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Ron Gilbertson
24-09-2009, 04:52 PM
I edmontonenthusiast

1. What is EEDC doing to get Edmonton less dependent on oil & gas? We’ve been making strides in the past while, but we need to make sure our economy is very little reliant on oil when demand for oil goes away in 30-60 years?

Over the last 12 months EEDC has re-evaluated the cluster strategy due to changes in economic conditions and other contributing factors. Based on a thorough analysis, EEDC is focusing on six key sectors to contribute to a diversified economy; advanced technology, education, energy, financial services, health and tourism.

2. Right now vibrant commercial strips seem to be concentrated on Whyte Avenue, but do you see us getting more urban commercial strips, perhaps 118 Avenue, or in the Quarters or further revitalization of 124 Street in the very near future so that they could be a nice weekend hangout for the general population like Whyte Avenue and general vicinity is?

These are good points. Our mandate is to work more at the community level rather than individual neighbourhoods which is the focus of the City of Edmonton and business districts assigned to these communities.

3. Would you rather Edmonton become a big office city like Toronto or Calgary or have a more mixed use/residential approach like Vancouver? In addition to that, which do you think is most realistic and most likely to happen (this could be the same as what you would want to happen)?

The current reality is that we are more of an industrial city (proportionately) than Toronto or Calgary. The question around a big office city is not easy to answer. Certainly there are advantages to being a head office city including charitable and cultural causes. On the other hand, the real advantage is having a diversified economy which is a focus for us at EEDC.

II Redd Foxx

1. As I read through EEDC’s mandate and function, it appears that there are many areas of duplication between the City of Edmonton and EEDC in terms of function and responsibilities. Is this an accurate perception? Are there duplications in things like communications, tourism, event promotion, and even business development?

I do not agree there are duplications between EEDC and the City of Edmonton in mandate and function. The City of Edmonton established EEDC to take on a specific mandate - we’re responsible for delivering coordinated and cost effective tourism and economic development initiatives for Edmonton, incorporating the Shaw Conference Centre, and the Edmonton Research Park. EEDC’s purpose is to create sustainable economic growth and development for Edmonton with the vision of having Edmonton recognized as one of the world’s leading midsized cities by 2030. We work closely with the City of Edmonton on specific projects and initiatives as we do with other key stakeholders in the community – these are vey much partnerships with each organization having its own role and with care being taken to ensure that we don’t duplicate one another’s efforts. At EEDC we believe strategic relationships play an integral role in our success.