Next Meetup

City of Edmonton’s 2019-22 Budget (Meetup Discussion)
The[masked] capital budget will likely have been finalized by the time of this Meetup, so this is an excellent time to discuss our thoughts on how the City of Edmonton’s capital and operating budgets reflects the needs, priorities, and aspirations of the city! Joe Biden is quoted as saying “Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.” Indeed, budgets are often the best way to identify the goals and priorities of governments. At this Meetup, let’s discuss what we see in the City of Edmonton’[masked] budget that they got right, got wrong, discuss the budget process, and what we should expect over the next four years. Though the budget discussions are still underway, there are already a few highlights (though they may be subject to change), including: • The 2019–2022 Capital Budget proposes $4.3 billion in total capital investment over the next four years. • This budget also includes $0.9 billion of capital previously approved by Council that will extend beyond the year 2023, to give an overall budget of $5.2 billion for the city. • Approximately 45% of the capital budget will be allocated to infrastructure renewal, with the rest going towards new infrastructure. • The operating budget for 2019–2022 proposes tax rate increases of 3.3% for 2019, 2.7%t for 2020 and a further 2% for 2021 and then 2022. • The budget highlights three major projects: Valley Line Southeast LRT ($814.7M), Yellowhead Trail Freeway ($281.5M) and Blatchford’s redevelopment ($115M). • Edmonton police will receive $75 million over four years, $12 million less than requested. • Several key projects have already been approved, including the Coronation Community Recreation Centre project, planning and design of a CP Rail shared-use trail, expansion of Terwillegar Drive, and the planning and design of the 40th Avenue LRT station. Some possible discussion items include: • What do you like in the budget? What don’t you like? • How does the budget reflect the cities key priorities? Are there other items that should have been prioritized (for example, should further funding have gone to public transportation as opposed to the Terwillegar expressway expansion)? • What do some of the proposed items to be cut from the budget (such as three central Edmonton pools) say about the city’s priorities? • Is the proposed 3.3% property tax increase for 2019 (if approved) fair? Should it have been less/more, or should there have been reductions in spending instead? • City Council told the city administration that its priority should be reducing the tax increase. City Council also told officials specifically not to include new council priorities if that would increase taxes. Is this the right course of action or are their priorities that should be debated or included despite a potential tax increase? • Coun. Michael Walters called this budget debate ‘budget bingo’ due to the randomized order that the City Council reviewed budget requests. Is this randomized order fair or should the city or council decide what is prioritized? • Is Mayor Don Iveson five-point plan (https://doniveson.ca/2018/09/10/5-point-plan-budget-2018/) reflected in this budget? Are they the right priorities for Edmonton? • What are the implications of Mayor Don Iveson’s public statements that taxpayers in neighbouring communities should pitch in on the cost of Edmonton’s tourism and recreation facilities? • What about the postponed decisions, such as the Urban Tree Canopy Project and Valley Zoo’s Nature’s Wild Backyard? Do all (or some) merit approval? Why or why not? • Does the budget deliberations pit mature neighbourhoods against new suburbs over funds and facilities. If so, will this likely be an ongoing issue in future budget debates? How can this be balanced? • Will this budget help build the kind of city you want to live in? Why or why not? • What would you include in the budget? Everyone is welcome, looking forward to seeing you there!

Fionn MacCool's City Centre

G310-10200 102A Ave NW · Edmonton, AB

What we're about

Edmonton's politics Meetup! This Meetup promotes group discussion and participation in public policy and nonpartisan political events. Meetups are typically to have informal discussions on public policy or political issues. Events and meetups often have a focus on Edmonton, Alberta, and/or Canada issues.

Feel free to send me a message if you have a discussion idea, are interested in organizing an event, or just want to get more involved!

Members (37)

Photos (12)