As we all work to recover from the pandemic, history has shown that cities who deliberately create opportunities for people to gather will reap economic and social benefits. To provide people with the opportunity to gather and support local businesses, Michael Oshry will lead the City of Edmonton to declare Car Free Whyte Ave every Sunday.
In the last seven years, over $4.4 billion has been invested in our downtown. Yet with the pandemic dramatically reducing activity and events downtown, businesses are struggling more than ever. We need to get workers back downtown, government and private sector. It is also an enormous tax base for the rest of the city.
Michael Oshry is supportive of the City’s Downtown Vibrancy Strategy, a two year plan to help revitalize downtown, passed in June. The strategy will provide $5 million in funding for a range of programs. It provides a good foundation and we need to build on it.
Michael Oshry’s vision is to make Edmonton a hub of dynamic, sustainable, and entrepreneurial artistic communities. Our festivals, shows, and exhibits are beloved by our city and fundamental to who we are. They are a huge part of what makes Edmonton a great place to live and as well, provides many high quality jobs.
Over the last year and half, seniors’ centres and non-profit organizations have made an amazing effort to provide vital connections for the most vulnerable seniors in our city. Relying on donations and volunteers for things like organizing drop-offs of essential supplies, or even just arranging to phone seniors to check in on them during the first wave and beyond., approximately 30% of seniors experienced social isolation pre-pandemic, and that risk increases with BIPoC, 2SLGBTQIA, seniors with language barriers, and those living in poverty (“Approach to Supporting Seniors' Centres”, City of Edmonton, 2019). While the future is uncertain, we know there is an opportunity to connect these extraordinary efforts to meeting the challenges of marginalized and isolated seniors today.
Michael Oshry will make Edmonton’s economy the most diversified in Canada. He will do this through targeted support for clean technology and innovation, growing our existing major sectors, making City Hall business friendly, and boosting the livability and attractiveness of Edmonton to local and global talent.
If we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial temperatures, the world must act, and Edmonton must do its part here at home.
As Mayor, Michael Oshry would continue to build on the City’s current Energy Transition Strategy and Climate Resilient Edmonton plan. Oshry’s plan will see the City work in partnership with the private sector and our communities. Collaboration is essential. As the City’s plans say themselves, significant investment is needed from the private sector, so the City’s role will be as a catalyst for private sector investment. We will not succeed in meeting our climate commitments if the City goes it alone.
We respectfully acknowledge that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway, Saulteau, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to shape our city.
The discoveries of mass graves on Residential School sites, with more studies underway, has been a tragic reminder of how much work we have to do on truth and reconciliation. The discoveries have confirmed what Indigenous groups already knew about the deadly legacy of Residential Schools. We need to grieve for these children, their families, and their communities. Then, we need to do everything we can to achieve meaningful reconciliation in our city, province, and country.
Our city will not continue to offer its citizens a good quality of life, that attracts people and investment, if we do not address homelessness and the other extreme forms of poverty afflicting many Edmontonians. Right now we lack the supportive housing and community-based mental health interventions of other cities of our size. We are also getting nowhere by beating up other orders of government and talking about who should do what.
Edmonton – If elected mayor, Michael Oshry will implement mandatory vaccinations for all City of Edmonton employees and for those using City facilities, he announced Tuesday.
All City staff and people using City facilities will have to show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or proof of medical exemption. Children under 12 will be exempt from the mandatory vaccination policy.