Looking ahead at Ward 4

When I think about our Ward 4, I see growth, opportunity and community all coming together to paint a very positive future.

There are so many signs of this – expansion in areas like McConachie and Cy Becker, so many of our neighbours are improving their homes, investing in the lives that they are building here. And we are being joined by new community expansion in areas like Gorman, Ebbers and Fraser Point, where a new Neighborhood Structure Plan is in place, meaning even more growth is coming and soon. Growth is exciting – it means opportunity but it means challenge – like from having even our new schools already calling in portables to make room for our kids.

We are working to keep pace and to turn growth into great opportunity in Ward 4.

Our new Northeast Recreation Centre will open in 2014. It will be an important partner to a new Catholic High School and will include excellent community and recreation services like community meeting space, a library, day care as well as new swimming and rink facilities. A new playground is being installed in Hollick Kenyon and the Brintnell playground has just had their grand opening, providing even more options for our community.

Old industrial areas like the Domtar site are being renewed and readied for families. And new business areas like Manning Town Centre are providing more jobs, shopping and services right near our neighbourhoods.

Infrastructure is being improved on key roads, like 50th street and in our neighbourhoods, and there are signs that our investment improving Fort Road is starting to pay off watch for the start-up of construction in the next few weeks.

When I look at Fort Road I see signs of families putting down strong roots and connecting to each other through communities. I see strong infrastructure links, through our communities, to the economic growth that is fueling the growth of our region.

The Edmonton Energy and Technology Park is the City’s biggest industrial land opportunity in the next four years. Access to Fort McMurray, the completion of the Anthony Henday and City Council’s approval of an industrial area structure plan prepares the Energy Park for investment.

Global companies are actively looking at the Edmonton region to build world scale plants based on natural gas liquids and heavy oil by-products. Companies looking to build modules for Fort McMurray see the benefit to being in Northeast Edmonton.

The action plan for the next four years is to make the Energy Park ready to receive investment. This means the new council will implement eco-industrial principles, improve regulatory processes and actively work with companies that want to bring jobs and value added development to the City. The City worked hard last year to see the first two zoning applications approved in the manufacturing and transportation zones of the park. There is more to come!

I am so proud of how we are building our communities and of the spirit and dedication that we have to our families and our neighbours.