In listening parties and on doorsteps, I've heard your visions for our local economy.
You want Edmonton to be a city that helps our small enterprises grow confidently. This must be a place where newcomers and long-time residents alike find opportunities to thrive and prosper.
How are things living up to your visions? As you and I see it right now, we need to do more to promote a healthy local economy, especially in this economic downturn. People who lost jobs in oil and gas are having a hard time finding alternative jobs. There simply isn't enough diversity in employment opportunities here in Ward 11.
Our community is full of people who want to start their own businesses, but they're finding limited support for entrepreneurship and small business development. You've had difficulty accessing loans and management supports. The City of Edmonton could make it easier to understand requirements and regulations for small businesses, especially for newcomers.
Newcomers and immigrants have few opportunities for suitable employment and programs that can help them integrate into the local job market. Professionals who are new to the country face challenges in having their foreign credentials recognized and accredited.
How we'll support jobs and the local economy
If elected as your Ward 11 Councillor, I will work with you to bring your innovative ideas to life. We will advocate for entrepreneurial initiatives that promote and support the business undertakings of newcomers. Together, we can explore the opportunities offered by emerging local industries—such as local urban agricultural initiatives.
I will ensure the City of Edmonton continues to improve supports for small businesses. The new Open Window program provides one-on-one support for small businesses navigating business license and permit processes. Open Window aims to get business owners in and out within an hour, cutting down on repeat visits for what should be simple business permit applications. In under a year, it has helped more than 700 local entrepreneurs. I aim to see this grow even higher.
I will support the City's Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Initiative that helps newcomers and immigrants integrate into Edmonton’s job market. Crucially, as our city grows, we will need to develop inclusive hiring practices and better outreach recruitment for newcomers, so that a wider range of Edmontonians have access to job opportunities. I will work with you and the province to support newcomer internship opportunities with the City, as well as help those freshly out of work in the downturn to identify skills that can be transferred from one field to another.
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Connect with me!
I have learned a lot from these conversations, but there are many more people who I haven’t yet heard from. In the coming weeks and months, I will be hosting more listening parties. If you would like to attend one, sign up for our email list to receive news about attending one. Or volunteer to host one.
I will also be going door-to-door throughout Ward 11, and I look forward to meeting even more of my neighbours and continuing to learn about what matters most to you. I welcome your help if you would like to join my team by volunteering or donating.
If you see me or my campaign team in your neighbourhood, come and say hello. I’d love to meet you and discuss how we can work together to make Ward 11 a place you delight to live.