Downtown concerns raised at Ward 6 all-candidates forum

Questions around accountability, homelessness and safety dominated an all-candidates forum in Edmonton’s Ward 6 on Thursday evening.

Incumbent Coun. Scott McKeen is running against three candidates — Bill Knight, Tish Prouse and Adil Pirbhai.

“I think there’s some good candidates,” said Kelly Grieves, a Ward 6 resident.

She was among approximately 70 people who attended the forum at St. Joseph High School.

Others followed the forum online, sending questions to the moderator via Twitter.

“I think I might’ve been falling a little bit into the incumbent, leaning towards McKeen to start with,” said Grieves. “But I think Tish has a really good platform and I’m really interested in what else he has to say.”

She said her plan is to visit the Prouse’s website to learn more about his position on various issues.

‘All have good ideas’

Candidates were asked about homelessness and affordable housing, property taxes and safe injection sites.

One person asked about the consultation process before three downtown locations were selected for supervised injection sites.

“Businesses in Chinatown were consulted after a decision on the sites was made,” she told the candidates.

There is a proposal before the federal government which calls for supervised injection sites to be offered at three community agencies — Boyle Street Community Services, Boyle McCauley Health Centre and the George Spady Centre.

No decision on the proposal has come from the federal government yet.

Candidates were asked about how to direct infill housing so that it creates more affordable living spaces.

“There’s a lot of growth happening, but there’s problems with infill,” said resident Al Slemko. 

“Three of the four candidates all have good ideas,” said resident Brendan Bolstad. 

He too plans to do some homework and investigate the platforms of the various candidates.

The next candidates forum for Ward 6 is set for Oct. 11 at the North Glenora Community League.

(William Wang/CBC-with supplied photos)

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