Letter of Support for Edmonton's Downtown Core and Transit System Safety Plan
September 16, 2022
As the voice of the business community, we want to reiterate the support for Edmonton’s Downtown Core and Transit System Safety Plan and follow up on our June 15th letter. We are eager to work with you in your capacity as Minister of Justice and Solicitor General to address drivers of crime and disorder and improve safety and community well-being in Edmonton.
It is imperative for our province’s continued economic recovery that all orders of government work together to address these issues. The City of Edmonton and community stakeholders continue to tackle issues related to safety and well-being in our city, and the provincial government has an important role to play to ensure that the City of Edmonton remains a safe and inclusive community. To echo the requests of Mayor Sohi, along with the business community, we are suggesting the below actions:
- Increasing and indexing the allocation of the Municipal Policing Grant to reflect population growth and inflation.
- Removing the cap on the Police Officer Grant to account for the higher cost per officer.
- Increasing provincial support for existing partnerships.
- Increasing the availability of resources to address the drug poisoning crisis throughout Edmonton with ongoing support.
- Addressing ongoing issues by developing comprehensive integrated release plans prior to discharging patients from correctional facilities, hospitals and persons in care.
- Increasing funding to shelter providers to expand capacity and support the implementation of the City’s Minimum Emergency Shelter Standards. There is an urgent need for day-time support. Our businesses are seeing an increase in disruptive behaviour deterring clients and customers from accessing their offerings.
- Increasing the permanent funding of emergency shelter spaces to the same level of support as Calgary. Compared to Calgary, Edmonton receives only 36 percent of the amount of permanently funded emergency shelter spaces.
- Funding housing solutions in Edmonton by increasing annual funding to Homeward Trust and ensure that Edmonton receives equitable funding to other municipalities.
The Edmonton Chamber appreciates the government’s continued efforts to keep Albertans safe and looks forward to hearing more from you about progress in these areas. We also ask the Government of Alberta to advocate where appropriate to the Federal Government for additional support. Should you wish to connect directly with our team or members via a round-table, please reach out. Thank you and we look forward to continued engagement on these important matters.