I’ve been holding back posting about the Edmonton City Centre Airport for a while, since I’m afraid my position and stance on it might lose me some friends. So I won’t talk about it right now, at least not directly. I also want to talk about it in the context of the upcoming municipal election. But every time I start a post on either subject, it ends up that I want to make it too detailed and never finish it as a result, or something changes thus rendering the post obsolete before I even publish it.
So maybe I’ll just do it piecemeal. And I’ll start by just saying this:
Edmonton: The City Centre Airport is not the most important issue facing our city right now. It is a red herring in one friend’s words. It is the most talked about issue right now, and getting the most press, but far from the most important.
Consider infrastructure. Consider transit and LRT expansion. Consider cycling infrastructure. Consider regional co-operation. Consider school closures. Consider brain drain and how to keep and attract an educated workforce. Consider economic recovery and unemployment. Consider economic diversification. Consider the downtown arena. Consider the Expo. Consider neighborhood revitalization. Consider policing, safety, and crime. Consider homelessness and affordable housing. Consider clean streets and sidewalks, and snow clearing. Consider urban sprawl, infill housing, and intensification. Consider how to retain business and head offices. Consider how to attract new business, employment, and head offices. Any and all of these issues are far more important to Edmonton and will affect far more Edmontonians for far longer than the City Centre Airport issue.
Forget for a moment whether the airport should be closed if it should stay open. Talk to the candidates running in your ward and running for Mayor and find out what they think of the real issues facing our city moving forward, and ask them for their ideas on how to approach or solve them. Ask them what their vision for Edmonton is.
Vote for the candidates you feel have the best vision for the city, and the best ideas on how to get there, and the airport issue will take care of itself.