Edmonton Chamber Members,
Over the past few months, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce has been hearing from our members both within the downtown core and across the city that safety and security are urgent issues you are facing. Whether that is impacting your own business or organization or your ability to attend events or enjoy the vibrancy that is ever steadily coming back to our city. We hear your concerns and we’ve been directly engaged in addressing them. Today, we’re updating you on a number of actions that are being taken:
- On May 24th approximately ~300+ community leaders and business owners were activated to attend in person and online to voice their concerns around safety at a City Council meeting.
- City Council passed the Community and Safety Well Being Strategy including an additional $300K in funding for Chinatown and $4M to social support services in the core.
- City Council voted in favour of maintaining the base funding of the Edmonton Police Services from $385M to $407M and the current funding formula will remain intact. You can review the Edmonton Chamber’s advocacy letter to council here.
- City Council voted in favour of amending Bylaw 8353 Conduct of Transit Passengers Bylaw to prohibit loitering and using a controlled substance while on Transit Property.
Council and the City of Edmonton were also directed to develop a community safety plan as it is central to the quality of life for residents of any city. Everyone should feel secure and confident to walk down city streets, ride public transit, visit businesses or restaurants and explore any community in Edmonton.
Edmonton’s Downtown Core and Transit Safety Plan summarizes the many ways the City has responded—and will continue to respond—to ensure the health and safety of Edmontonians. The Plan involves tangible action on several components of community safety including:
- Identified Need for a Healthy Streets Operations Centre
- Increased Police Presence
- Increased Peace Officers
- Amended Conduct of Transit Passengers Bylaw
- Increased Response to Encampments and Problem Properties
- Funded Business Security
- Funded Community Recovery
- Installed Temporary Public Washrooms
- Completed Safety Audits
- Increased Cleaning in Parks, Roads and Alleys
- Funded Opioid Prevention and Response
- Increased Communications and Co-ordination with Businesses and Social
Putting this plan into action requires intentional partnerships, coordinated efforts of the City of Edmonton, other orders of government, agencies, industry, downtown employers, landowners and Edmontonians.
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce continues to be an advocate for businesses that are impacted by safety, security and mental health issues of vulnerable citizens. We advocated on the above policies to both City Council and Administration and wrote to the provincial government this week as well. Edmonton cannot face this alone and we encourage our members to advocate in their networks as well.
We are interested in hearing from you.