I believe there are four basic elements to great community life: Home, School, Recreation, and Assembly. The combination of these elements make for vibrant and healthy communities. When you are thinking about who you are going to vote for to represent Ward 9, give some thought to the great potential each of our neighbourhoods have as we grow and develop this great city.
What do I think a great community life looks like? Here is my vision for the future of Ward 9.
In the future, I want our schools to have the capacity to accommodate all local students. Students shouldn’t have to bus across the city to get a great education. I also believe that our educational services should meet the needs of everyone from children to seniors. Education should be lifelong and be easily accessible in our communities. Ward 9 should have resource centres for the entire community to access and use. Our community members should strive for and have access to lifelong education and growth. Seniors should be able to live in their homes as long as possible and have access to specialized services, programs and recreation centres. Through community, we can support each other and provide essential services that make the quality of life for everyone better.
We know how important it is to have recreational opportunities close by. I envision Ward 9 having recreation centres in all major areas, including South Pointe and Windermere. Additionally, easily accessible satellite recreational points will be found throughout the community. This will include playgrounds as well as outdoor fitness parks. Ward 9 needs to be a walkable community with a winter strategy that gets residents outside and moving. This will be facilitated by the development of multi-use corridor trails in the River Valley and neighbourhoods. Not only will our communities be more vibrant and open, everyone will be healthier for it. It should not be a privilege to have access to recreational and fitness opportunities. Every community member should have access to these services and experiences.
It is important that we have places for residents to gather. Schools, recreation centres and community halls will continue to provide services residents need and want. Through development, Ward 9 will become a towne within a city, and a place residents are proud to call home. We want the rest of the city to look to our area as an example of the power of community. The next Hawrelak Park, or Luxembourg Parc (Paris) could be in Ward 9, with dedicated space for relaxing, entertainment, recreation, and events. Imagine being able to go see a play or concert, stroll through beautiful gardens, or take a paddle boat out on the lake, all within your own community.
Ward 9 will be well connected to the rest of Edmonton through the development of major roads, with accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. We should be thinking ahead as there will be an extension of the LRT into the southwest side of the ward, but other areas will need to utilize more economical, efficient and flexible options such as BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). BRT provides the option to move more people, more quickly, and with more flexibility throughout Edmonton. Neighbourhoods such as Chappelle, Ambleside and Heritage Valley that are currently underserved would have much needed access to public transit. Ward 9 would be linked to the rest of the city in a meaningful way, creating connections and a larger city wide community.
Ultimately, I want to help create a community we can be proud of. The best thing we can do is make sure we have partnerships and connections with the other areas of the city to create growth and opportunity. When you think about the kind of community you want to live in and grow your family in, isn’t it time to we work together? Let’s make it happen.