Media releases | January 07, 2019

Representatives of Public Interest Alberta today called on members of Edmonton’s City Council to have an open and thorough discussion of the full range of issues related to the lease of public river valley land by the Royal Mayfair Golf Club.

PIA’s Executive Director Joel French stated, “Members of the community action group Friends of our Park have raised a number of important questions, making it essential for City Council to have a transparent and comprehensive discussion of these vital public interest issues.”

PIA Board Chair Larry Booi said, “We need to remember that these are public lands – they are owned collectively by the citizens of Edmonton, and our elected representatives must ensure that these public spaces are used for public purposes, and in the public interest. The fact that they have in the past been leased to wealthy individuals at minimal cost for private enjoyment is a major concern, and it is clearly time to take a thorough look at the larger issues involved.”

French agreed with the community action group’s position that we need to carefully consider all possible uses for this public space: “There are a considerable number of possible uses for these public lands that are very consistent with the overall public good, but what definitely doesn’t make sense is to simply allow a small group of wealthy people to continue to use this enormous tract of public land for their own private benefit – and especially to do so without the full scrutiny of open democratic debate.”

French encouraged Edmonton residents to contact their members of Edmonton City Council to insist on full public scrutiny and discussion of all issues related to the current and future use of this vital public asset.