ActivatED ENDORSES: MICHAEL OSHRY WARD 5
When you think of Michael Oshry the first two things that come to mind are his genuine social conscience and astute business skills and experience. Michael is the co-founder of FIRMA Foreign Exchange, which has evolved into a multi-national company with 22 locations in 5 countries. As a consequence of his success in the private sector, Michael and his company have garnered multiple accolades, such as the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007.
Unsustainable growth is a concern for Michael. He believes in the principles of smarter growth, ensuring that Edmonton commits to a proper balance between suburban expansion and infill development and that decisions concerning Edmonton’s growth are sustainable and based on long-term goals and strategies. Michael would also like to ensure that newer developments are planned with the support for children and seniors in mind, which would include better road and transit access, more walking paths, increased safety, and better access to parkland. One development that Michael believes Edmonton is heading in the right direction with is the airport redevelopment project.
Michael is also a promoter of active transportation, which he believes increases the livability and connectivity in our communities. Michael would like to create better transit options for Edmontonians by expanding the LRT and increasing the frequency of ETS services. He would also like to encourage drivers to use alternative forms of transportation by promoting and maintaining bicycle lanes.
Along with active transportation Michael is an advocate for urban agriculture in Edmonton. He believes that it is a no-brainer to promote local food and farmers’ markets. He notes that the city has improved in this area but argues that there’s still more work to be done. Michael would like to see the city use available land for agriculture and create more neighbourhood communal agricultural gardens on city or private property (with the agreement of the owner of course).
Michael sees the existence of Public-Private Partnerships as an example of insufficient funding for the city. Unfortunately, in Michael’s view, P3s currently seem to be the only method to finance and complete important and needed infrastructure projects at a timely manner. Consequently, finding new and innovative funding options from other levels of government can help the city to alleviate our growing infrastructure deficit. An example that the city could employ are Community Revitalization Levies, which are provincial initiatives to stimulate growth and economic activity in under-developed communities.
Michael is extremely passionate about helping those that need assistance. Michael thinks that the city needs to do a better job in providing affordable housing. He would like to emphasize that homelessness is not a policing issue, but a social issue, which the city needs to be serious in addressing. Michael also acknowledges that there has been a de-prioritization of non-profit organizations. He knows that these organizations do important work. Consequently, he would like the city to do a better job in supporting these organizations. Michael knows that as a City Councillor, he will need to represent his ward, the city, but also individuals in the city who might not have a voice. To ensure that these voices are heard, Michael will conduct proper consultation with all community members, especially minorities and vulnerable populations. By doing so, Michael believes that the needs of the community will be articulated accurately.
Michael has recently announced that he will disclose his campaign donors prior to Election Day. He also believes that it is important to standardize how municipal campaign finances are regulated and would like to make donations tax deductible.
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