Public transportation represents a huge chunk of the city budget, and city council makes decisions all the time about the creation and configuration of the road network. So it's important to know where candidates stand on such issues.
On Episode 148 of Speaking Municipally, Troy Pavlek brought information gleaned from the mayoral candidates' platforms and the Downtown Business Association forum, and Mack Male brought data from Taproot's survey, to suss out the mayoral contenders' positions.
"The budget for public transportation in the City of Edmonton is like $360 million a year. It is our second largest line item behind the police — it constitutes 10% of our total budget expenditures of the year," Pavlek said. "So I was shocked that of the mayoral frontrunners ... very few of them have anything at all to say about public transportation, and none of them have a dedicated platform plank."
Some candidates' websites do outline positions that are transit-related, which the episode gets into. For more specifics, the Taproot survey has turned out to be handy. "One thing that I love — and that candidates have complained about — about this survey is multiple-choice forces candidates into a policy position," said Pavlek. "They can't hem and haw their way out committing to anything."
Find the responses of all of the mayoral candidates who have answered Taproot's survey on the city-wide view of the results. And take the same survey yourself to see how you align with the candidates for mayor and council.
The podcast drew particular attention to these questions on transit and roads:
- What should be done about LRT expansion?
- What is your position on the bus network redesign?
- Do you support the expansion of major roads?
- What should the residential speed limit be?
- Where do you stand on accommodating active transportation?
When the podcast was recorded, Kim Krushell had not yet answered, but she's in there now, along with Rick Comrie, Brian (Breezy) Gregg, Michael Oshry, Amarjeet Sohi, Diana Steele, Cheryll Watson, and Abdul Malik Chukwudi, who has since said he is dropping out to support Mike Nickel.
The episode also includes commentary on the federal results in Edmonton, Calgary city council's vaccine passport, and the racism faced by council candidates Adrian Bruff and Haruun Ali and condemned by their rivals in O-day'min and papastew.