Edmonton Wards 6 and 8 all-candidates civic election debate on the future of downtown river valley development.
Wednesday, September 27, 7 – 9 p.m.
Cloverdale Hall: 9411 97 Ave.
Hosted by the Cloverdale, Riverdale and Rossdale Community Leagues.
Moderators: Paul Bunner (Cloverdale), Jodine Chase (Riverdale), Lynn Parish (Rossdale).
All candidates who are officially registered at the close of nominations on September 18 will be invited to participate in the debate.
Format and questions for debate:
1. Welcome and introductions by Paul Bunner.
2. All participating candidates will have 3 minute opening statements. The order of speakers will be based on a random draw. The order will shift forward by one for each of the subsequent questions. The time allotted for opening statements and answers has been calculated to fit the debate into two hours. However, depending how many candidates participate, it may go longer.
3. All candidates will have two minutes to respond to each of the following questions:
· General development question (Bunner): Cloverdale Beach was the story of the summer of 2017 in the downtown river valley. Does it mark a change in how Edmontonians, and the City government and administration, view the recreational development potential of the valley?
· Rossdale-specific development question (Parish): What is your vision for the future of West Rossdale within the whole concept of the River Crossing concept and how do you foresee bringing it to fruition? Do you think it is important that it is brought to fruition?
· Riverdale-specfic development question (Chase): How will you involve our communities into any plans and decisions made regarding the future of the downtown river valley? We want to be involved robustly (i.e., with a real say, not only information) from the outset. How will you ensure that this happens?
· Cloverdale-specific development question (Bunner): Do you support integrated planning and development of recreational, commercial and cultural amenities that will be accessible by LRT at the Muttart Station?
4. The remainder of the debate (roughly 40 minutes) will be dedicated to questions from the floor. Each candidate will have one minute to respond to each of the questions.
5. Wrap up and thank you. (Bunner)
The following questions were assembled by the organizers as reflective of top-of-mind issues for residents of the valley communities. We offered them to the candidates for consideration as questions that may be asked from the floor, or as issues they may wish to address in their opening remarks.
1. What measures do you support to deal with random camping, littering and vandalism in the valley parklands?
2. Do you think Mill Creek daylighting should proceed and if so, which design option?
3. What future do you see for Rafters Landing and the Edmonton Queen?
4. Do you support the development of riverbank private commercial amenities such as restaurants and cafes?
5. What do you hope to see come out of the Gallagher Park Master Plan, including the Edmonton Ski Club redevelopment?
6. What kinds of future development do you see happening in McKinney Park?
7. What is your view of high-density top-of-bank residential development such as the Aldritt Tower?
8. Under the North Saskatchewn River Valley Bylaw major developments in the river valley have to be found to be essential by Council in order to proceed, yet there is very little definition of what is “essential” on any given day. Do you think the bylaw should be amended to provide more certainty for river valley communities?
9. Do you think there is a balance to be achieved in representing residential communities close to downtown, and the downtown area? How would you propose to manage that balance?
10. Do you support a bus service that travels in a circular route around the inner city, inlcuding river valley communities?
11. In the 1980's Council had a vision for Villages in the Valley for the areas of Rossdale, Riverdale and Cloverdale. Arguably the concept has been watered down as time has gone on. What obligation do you feel a council has to maintain plans that residents have relied upon?
12. What is your vision for the downtown river valley? How do you prioritize between conservation (i.e., preservation and restauration), access, programming and infrastructure? What, for you, would be examples of programming or infrastructure?
13. Edmonton's Ribbon of Green plan has been focusing on acquiring and protecting river valley land at the fringes of the city, where new development is occurring or will occur (at the ends of the ribbon). Will you push for an additional Ribbon of Green priority of protecting the river valley downtown (in the middle of the ribbon), and how?