Edmonton's new City Council will have a dramatic impact on the Edmonton of tomorrow as it attempts to advance The City Plan and the Reimagine Report which places the City of Edmonton on a new path. Therefore, the Edmonton Sport Council has undertaken to present the values and pledges Edmonton's new Mayor and Councillors made during the 2021 Municipal Election campaign.
This includes information obtained from their election websites and social media platforms. It also includes responses received to six important questions the Edmonton Sport Council asked of all those seeking election to Edmonton City Council.
The information sent to the candidates identified that COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact upon the sector, which must be nurtured for the benefit of our individual health and Edmonton’s health. Unfortunately, the sector consistently hears during hard economic times that the focus must be elsewhere. The result is decreased investment through the reduction of grants, subsidies, and increased user fees which increase participation barriers, and decreased facility development while Edmonton’s population continues to grow. COVID-19 magnifies the need for those running for office to understand the environment by reviewing our brief. Yet, sport, physical activity and active recreation can be at the centre of the social and economic recovery of Edmonton and Edmontonians from COVID-19.
It was also identifed that The City Plan is built on the concept that work and life should all be within 15 minutes travel time of one’s home. Based on engagement with Edmontonians and guided by the 5 Big City Moves found within The City Plan, the City of Edmonton has developed over 250 policy directions that will guide the City’s work and help to create a city Edmontonians feel at home in. A significant number of these policy directions relate to Edmontonians living active.
Candidates for mayor and city councillor were asked for their thoughts on six important questions regarding the sport, physical activity and active recreation sector. The questions were:
- As a member of City Council, what would be your vision of the City of Edmonton’s role to advance the goals of the Live Active Strategy to achieve “A healthy, vibrant Edmonton in which people embrace active lifestyles that improve their individual well-being as well as that of their families, neighbourhoods and communities”?
- What does an inclusive and accessible Edmonton look like to you? How will you make sure that inclusion and accessibility are part of all sport, physical activity, and active recreation opportunities (including events and programs) in Edmonton?
- Many Edmontonians qualify for the City of Edmonton’s Leisure Access Program, but many do not and can not afford the City of Edmonton’s active recreation programs and services. What should the City of Edmonton do to ensure no one is left out of these opportunities?
- As you think about the economic recovery of Edmonton and the health of Edmontonians, how do you see sport and active recreation contributing, and how do you believe the City of Edmonton should support this important work?
- If Edmonton is a FIFA 2026 host city, what should the social legacies be from this event?
- Please share with us anything else you would like us to know about your thoughts, experiences, or plans for sport, physical activity, and active recreation for the City of Edmonton.