ONEdmonton is a group of local leaders that have come together a few times over the last year to discuss how we can make Edmonton one of the world’s top 5 mid-size cities. The first subcommittee, called the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, was launched in November after the larger group identified that our urban core is the top priority. I have been fortunate enough to be part of both groups.
Today, our task force sent a letter to City Council regarding the proposed Downtown Arena and Entertainment District:
ONEdmonton Letter to Council
The task force is a group of majority, not consensus. At the last meeting, the majority of the task force members voted the arena project as the top near-term priority in Edmonton’s downtown.
The task force members include: Chairperson Randy Ferguson (Procura), Bob Black (Katz Group), Dr. Paul Byrne (MacEwan), Carolyn Campbell (University of Alberta), Michael Janz (Public School Trustee, EFCL), Terry Kilburn (Avison Young), Bernie Kollman (IBM Canada), David Majeski (RBC), Mack Male, Doug McConnell (Dialog), Scott McKeen, Honourable Anne McLellan (Bennett Jones), Carol Neuman (Edmonton Next Gen), Simon O’Byrne (Stantec), Ian O’Donnell (Downtown Edmonton Community League) Keith Shillington (Stantec), Paul Verhesen (Clark Builders), Sheila Weatherill (EPCOR), Richard Wong (Sutton Place Hotel), and Ralph Young (Melcor). Representatives from EEDC facilitate the task force.
I don’t think anyone on the task force considers the arena project a done deal, nor do they think the issue is a simple one, and this is reflected in the letter. My read of what the task force is saying here is this: there’s potential with the arena project to positively impact our urban core, so let’s keep things moving and figure out how to make that happen.
UPDATE: I originally left out Ian O’Donnell and Sheila Weatherill, because they joined us after the first meeting. My mistake. EEDC has posted the list here.