Tagged with: Community


August 29, 2016 | 1 Comment

Let’s fight for this vital development on Edmonton’s north side

By KERRY DIOTTE

This development has to be done and be done right.

Edmonton’s city council owes it to the residents of our north-side federal riding of Edmonton Griesbach to approve Northlands’ Vision 2020 plan.

A good portion of my 100,000-plus federal constituents are counting on the City of Edmonton stepping up to support this vision.

Our riding includes many of the neighbourhoods in the vicinity of Northlands, including Alberta Avenue, Beacon Heights, Bellevue, Beverly Heights, Boyle Street, Cromdale, Eastwood, Highlands, Lauderdale, McCauley, Montrose, Newton, Parkdale, Rundle Heights and Virginia Park.

We know Edmonton has a shiny new downtown arena, built with taxpayers dollars, replacing the legendary Rexall Place that was operated successfully by Northlands.

We as a city owe it to residents in those communities to buy into the vision Northlands has come up with for its 160-acre campus that includes Rexall Place, Northlands Race Track and Casino and the Edmonton Expo Centre conference facility.

That vision includes turning Rexall Place into a multiple ice-surface facility, expanding the Expo Centre, building a new, small concert facility and putting in housing.

Not doing so means: There goes the neighbourhood(s)! Reports show dire consequences if we don’t get this right.

Failure to develop the Northlands site would reduce property values by up to 10% — homes that hard-working north-side Edmontonians invested their life savings in. This scenario would see the City’s residential assessment base shrink by up to $125 million.

The City of Edmonton has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in other sectors of the city including the downtown, Blatchford (the old City Centre Airport) and The Quarters. The Northlands area communities deserve the same benefit.

Indeed, when Edmonton city council agreed to construct the downtown arena it bought into the theory that the project would revitalize the downtown. Shouldn’t our communities surrounding the Northlands campus receive a similar benefit?

Those communities include Edmonton’s largest population of indigenous people and scores of new Canadians including a sizeable Somali community who live there and are trying to build new lives in this great city of ours.

This area also includes a thriving arts community centred on 118 Avenue that has breathed new life into old buildings. They have succeeded remarkably. I have to note that when we were looking to rent a constituency office for our federal riding of Edmonton Griesbach, the redevelopment of 118 Avenue has been so successful we could not find a single suitable space there. That’s actually good news.

This area is not a home to big-box stores or fancy corporate offices. It’s filled with small mom-and-pop businesses eking out an income in the shadow of Rexall Place. These folks deserve our support.

Some pundits are saying Northlands plan is too ambitious, there’s not a suitable business plan. It costs too much money. As a fiscal conservative, former city councillor and the Official Opposition’s deputy Urban Affairs critic, I sympathize with concerns about finances.

That said, where was the business plan when city council decided to close down City Centre Airport to build what was pitched as the ultra-green, eco-friendly Blatchford development? Latest plans there have deeply scaled back the so-called green initiatives. Where was the business case for that development?

The City of Edmonton went gung-ho on that plan regardless. Northlands Vision 2020, however makes good sense and is well thought out.

The not-for-profit, 137-year-old organization was forced out of the business of running major sporting events and large concerts with the approval of the new Rogers Centre arena downtown. That’s despite the fact the organization did an admirable, world-class job of those duties. Indeed Rexall, under Northlands management, was listed as the 27th busiest arena (indoors or outdoors) in the world!

Northlands and the tens of thousands of residents surrounding the 160-acre site deserve to have the City of Edmonton buy into a plan that would see Rexall turned into a six-sheet hockey tournament facility, an expansion of Hall D at the Expo Centre to allow 5,000-seats for hockey as well as rodeo, concerts and other events. It also calls for an outdoor festival site where the racetrack and casino is today as well as residential and retail development.

There’s been talk that the Edmonton Expo Centre doesn’t break even. Well, conference centres throughout North America tend to not break even. It’s the economic spinoffs that bring millions to cities by hosting events at them.

This is an ideal campus for urban renewal. It’s a stone’s throw from our downtown. It’s served by an existing station on a high-speed LRT line. It’s adjacent to Yellowhead Trail and has tons of parking.

A special city council public hearing takes place Wednesday Aug. 31 and I intend to be there in person speaking up for the vital north-side project.

If you’re a resident in the area or you own a business there, you too have a right to speak about this. If you care about thriving, sustainable neighbourhoods, please have your say. Tell city council what you think. Get on the speakers list to have your five minutes. Call the City Clerk’s office at (780) 496-8178 or email: city.clerk@edmonton.ca

To see more details about the thoughtful development, Vision 2020, go here:

http://www.northlands.com/vision2020/

Let’s make sure our north-side residents get the development they deserve. As your Conservative Member of Parliament I will fight to see we get this development done and done right.

(Comments? Questions? E-mail me at: kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca)

Northlands Arena

Northlands Vision 2020

 

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August 26, 2016 | No Comments

Kudos to A&W Canada for hosting Burgers to Beat MS

Kudos to A&W Canada for hosting Burgers to Beat MS on Aug. 25, 2016 – a fun fundraiser with proceeds going to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

One dollar from every Teen Burger sold will be donated to help beat this unpredictable and disabling disease.

It was a pleasure to serve at the White Oaks Square A&W on the north side of Edmonton where I met the friendly staff, several dedicated MS Society volunteers and staff and a lot of very nice customers.

It was nice to see support from legendary Oiler Dave Semenko and from several folks who parked their classic cars around the restaurant that was famous for its car hop service.

I had a chance to have a good conversation with a young woman who is living with MS and is leading a thoroughly active life despite it.

Seeking a cure for MS is especially important to me since I lost a very dear friend in June 2015 who’d been living with the disease. My friend Ted Marianix was only 70.

Thanks to everyone for supporting this fine charity fundraiser.

A&W's Burgers to Beat MS
Burgers to Beat MS with Root Bear
Kerry serving root beer at Burgers to Beat MS
Root Beer at A&W's Burgers to Beat MS
A&W Burgers to Beat MS
Burgers to Beat MS with Dave Semenko
Burgers to Beat MS 2
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August 24, 2016 | No Comments

Pleased to attend the grand opening of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy

In 2010, Valay Rajgor came to Canada as a refugee who was broke and couldn’t speak English.

Today, I was happy to attend the grand opening of Valay’s Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in our riding of Edmonton Griesbach, as his wife Ami Mehta beamed proudly, holding their son Aara.

Congrats Valay! This is quite an achievement.

Valay, Ami and Aara
Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy Ribbon Cutting
Kerry & Valay at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy Opening

 

 

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June 20, 2016 | No Comments

Job opportunity in Edmonton office

Job Opportunity – Constituency Assistant

Are you a dynamic team player? Do you thrive working with community and political leaders? Are you a professional with a meticulous attention to detail?

The office of Kerry Diotte, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach, is seeking a candidate to fill the position of Constituent Assistant in Edmonton.

The ideal candidate is a self-starter who takes initiative and possesses strong interpersonal skills. The candidate must possess sound judgement and discretion.

 Position Description:

 Qualifications and Experience:

Interested candidates should send their cover letter and resume to the attention of

Sally Harris at: kerry.diotte@parl.gc.ca

Applications will be accepted until 5 PM on Friday, July 1, 2016.

**We thank all for applying, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. **

 

Office

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May 23, 2016 | No Comments

Happy Victoria Day!

I hope you have a great holiday weekend celebrating with friends, family and neighbours.

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May 9, 2016 | No Comments

Edmonton’s providing support to Fort McMurray

Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Last Friday, my colleagues and interim-leader Rona Ambrose joined me for the day on a tour of Fort McMurray wildfire relief centres in Edmonton Griesbach.

We visited Northlands Expo Centre and Edmonton Emergency Relief Services, meeting with many victims and volunteers of this natural disaster.

I was encouraged to see our community rallying together to support those affected by the wildfire. Thank you to all the donors, volunteers and businesses that have stepped up to help. You make us all proud!

 

Northlands Relief Centre

Donations at Edmonton Emergency Relief Services

Corus Outlets Food Donations

Free Taxi Rides Kerry Diotte with Conservative colleagues and CPC Interim Leader Rona Ambrose touring Northlands relief welcome centre

Rona Ambrose talks to Fort MacMurray fire victims in Edmonton Griesbach

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March 11, 2016 | No Comments

OFFICE OPEN HOUSE …you are invited!

Office Open House Invite

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