ActivatED ENDORSES: DAN ST.PIERRE WARD 5
Dan St. Pierre, alongside his business and political experience, brings with him true vision and love for the City of Edmonton. In his blog post, ‘The City of Champions,’ he reflects on this title that Edmonton has been carrying for the last 26 years. He notes that Edmonton was not dubbed the City of Champions simply “because of a winning sports team but because of the indomitable spirit of our citizens and our ability to come together, as a community, for the greater good.” This sentiment of unity, collective betterment and passion are reflected in Dan’s policies and drive his motivation to represent both his Ward and his City at City Council.
Dan is disturbed by the City’s current practice of community consultation, and has observed a concerning disconnect between City Councillors and their constituents. While he believes the phrase “put yourself in their shoes” has some merit, he also recognizes that to speak on behalf of others is a weighty and complex responsibility. Proper public consultation requires making decisions that involve the consultation of all of the stakeholders involved. Dan emphasizes that every Edmontonian, regardless of their class, race, or gender, is a stakeholder – from the wealthy woman driving a Bentley to the gentleman sleeping on the neighbourhood park bench. He believes that the current top-down operations of public meetings need to be transformed into direct conversations with people on their doorsteps. Dan states that “accessibility to me (as a Councillor) is key” and pledges that true community consultation will be his primary resources in representing the views of his community, his ward, and his city.
In reviewing the City’s Budget, Dan is aware of the oversized portion of funds allocated to servicing the City’s debt. While recognizing the pressing need to meet immediate infrastructure demands, he is weary of projects outside of the City’s financial means. His thinks Public-Private-Partnerships and debt financing models should be used with caution, particularly for profit-motivated initiatives. Funding models that keep the City on the hook to pay out profit margins to private companies when profit has not been generated are irresponsible and detrimental to the financial health and future of the City. Dan is also concerned by the deteriorating financial relationship between municipalities and the province, and states that, if elected, he will prioritize re-examining this relationship to try and take some of the strain off City projects.
Dan has acknowledged that he has had certain advantages throughout his lifetime, which have given him access to tremendous opportunities. As a consequence, Dan is passionate about implementing policy that promotes equity and a commitment to increasing the quality of life for all Edmontonians. One way Dan would like to prioritize equity is through assisting and empowering at-risk youth. Dan believes that if children and youth are given the opportunity to overcome poverty and vulnerable circumstances, those youth could serve as role-models to their peers, which would increase their capacity to become successful in their communities. Dan also realizes the need for anti-discrimination policy at the municipal level. He admires the great strides that Councillor Sohi has made regarding his work with minorities in trying to eliminate discrimination and notes that he would love to work with him to continue this progress.
When presented with ActivatED’s analysis of the current candidates running in this election and projections for what the next Coucil may look like, Dan recognizes that immense challenges that could face a governing body that is largely homogenous in terms of gender, race, and class. Dan believes one of the key ways to ensure creation of a government that is more demographically reflective of Edmontonians is through campaign finance reform. He thinks that the need to collect and possess large sums of money to run and win a campaign continues to be an obstacle for individuals who may otherwise make great Councillors. It is noteworthy to point out that Dan was one of the first candidates to commit to disclosing his funders prior to Election Day.
ActivatED is happy to endorse Dan St. Pierre – a skilled, dedicated, and passionate member of his community who believes in governance not just for the citizens of Edmonton, but with them.
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