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Friday, July 30, 2010

Wildrose Alliance supports plebiscite on fate of Edmonton City Centre Airport

Today, Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith announced her party’s support for Envision Edmonton’s petition drive to force a plebiscite on the fate of Edmonton City Centre Airport. The Wildrose party urges all Edmontonians including local MLAs to fight the undemocratic process which has led to its imminent closure.

“The citizens of Edmonton clearly voted to keep this airport open in the last two plebiscites. To me it’s a pretty straightforward issue: to overturn a plebiscite, you should hold another plebiscite” Smith said. “This is the only way that the people will get a chance to have their say before the bulldozers are rushed in -- and after all, this is their airport and their land, not city council’s.”

At the Airco Hanger, Smith signed a petition supporting a proposed referendum that would halt Edmonton city council’s decision to close the airport and give the people of Edmonton the opportunity to once again be heard on the issue. Edmontonians voted overwhelmingly to keep the airport open to general aviation in two plebiscites in the 1990s.

Joining Smith at the Hangar for the petition signing were Cal Nichols of the Alberta Enterprise Group and Chuck Allard of Envision Edmonton, the group circulating the petition.

Calgary-Glenmore MLA Paul Hinman, Wildrose Deputy Leader and Transportation Critic, questioned the strange silence coming out of Edmonton-area and northern MLAs. “It’s pretty clear that government MLAs aren’t being allowed to represent their constituents on this issue, and I’d like to know why,” Hinman said. “Most of them privately say they support the airport. I challenge them to stand up, in public, and do something about it.”

Smith called for an open and rigorous debate on the airport’s future in which Edmontonians would hear from both sides before making an informed decision at the ballot box.

“The vast majority of Edmontonians that I’ve talked to have not been convinced that this forced, permanent closure needs to happen,” Smith said. “I know I haven’t. This whole process has been rushed and undemocratic. I invite northern Alberta and Edmonton-area MLAs from all parties, especially from the government, to stand up for democracy and join us in encouraging Edmontonians to sign the petition.”

Wildrose advances competent, principled and conservative policies that will lower government spending, increase economic opportunities, empower communities and strengthen individual liberties and freedoms.

The above is a press release from the Wildrose Alliance.

You can read Danielle Smith's speech in support of the plebiscite here.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on July 30, 2010 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


The Calgary-based WRA needs to butt out of Edmonton's civic affairs.

Why doesn't Danielle Smith go build an airport in Downtown Calgary if she's so concerned.

Posted by: JB | 2010-07-30 7:10:44 PM

She doesn't have to -- Calgary has one (springbank), and it's booming with aviation business.

Some Edmontonians cry that there are no "head offices" located in Edmonton. Alberta being oil/gas, and nothing much else, a business in Edmonton had better be able to fly to Calgary within 60 min from office door to office door (or the petroleum club), or else they will not be in touch; not be taken seriously. That's business, and business is jobs. You're not going to land a contract via web conference.

Civic affairs or not, that's the reality in Alberta. Good job WRA!

And I don't trust the city either: no bus service to the EIA because it's too expensive? That's not world class at all.

Posted by: Paul | 2010-07-30 7:37:21 PM


There are affordable private transportation options to the EIA ($15). No taxpayer subsidised bus service is required, especially not in a severe recession (or, as Paul Krugman argues, depression).

Posted by: Michael Cust | 2010-07-30 11:33:50 PM

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