26 Jan 2015

Uber highlights where taxi industry needs innovation, but is operating illegally

Uber highlights where taxi industry needs innovation, but is operating illegally

Last week ​there was a lot of attention on Council’s Executive Committee discussion about Edmonton’s vehicle-for-hire industry.

Committee members (and other Councillors in attendance) heard presentations from many people who work in the taxi industry, as well as a representative from Uber, a vehicle-for-hire service that began ​illegal ​operations in Edmonton in December.

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Article rating: 3.7

16 Jan 2015

Extremism and Islamophobia

Extremism and Islamophobia

Recently, I was invited by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to speak at an event they put together to memorialize Corporal Cirillo and Warrant Officer Vincent, and to raise awareness about extremism in the wake of the Ottawa shooting. There I shared my thoughts about the Air India bombing, extremism, and the singling out of the Sikh community,  and how it impacted me personally. Someone asked me to write and elaborate on those thoughts and their relevancy in light of current events. I've done so in the following article. 

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Article rating: 3.6

18 Dec 2014

Reflections on Budget 2015

Reflections on Budget 2015

This month Council decided the City’s 2015 operating budget and 2015-18 capital budget.

The operating budget maintains and expands day-to-day service levels for Edmontonians. The capital budget sets the infrastructure projects over the next four years.

This year’s deliberations were about achieving balance. Some priorities were contentious and differed among Councillors, but in the end we passed a budget that everyone supported.

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12 Dec 2014

Closing of Budget Debate

Yesterday evening, Council wrapped up its budget discussion and voting. The full budgets, both four-year Capital and one-year Operating, passed with all Councillors and the Mayor in favour. A 5.7% increase was finalized, and though it’s not ideal, I believe we did our best to balance service delivery and the pressures of a growing city & region.

My full closing remarks before the vote are below. I encourage you as well to take a look at this great website: http://yegcitybudget.ca/ which details the amendments Council passed, and explains other aspects of the budget process.

Next week I will address some of the popular topics that came our of our discussions.

Have a good weekend!

-Amarjeet


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5 Nov 2014

Fostering Truly Public Discussion

Fostering Truly Public Discussion

The conversation around City Hall over the last number of months, or years, has centred on public engagement.

As a corporation, we’re trying to assess the best ways to get people to participate in discussions that affect their neighbourhood and our city. We want to show that public input is valuable and shapes decisions.

But many people in our City are unfortunately excluded from many areas of public life. People feel marginalized for all sorts of reasons, such as ethnicity, language, income or mental health. None of these are valid reasons for exclusion. As a city, we can work toward something better by building capacity for anyone to be active participants in our community no matter the barrier. Imagine for a minute what that would look like.

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Article rating: 4.0
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