Today was a very interesting day on the campaign trail. It started off with several TV interviews, coffee downtown, discussions with a few members of the EPS in front of city hall, and a few meetings with Edmontonians. Tonight was the first of two Mayoral forums - this one at Harry Ainlay High School. It had an excellent turnout and the forum was also streamed live via the internet. If you missed this one - there will be another one on October 14th at Eastglen Composite High School in the city's northeast end. It will also be streaming live if you can't make it down - check the City of Edmonton's website for the link.
Tonight's forum had an excellent turn out - citizens young and old came out to voice their opinions about this great city. It was very exciting to see so many people eager to ask questions and engage with all of the candidates.
I wanted to address a comment that was made by myself and followed up by our current mayor during the question and answer period of the forum. When answering a question, I had stated that city fell short in it's responsibility in regards to the planning for Anthony Henday Drive. I feel that a two lane freeway is not adequately planning for the future of Edmonton and our surrounding communities. Mr. Mandel was swift to point out in his turn to speak that the Henday is a provincial road and is not a city funded road. Unfortunately I was not able to rebuttle to that comment. I am fully aware that the Anthony Henday Drive is a provincial road. My point was that as a municipality and the capital of Alberta, we should have more influence about a roadway system that surrounds our city, is a main drive for commuter traffic and is utilized by Edmontonians daily. The city should have been more involved with the planning process and have better shared our concerns as a city about what Edmonton required in a ring road development. My suggestion for the Anthony Henday Drive is that should have been built as a 3 lane road (as opposed to the 2 lanes it currently has) and that it has a carpool lane to encourage commute sharing and thus less traffic on our roads. How would the province have known what our needs are if council or the mayor does not step in and ensure that our needs are met?
All in all, to recap the night, it was interesting to see the other candidates approach to politics and how they feel they would best serve as mayor. Thank you to everyone who came out, watched online, and I hope to see all of you at the polls on October 18th.
There were some very strict time restraints tonight and I know many people's questions did not get answered. If you have a question that you'd like to ask me, please comment on this post, or email me - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't forget you can always reach me on Facebook: Dan for Mayor Edmonton or through Twitter: @danformayor2010.
Thanks for reading!