“Light the Bridge” to proceed on donations only City Council passed a motion to support lighting up the High Level Bridge without public funding for the project. Established as a community-led initiative funded entirely by donations from private citizens and corporations, the $2.5 million dollar project remains on track to have approximately 60,000 coloured LED bulbs installed on Edmonton’s historic High Level Bridge by July 1, 2014. “There was never any real requirement for the City’s money, but we had to talk to the supplier,” said Light the Bridge volunteer and ATB Financial President & CEO Dave Mowat. “We’ve got great momentum, we’ll order the lights and we’re still pushing for Canada Day.” LRT expansion Council’s top priority City Council voted in favour of a motion that established LRT as Council’s number one priority for new infrastructure spending. Council’s discussion and vote emphasized the need for long-term funding commitments from the provincial and federal governments in order to achieve Edmonton’s goals for LRT and public transit. Councilors noted that all necessary commitments from the City – including funding, design and planning – are now in place for the Valley Line LRT project to proceed.
On behalf of City Council and the people of Edmonton, we wish to express our heartfelt sadness on the death of Nelson Mandela. On the day of his public memorial in Johannesburg, Edmontonians join citizens from around the world in reflection and remembrance of one of the greatest leaders in our collective history. As the first black South African President, Mandela ended segregation and fostered racial reconciliation among all South Africans. He not only helped establish the country’s first fully representative democracy but also worked tirelessly to end poverty and inequality. Mandela’s time as President, which has become known as the “golden age of hope and harmony,” transformed his country and the world. His courage, determination and belief that anything is possible will continue to inspire generations. While we mourn this loss, let us also reflect on the indelible legacy Nelson Mandela leaves behind. His accomplishments will continue to remind us of the power of the human spirit and the imperative to always advocate for peace, justice and equality for all people.
In honour of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Ortona, one of Canada’s bloodiest battles during the Second World War, Mayor Don Iveson presented an official Bond of Friendship to the City of Ortona, Italy to commemorate this important event in history. “Our city and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment in particular, share a special relationship with Ortona,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “With this Bond of Friendship, we pay tribute to the soldiers who selflessly gave their lives for freedom and democracy during this battle.” During the winter of 1943, German and Canadian troops fought daily in harsh, wet, cold conditions in Ortona, which is located off the coast of the Adriatic Sea. After eight days of fighting the Germans finally withdrew from Ortona
Budget supports investments in new infrastructure Edmonton City Council approved the 2014 Operating Budget, which will deliver more than 200 distinct services and programs while holding the tax increase to 4.92%, which is about 0.5% lower than the proposed budget. This budget will result in an average 3.42% property tax increase to deliver all civic services, including operations for new capital infrastructure. An additional 1.5% tax is dedicated to continuing to build the Neighbourhood Renewal Program fund for repair and reconstruction of roads, sidewalks and streetlights in mature areas.
Edmontonians who go above-and-beyond to enhance arts and culture, community service and sport in the city were honoured at the 2013 Salute to Excellence Citation and Performance Awards . “These individuals set a high standard for community leadership and enhancing the quality of life of their neighbours and peers,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “Their passion and dedication is a shining example of the immense talent, skill and leadership that exists in Edmonton.” Citation Awards recognize individuals or groups who have given more than five years of distinguished service as volunteers and have been inspirational leaders in the areas of arts and culture, sports and community service. Six individuals were awarded citation awards for their hard work and determination as volunteers, fundraisers and long standing community leaders. Community Services Chester Kuc : A talented dance instructor, choreographer and performance director, Kuc was an outstanding contribution to Canadian Ukrainian artistic culture. Punita Chohan : A respected teacher and humanitarian, Chohan arranges cosmetology apprentices to work with community service organizations including the Youth Emergency Shelter, Women Emergency Accommodation Centre, Military Family Resources Centre and many more. Judy Dickout : President for the Wedgewood Ravine Community League for more than 11 years, Dickout’s leadership led to new playground funding and skating and swimming opportunities for the community. Amanda Trenchard : A six-year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service, Trenchard devotes much of her spare time to the Special Olympics, creating awareness through the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. Sports Darrell Bradley : Past-president of the Edmonton 5 Pin Bowlers Association and an accomplished competitor, Bradley devotes countless volunteer hours to enhance the sport of five-pin bowling.
The City of Edmonton invites affected citizens to upcoming open houses to learn about Edmonton’s proposed annexations of land in Leduc County and a portion of Highway 814 from the Town of Beaumont. “Edmonton’s population could nearly double over the coming three decades and we want to develop complete communities by growing in, up and out. We are planning for the future and would like to meet and talk with citizens about their questions and our proposed annexations,“ says Peter Ohm, Manager, City of Edmonton Urban Planning and Environment. Edmonton seeks balanced growth for its citizens
Construction of Blatchford Redevelopment slated to start in 2014 In order to move forward on the Blatchford Redevelopment project, Edmonton City Council has directed city administration to request that the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority (ERAA) take the necessary steps for full closure of the Edmonton City Centre Airport at 11:59pm, November 30, 2013. This enables the City to continue with the implementation of Council’s vision for the Blatchford Redevelopment, which is to create one of Canada’s largest sustainable mixed-use developments that offers a walkable, transit-oriented and family-friendly community. Construction of underground infrastructure is slated to begin in 2014. Once the airport is closed, the project team will begin preconstruction work, which includes removal and recycling of the existing runways and other hard surfaces to supply aggregate for future Blatchford roads. That work is expected to begin as early as December 2013. As part of the process, ERAA will notify airport users and pilots by issuing Notices to Airmen (NOTAM), through NAV CANADA. On December 1, 2013 ERAA will place barricades on the remaining runway 12/30 to prevent access to the runway, and the runway will be clearly marked to signal to pilots that it is closed. In July 2009, City Council approved the phased closure of the City Centre Airport, for the purpose of redeveloping the site. Runway 16/34 was closed in August, 2010 as part of initial phase of the closure.
The City of Edmonton continues to lead the way in openness, joining the Province of Alberta, the Government of Canada and other major Canadian cities in becoming more transparent by implementing a new Open Government Licence . The new licence will give citizens consistent terms for accessing and using government data, making it easier to combine, integrate and share data from multiple government sources. The simplified licence allows the public to use the City’s information in any format for any lawful purpose, as long as the source of the information is provided. The Open Government Licence was developed through public consultation and collaboration with other municipal and provincial governments.
Mayor Stephen Mandel, His Honour, Col.(Ret’d), the Honourable Donald Ethell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta along with members of Canadian Forces and their families officially unveiled the City of Edmonton’s newest piece of public art in honour of Edmonton’s military community. The monument called Memoryscape is designed to celebrate the long and proud history between Edmonton’s military and the community. At its root, the project is a collection of scenes and imagery which speaks to the themes of peacekeeping, aid, community and homecoming. “This very moving and meaningful piece of public art will serve as a touching tribute to the unwavering commitment and sacrifice of our military and their families,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel.
International credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has given its second-highest score, a AA+ rating, to the City of Edmonton for the third year in a row. The rating is just one notch below the highest possible mark and indicates a stable outlook for the City of Edmonton. “We are pleased with this continued recognition of Edmonton’s strong fiscal position and the affirmation of responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” said Lorna Rosen, CFO and Treasurer for the City of Edmonton. “We know citizens work hard for their money, and we are just as prudent about using our resources wisely in providing the services and infrastructure that people need and use every day.” The independent rating report provides several reasons for its high confidence rating for Edmonton, including: Strong liquidity position A healthy economy A debt burden well within provincial limits and the more stringent city policy Standard & Poor’s states that its positive rating reflects the City has predictable and well-balanced institutional framework and budgetary performance.