This is my first post since I have declared that I am running in Ward 3 in the upcoming municipal election. In my announcement speech, I indicated my support for families, seniors, and communities, and I want to expand upon that here.

Seniors have unique challenges, the City should be mindful of this and make special accommodations where possible. The City should provide incentives for volunteers to help with snow shoveling, grass cutting, and other chores that seniors have difficulty with.

The City of Edmonton is composed of many geographic communities, each of different character. I have proposed an alternative land use planning system called Cascade Zoning that could replace the current Zoning Bylaw. Doing so would see communities having more power over their development. This way, the communities that support infill development could receive infill, and those opposed would be exempt.

Previously, I have written about the mega rec centres that Edmonton has been building, and I criticized their costs. Another drawback of the mega rec centres is that they have replaced the small neighbourhood rec centres that used to be staples of our communities. These smaller gyms allow you to get to know your neighbours. They are intimate, and one can often walk to them.

Getting to know your neighbours is important as it helps to build a sense of community. I fully support strong community development through the promotion of the community league system. Anyone who volunteers their time to sit on a local board should be congratulated for giving back, and these people should be listened to, as they are the local subject matter experts.

Not everyone is part of a family, or has good relations with their family, and I get that. However, in order to promote well-being, personal-development, better jobs, and less crime, I support any initiative that champions the family as a decision unit. A family can re-direct lost youth, or provide wayward members of society some guidance when their vices catch up on them. In the ideal scenario, it is better to have loved ones care for individuals than to have the state do so. A mediocre loving parent is better than an A+ social worker, but there is room for both in society. I will be directing my efforts to charities that share similar goals as I, and which allow parents to parent.

We all get old. I respect age because I respect experience. Our seniors are often home during the day, and therefore they play the important roles of the eyes and ears of a community. In order to allow seniors to age in place, there should be local amenities that they appreciate, such as nice parks or well-funded and resourced cultural centres and community leagues. Remember, your taxes go toward amenities. One might as well get what they want.

This brings me to the truck-loads of money that we currently spend on the LRT system. Edmonton should have a high-frequency bus rapid transit system (BRT) with an adaptable route. I will write more about my BRT proposal later (as I have a unique perspective on the matter), but suffice to say that better public transit will be an asset to communities and seniors. The LRT should serve more than just those who live on the route. Currently Ward 3 is excluded. A BRT could fix that. The money that we could save from being smart about our transit options could be re-directed into our communities.

Of course, the existing LRT should stay, but before we put the shovel back in the ground, let’s take a moment to reassess. We can do much better than we are currently doing. We just need to switch out the decision makers. We need someone that stands up for the north side.

It is time for a change. Give me a chance.

Are you getting value for your tax dollars? Are your potholes fixed? My guess is not… 

We can do better.

Thank you.

Jon Dziadyk

 

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