“If wishes were fishes, if money grew on trees, think of the amazing things you could do,” she says, “the recreation facilities you could build, the urban transformation that you can fund. But we don’t have that.”
And she says this is the test for councillors, to know that they can put politics aside and simply be able to speak about what benefits Edmonton.
“There are a lot of wishes. But governance is about relationships, both good and bad. If you can’t do it, and not everyone is good at building relationships, then your wish lists become really hard to check off.”
When more delays to the Valley Line Southeast LRT were announced in August, thanks to cracking in concrete piers supporting the track, there was a lot of talk about the lack of communication between the private builder, TransEd, and the city. There was talk about the lack of oversight.
Meanwhile, in the west end, the construction of the Valley Line West LRT has begun in earnest. If you still think 87th Avenue is a passable road, think again. The barricades are up and the trenches have been dug.
Hamilton says it’s important that the councillors of the wards that the west LRT line goes through need to be on top of what’s going on. Her, Andrew Knack (Nakota Isga) and Anne Stevenson (O-day’min, including downtown), will be meeting regularly with administration to get regular updates on the progress of the west LRT, which is not being built by TransEd.
“I’m not going to pretend that I am out there digging lines for the LRT,” Hamilton says. “But, transparency in terms of what’s happening with the construction process, quick responses, those are the kinds of things that help generate goodwill within the communities where major infrastructure is going in.