EDMONTON - In response to Councillor Anne Stevenson’s motion to withdraw $37 million in funding from the Qualico Station Lands project, Public Interest Alberta Executive Director Bradley Lafortune issued the following statement:
“Edmontonians have seen firsthand the devastating impacts of corporate handouts in our downtown community. As glittering towers are erected in the downtown core following a multi-million dollar gift to a billionaire, more and more homeless and vulnerable Edmontonians are forced out of their communities further limiting access to services and lifelines.
“Thankfully, the new Edmonton City Council has an incredible opportunity in front of them. They are able to reverse the decision the previous council made to give $37 million in public dollars to a big developer planning to build a tunnel and do some landscaping on private grounds. Council is able to redirect this money to desperately-needed programs and services such as affordable housing. According to the City of Edmonton itself, there are about 55,000 Edmontonians in the core housing need.
“So many folks in our city are struggling right now. Council has a choice. Will they kowtow to the big developers? Or will they take this opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to quality of life for all Edmontonians?”
Public Interest Alberta has launched an online tool for Edmontonians to demand that city council cancel the funding to Qualico and redirect to public services and programs. This tool is part of a broader campaign to end homelessness and inadequate housing in Alberta called Housing is a Human Right.