On February 25th, the provincial government tabled Alberta’s Budget 2021, and I’ve taken some time to do an initial review. First, I think it’s important to acknowledge the extraordinary and complex challenges currently faced by decision-makers and elected officials at all levels of government. It’s safe to say that there is no one, clear, correct course of action when confronted by a historical global pandemic, coupled with a sharp drop in our resource revenue. Perhaps partly because I’ve been away from municipal government for several years now, I’m left with more questions than answers about Budget 2021, and certainly some concerns.
I wish our current mayor and council every success in leveraging the funding and economic opportunities available to our city through this budget, recognizing there are considerable limitations to navigate, including the absence of predictable and stable municipal grant funding.
If elected as your Mayor in October, I look forward to drawing on the strengths and experience of our council and administration to build a plan grounded in consensus, and to working collaboratively with our provincial and federal counterparts to get the very best for our city. Budget 2021 reminds us that now, more than ever, we need a champion for our city—someone ready and able to lean in on strategies that will boost our local economy and meet the programs and services needs of all of our communities—including non-profit, arts, and business—and of our residents overall.
Choices made by decision-makers today on key issues such as program and infrastructure funding and taxation will have long-lasting impacts for our citizens, and the decision-makers of tomorrow. I will watch closely over coming months as things continue to unfold so that I am prepared to hit the ground running if you put your trust in me to help move Edmonton forward.