each year for the next 20 years. In addition, we would continue to subsidize Rexall’s operations and maintenance. Currently, Edmonton taxpayers give about $5 million per year to Northlands for Rexall: $2 million for operations and $3 million for maintenance/upgrades.
Opportunity for multiple benefits
Can we provide a facility that meets everyone’s needs, get a better deal for taxpayers, keep the Oilers in Edmonton for the long term, and gain other benefits for the city? In particular, can we support the revitalization of downtown that is underway, creating a vibrant city core where more people will live, play, invest and do business? After months of research and many discussions with City Administration and with the constituents I represent, I truly believe the current framework does achieve these multiple benefits.
        My number one concern, from the beginning, has always been that property taxes would not be increased to pay for a new arena. The day the Katz Group first presented their ideas to Council, I made a motion to ensure that any future deal would not increase your current property taxes. If an arena deal were to happen, money would have to come from somewhere else.
        Using some creative funding sources, the current deal does maintain this guarantee. Here is the framework:
  1. The City will own the arena building and land.
  2. A Guaranteed Maximum Price for the downtown arena building of $450 million, including the construction of 350 parking stalls, is required. The City will not be responsible for any cost overruns and both parties have the right to walk away if the maximum price is not achieved.  The $450 million will be contributed from the following sources:
  1. $100 million will come from the Katz Group, paid over 35 years (covering principle and interest) at about $5.5million/year. With interest (based on October 2011 rates), these annual payments would total about $192 million at the end of the 35-year period.
  2. $125 million will come from facility users through a 7% ticket surcharge at the new Downtown Arena building.
  3. $125 million will come from the City:
  • $45 million being directed from the planned Community Revitalization Levy (CRL).  A CRL can be created to help fund a major project like an arena. The City sets a boundary that includes the new project and the area surrounding it, where growth will happen as a result of the project. The City calculates how much property tax this CRL area generated before the new project gets built, and continues to take this much tax to fund services. However, as tax revenues from the area increase over the years, the amount from new growth only is used to pay off the cost of the catalyst project (arena), without which the development would not be occurring in the first place. In other words, a CRL is not an additional tax on existing downtown residents and businesses. The City also gets to keep the education portion of these new taxes, which would typically go to the Province. Development in the Downtown Community Revitalization Levy boundary approved by Council is expected to generate $1.18 billion of new tax revenue over its 20-year term. This creative funding method is one way the City will be able to fund a new arena without increasing the property taxes Edmontonians currently pay. Because the lands around Rexall Place do not have the same potential for new growth, a CRL would not be viable if a facility were to be built or renovated there.
  • $80 million coming partly from a redirection of a subsidy paid to the current Rexall Place.
d.      $100 million will be requested from other orders of government.  Construction of the facility will not proceed without this funding.
3.      The Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club will sign a Location Agreement to stay in Edmonton for 35 years.
4.      The Katz Group will commit $100 million to associated adjacent investment, with at least $30 million coming prior to construction of the arena, and the balance invested subject to commercial viability.
5.      The City’s costs to build an LRT connection to the arena will be capped at $17 million.
6.      The City will pay half the cost of a pedway across 104 avenue, up to a maximum of $25 million for the City’s share.
7.      The City will enter into a marketing partnership with the Edmonton Oilers at $2 million a year for 10 years. The funds will be used to promote the image of the City nationally and internationally. This marketing plan will be reviewed every two years.
8.      The Katz Group is to operate the new arena and is to pay all operating expenses, capital maintenance and repair. The Katz Group will receive all revenue from the arena, including naming rights.
  • From a taxpayer’s perspective, this is a better deal for the City than most NHL franchises have negotiated. The deal most NHL teams have with their cities is that the team gets all operating revenues from events and pays for operations—but not things like building maintenance and repair, or major upgrades. Edmonton is getting a better deal: the Katz Group will be responsible for all of these costs. So once the City has contributed its portion for construction and surrounding infrastructure, we will not be liable for any further costs. Under our existing deal for Rexall Place, we are liable for major repair and renovation costs on an aging facility.
  • In order to make the arena a revenue-generating enterprise over the long term, the Katz Group will need to market the City and arena effectively and attract major events of various kinds. These events will draw many people, hockey-lovers and others, to our downtown core, to well-located lands that are currently under-used.
9.      A supplementary surcharge will be added to tickets at Rexall Place to maintain a level playing field between the two facilities. The money collected from the Northlands Facility Fee will not go towards the new arena.
10.     The City has committed $30 million for design work to be completed to 60% design at which point obtaining a Guaranteed Maximum Price is feasible.
11.     The City has purchased the land necessary to proceed with development of a downtown arena and infrastructure around 104 Avenue. The City’s net cost will ultimately be around $25 million. This is consistent with Council’s direction.
12.     The City will have access to the arena facility for up to 4 weeks each year. The City is free to take advantage of the facility for community events during this period, and will retain all revenues and pay operating costs for these days.
13.     A community benefits agreement will be made between the Katz Group and the City. This agreement has not been finalized, but could include activities such as: mini-hockey camps, tickets and events for under-privileged youth and families, and access to skating in the arena for residents.
Moving forward
The arena is not a done deal. Though Council has approved a framework, we will still need to approve a borrowing bylaw (to borrow money for arena costs), a master agreement between the City and Katz Group, and a design concept. If some factor changes such that a new arena will no longer be a good deal for Edmontonians, we have the ability not to move ahead.
Thank you for allowing me to explain why I supported the deal we ultimately reached. I take very seriously the responsibility of representing my constituents to City Council, and I want you to know that I have made this decision because I sincerely believe it will be good for our city over the long term.
I am always happy to hear from you if you have further comments or questions.
Regards,
Amarjeet Sohi
Councillor, Ward 12
__
Thank you for expressing your thoughts on the downtown arena.  I appreciate your input.
Jane
Jane Batty
Councillor Ward 6
City of Edmonton
__

Thank you for your email and your input.

If you would like automated email updates on the Arena please sign up by clicking on this link:

http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/planning_development/arena-updates-sign-up-form.aspx

 

Best Regards,

Karen

__

Jamie:

Thanks for sharing your views.  I hear you loud and clear.

Although I like the vision of a new downtown arena, Edmontonians are telling me they want a better deal to build it and operate it — and I will continue to push for that.

It’s still lacking a $100 million contribution from the province and the City’s been told that money is not forthcoming.

Many people point out that the original Katz Group contribution was to be $100 million, but now that money will come in at just $5.5 million a year.

What’s more, the Katz Group wants the City to give it $2 million each year for 10 years to pay to advertise Edmonton and the Oilers.

Many taxpayers are upset that the Katz Group will get all revenue from all sports and events at the new arena even though the City will own the rink.

Besides all that we still don’t know the total amount of dollars the City will contribute to the entire project including the interest on a loan of at least $350 million the city will take out to kickstart the arena.

Nor do we know what the arena will look like. Key elements in the original sketches produced by the Katz Group have changed dramatically. For instance, the impressive Winter Garden that was to have spanned 104 Avenue, is now not part of the arena project. It’s slated instead to be a pedway.

We need to get back to the table and renegotiate this deal so it’s a win-win for taxpayers, the City and the Katz Group.

A new downtown arena is a great idea, but it must be done right and the majority of Edmontonians must support the key aspects of the deal.

Thanks for staying in touch Jamie.

-Kerry

Kerry Diotte,
Ward 11 City Councillor,
#1 Sir Winston Churchill Square,
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7
780-496-8142

I welcome your feedback. Stay updated on issues important to you. Go to this link to subscribe to my regular e-newsletter. http://bit.ly/nOZXzV

 

__
Hello Jamie:
Thank you for writing to share your view on the arena project. Due to the volume of recent correspondence on this issue I regret that I can’t reply more specifically to your comments.

The decision is done, but I can provide you the rationale for my position on this. The text of my remarks from today are posted here on my website: http://www.doniveson.ca/2011/10/26/arena-decision-logic/

Regards,

Don Iveson
EDMONTON CITY COUNCILLOR, WARD 10

1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB  T5J 2R7

780.496.8132

www.doniveson.ca/blog <http://www.doniveson.ca/blog>  :: twitter.com/doniveson <http://twitter.com/doniveson>

Please consider the environmental impacts before printing this email.

Q&A

So I’m watching the Federal Government question period today…

Opposition member: Mr. Speaker, this governmnet…
*applause*
Speaker of the House: Order, order.
Government member: Mr Speaker, the previous government…
*applause*
Speaker of the House: Order, order.
Opposition member: Mr. Speaker, this government…
*applause*
Speaker of the House: Order, order.
Government Member: Mr. Speaker, the previous government….

Repeat for one hour….*sigh* *facepalm*.

You’ve got a whole lotta mail

If you like taking surveys, I strongly recommend running for elected office.  Anyway’s since we’re almost upon the one-year anniversary of Edmonton’s 2010 civic election, I thought I’d head down to the basement of my email account and dig out some of the survey’s and questions I received during the campaign.  Below is a list of some of the groups which submitted surveys to the candidates, and copies of the ones I kept.  Further down are excerpts of some of the many many questions which rolled in.

 

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton

Edmonton and District Labour Council

Our Water Is Not For Sale –  www.ourwaterisnotforsale.com

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

Citizens for Better Transit

RePower Edmonton

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Alberta Quality of Life Commission

Trails, Paths, and Routes Advisory Committee

Capital Club: Edmonton’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, and Queer Professional’s Association

PACE (Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton)

 

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I can’t find information in your platform about two big city issues:  the downtown airport and the proposed area.  Are you for or aginst closing (again) the airport?  Are you for Katz’s area downtown and with him getting all the money and revenue from venues?

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Do you support closure and city development of the municipal airport?

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I am a resident in Ward 1 and intend to vote in this years elections. I would like to know what your position is on infrastructure, primarily what you intend to do to improve traffic flow in the west end, what your view of public transit is (west ed LRT, bus lanes, etc), and your position on the use of photo radar and speed cameras. Thank-you.

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I’m NOT an Envision supporter — and it’s not a huge issue for me —  but I’d like to know your stand. Do you support the current  city council’s decision to phase out the airport?

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I may have missed it in your web information but could you please outline your position on the role for bikes and the development of bike paths in Edmonton as an integral part of our future transportation system. It would be good to know what you would work towards specifically in this regard. Thank you.

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Hello
What is your position on the ECC?
What are your thoughts on Envision Edmonton and petition and council’s vote?
Whom do you support for Mayor?

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We would like to know where you stand on the cleaning up of :
Transportation Department, Zoning And Planning Departments.
Their approving buildings that are having technical problems only a couple of years after their built,
congested, More Noise. (Its time for new staff, lots of waste and taxpayers pay for it)

City Centre Airport
Poor planning – No business relocation support by the ERAA, no new hangers
being built at the other airports under their control. If its closed down poor business
relocation. Wait until one of the runways closes now do some expansion work at one of the
othe airports to make it look like airport consolidation is being done.
(None done, No Support by ERAA, Might as well move business to Calgary or
another city).

We look ford ware to your response, since they all must go

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do you support:

A) not closing the edmonton municipal airport
B) closing the edmonton municipal airport

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I have read in great length each of your websites but it is missing the one issue that is greatly important to our community.  If you could please advise on your stance regarding the noise bylaw that solely targets motorcycles, we would then be able to find the candidate that would have the most well rounded platform that would best serve everyone.

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Do you support the construction of a downtown arena?

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Could you please clarify for me your position on the following issues:

– keeping the airport open
– the west LRT
– agricultural land conservation within city limits

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Subject: Municipal Airport
What is your position on it. For it to remain open or to shut it down

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What is you position on the City Centre Aiport; should the city continue with the planned closure, or should its future be decided through a plebiscite?

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Please let me know your position on the West End LRT and  the proposed path down Stoney Plain RD as well as your position on the  the closure of the City Centre airport.As well as the redevelopment along Stoney plain rd,
Thanks for your time and thoughts

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What are your views on the West Lrt expansion fast tracked by our current council?
What are your views on the route voted in by our current city council and the impact on the people and business directly on the route and how are we going to pay for the expansion?
What is your standing on the downtown airport and the areana?
Thank you

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I’d like to know more about your position on the west end LRT.

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