ActivatED ENDORSES: RICHARD FEEHAN
Richard Feehan has well informed progressive values, decades of experience in the social service industry, and extensive community roots.
As a social worker, he has spent the last 35 years involved in Edmonton’s social service. He has served as Vice President of Family Services at Catholic Social Services, program director for the Edmonton Social Planning Council, and an independent businessman in private practice. He prioritizes talking to people about their lived experiences in their communities, and improving the process of citizen consultation. Feehan strongly believes in equity, and views social disintegration as stemming from inequality.
Feehan is committed to increasing density, and supporting mature neighbourhoods. He connects an increase in density to financial and environmental sustainability, as well as livable and lively communities which are vital for the social and financial health of Edmonton. He believes that by increasing density the City would require less energy and resources to build and maintain infrastructure (eg. roads), thereby decreasing unit costs for city services.
It is essential to Feehan that Edmonton grows in rather than out in order to help protect valuable farmland surrounding Edmonton. He envisions a city that “doesn’t forget our connection to the land”, and believes that Edmonton’s thriving food culture requires preservation of agricultural land.
Public and active transit are priorities for Feehan. He notes that bicycle commuting has seen a huge increase in Edmonton over the last few year. As such, he supports a priority network of bike infrastructure, and wants to ensure that the city works with communities to find the best routes. He prefers separated infrastructure for self-powered transit, and would like a higher priority on snow, ice, and gravel clearing of bike routes and paths. Feehan views that integration of active transportation and walkability into communities is essential for community vibrancy and health.
Feehan supports the expansion of the LRT as rapidly as possible, and views public transit as essential to both the economic and environmental goals of cities. He emphasizes accessibility and ridership for public transit, and as such, supports keeping fares low and frequency high with simple and direct routes.
Feehan is strongly against the use of public-private partnerships, and draws on the experience of other cities as well as research done by organizations such as the Canada West Foundation. He cites that there is no evidence that P3s decrease overall infrastructure cost, and believes this model of funding essentially transfers funds that could be used for the public good to private profit. Feehan emphasizes that Edmonton and the surrounding municipalities must work together to ensure a fairer funding scheme for the region to ensure that our growing City’s needs are met.
Feehan will be releasing his campaign funders prior to Election Day. With regards to campaign financing, he supports a funding limit for candidates, and views the control of the development industry as a serious problem.
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