She also feels that densification process is very selective, with some neighbourhoods continuing on as they’ve always been, while others densify.
“One of my biggest concerns, and one of the reasons I ran, is that our area is getting a lot of densification. The city is seeing a lot more densification, and my concern is that they’re trying to densify certain areas of the city, and other areas of the city are maybe going to have larger lots and nicer homes. And I am just concerned that the vision is to have certain areas densified and other areas not densified. That’s what I see.
“But it’s not just the densification, it’s the loss of service, like transit. So, we have lost a lot of transit service, but, when they [ETS] created the on-demand service, I thought it was a fantastic, creative way to supplement the losses. But, unfortunately, in my ward, we have absolutely zero on-demand. But, I am speaking with various departments on how to change that.”
The new city council recently approved two major recreation-centre projects; Lewis Farms and Coronation. A total of more than $430 million is earmarked for the two projects. Principe supported the motions. But, does she worry that budgets will be tightened even further once all levels of governments assess the impact of COVID? Is there a point where “austerity” becomes the keyword for all levels of government, whether they like it or not?
“We need to be realistic,” says Principe. “We don’t really know what’s ahead. But we know if things get out of hand again, we need to react. But, at City Council, we did approve a lot of capital projects. In one way, it’s spending money. In another way, it’s creating jobs. It’s a way to try and boost the economy, to get it going again. But we need to be mindful that it costs money, and that some time things will need to change to save money. I’m not a fan of increasing taxes… We need to be really aware that we can’t always rely on increasing taxes when we need money. We need to look within, and that’s a constant thing, in order to be more efficient.”
Savvy AF. Blunt AF. Edmonton AF.