Platform > Economic Recovery and Growth

Economic Recovery and Growth

I know the economy is top of mind for Edmontonians right now. After a year and a half of COVID-induced uncertainty, on the heels of what was already a challenging economic time in our province, many of our fellow residents are having a tough time making ends meet.

When we talk about building a life and seeing a future in our city, the economy is a big factor.

Here are some ways I think we can reinvigorate our local market, first as we work to recover from the effects of the pandemic, and then to foster long-term growth.

Supporting Local

Edmontonians should be proud of the way they show up for their local businesses and industry. Your municipal government needs to demonstrate that same commitment, and here’s how:

  1. I would work with our City Administration to review our procurement policy so that local employers—whether manufacturing, consulting, contracting, or supplying food services to city facilities—are recognized for their contributions to our local economy.
  1. I would pursue a local Amazon Marketplace, seen in other cities across North America, so local businesses can leverage the Amazon platform for the sale of local goods Edmontonians want and need.
  2. I would build a campaign to promote local businesses, not only to spur our local economy, but as a small but meaningful way to reduce plastic waste and our overall carbon footprint.

Thinking Big on Innovation and Technology

My background as a tech entrepreneur has helped me understand what is truly possible. Change is coming, and that can be scary, but it can also offer exciting new opportunities … if we have the courage to seize them.

  1. I would work to attract major tech competitions and Esports events to our city. Our downtown arena and local talent makes Edmonton an ideal host city.
    • Little known fact: over the past few years, more Edmonton tech companies have been selected for NASA iTech Ignite the Night events than any other city globally.
    • Esports is a booming industry, selling out stadiums and reaching new heights in global viewership.
  1. I would bring Alberta’s major cities together to develop a tech strategy with our provincial partners, including advocating for provincial tech industry incentives and tax credits—not limited just to start-up firms. Tech firms are up and running at various stages here, so let’s help all of them take that next step to commercialization.
  2. It’s time to capitalize on the strength of our post-secondary institutions to build a learning city, one that promotes lifelong learning to set the foundation for sustainable social, economic, and environmental development. This is one way we can help retain Edmonton’s talent to further support the demand from the tech sector for high-skilled labour, and create a city where you, our children, and our children’s children can see a future.
  1. As your Mayor, I would play a more active role in connecting tech companies with investors by promoting, championing, and curating activity ongoing in the area to improve accessibility for both investors and tech companies.
    • I would continue the grassroots initiative I co-founded as a volunteer, called Bartech, where we brought those with interest and capital together to meet founders of tech companies in Edmonton. This is how we build a tech ecosystem and open the doors to collaboration, helping tech firms to get noticed, secure investment, and be part of a thriving community. These are the tech companies that make it to the world stage.
    • I would increase opportunities for driving collaboration and mutual benefit between our city’s companies. Let’s bring our tech community together with others in the business community to co-create and innovate together, supported by pilot programs and grant funding to validate tech solutions made here, in exchange for solving real problems experienced by our local business community.
  1. We need to explore the wealth of high potential emerging industries and sectors, backed by local world-leading experts, researchers, and passionate entrepreneurs. It’s time to tap into these opportunities and talent so that we can position our city for greater economic diversity and sustainability in growing sectors like:
    • The rare earth metals industry, critical to the future of telecommunications and technology—it’s time to drive investment and promote our capabilities.
    • Hydrogen. Let’s build on Canada’s first hydrogen hub, launched in the Edmonton region, and become a powerhouse in this industry.
    • Agriculture and forestry technology, and the aerospace industry, leveraging our homegrown know-how and talent.
    • Entertainment and tourism, including removing barriers for cannabis tourism and making it easier for festivals to procure space, time, and licenses.

Sustainable and forward-looking urban design

Ours is a vast and sprawling city which creates challenges for both servicing, maintaining, and managing, and for our residents. How can we make our city more sustainable and liveable long term?

  1. Let’s push the boundaries of innovative urban development, bringing developers together to ensure sustainable and responsible development while keeping pace with important trends like electric vehicle capacity in communities.
  1. Let’s elevate investment in multi-use community hubs that can support thriving neighbourhoods and marketplaces, letting residents access the amenities and services they need, right where they live.

The actions we take today set our path for tomorrow. Let’s move Edmonton forward together.