Election 1995 – Ward 4, Edmonton


  1. A message from Tooker
  2. A solid record of leadership and action
  3. Working hard with our community
  4. A committed voice for the best quality of life
  5. What others have to say about Tooker
  6. Biography: Tooker Gomberg

1. A message from Tooker

Hello friends…

It has been a fascinating and very productive three years on City Council. I have been working with many concerned citizens, and together we are making Edmonton one of the best cities in Canada. We are finding exciting new ways to make our streets safer and our neighbourhoods more liveable.

There’s much more to do. We still need a clear environmental voice at City Hall. I am that voice — you know where I stand. Together let’s speak up for our health and our children’s future.

A healthy environment is vitally important and so is a healthy economy. As your City Councillor, jobs and our local economy are a large part of my responsibility. Let’s build on our strengths: dynamic local businesses, a vibrant festivals and arts community, a fantastic history of community involvement and volunteering.

I am committed to working with citizens. City Hall should be accessible and welcoming. You should be able to walk in and join the decision-making process. You live here, and new developments affect your neighbourhood.

I have worked hard as your City Councillor, and have achieved much that we can be proud of. Please have a look inside. There have been some impressive results.

I am enthusiastic about continuing to work with you and all the citizens of Ward 4. Let’s keep striving for a great city to grow up in — live, work and play in. I hope that you will invest in that future with me. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Tooker.

2. A solid record of leadership and action

Saving our dollars: Tooker helped save Edmonton ratepayers over $300 million when the city adopted his plan to conserve water instead of an expensive expansion to our water treatment plant. Tooker continues to bring forward innovative ideas that are fiscally sound and environmentally responsible.

Jobs here and now: Tooker proposed that 10% of the Ed Tel sale proceeds be re-invested in Edmonton rather than letting the money leave our economy. He is a strong advocate for local community economic development.

Keeping City Hall open: Tooker took a strong position that City Hall should be available for community groups to use for free. Thanks to his initiative many people are now benefiting from the use of our public space.

Beyond garbage: Our Blue Box recycling program is a great success and Tooker is pushing to extend it to all multi-family dwellings. It is largely because of Tooker’s efforts that the City is pursuing a composting facility rather than another landfill site. This is a much more ecological and economical approach to waste.

Keeping services affordable: Councillor Gomberg is a strong supporter of services being affordable, especially for those on fixed incomes. He helped maintain no increase in the Senior Bus Pass. He also believes the public library should be free and accessible to all.

The Boyle-McCauley Plan: This excellent community initiative won the top Canadian planning award. Tooker supports this plan and other community-involved designs that make our neighbourhoods friendlier and more liveable.

Keeping poisons out of the river: Tooker’s research on poisons going into the sewers prompted a review of the Sewers Use Bylaw. The bylaw is now much stronger, ensuring that toxic materials are not being diluted.

Keeping City money honest: Tooker pushed for an ethical investment policy that has now been adopted. It ensures that city funds ($3 billion) are invested within ethical guidelines.

Restraint on pesticide sprays: Tooker’s efforts have helped give communities the option of not having their parks sprayed with pesticides. A new advisory group is now looking at alternatives to spraying.

Whyte Avenue and Scona East: Tooker strongly supports residents working to develop new neighbourhood plans. Communities can find ways to address concerns such as the proliferation of bars and heavy traffic.

3. Working hard with our community

Councillor Gomberg has provided strong leadership on City Council and worked as an active participant in many community groups.

  • 124th Street Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ)
  • Downtown Plan Review Steering Committee
  • Greater Edmonton Foundation
  • Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee
  • Edmonton Transit System Advisory Board (ETSAB)
  • Capital Region Forum
  • Edmonton Public Library Board

4. A committed voice for the best quality of life

Tooker Gomberg works hard as our City Councillor for Ward 4. He brings forward new and innovative ideas and practical solutions. He makes sure Ward 4 residents have a say in planning and developing our communities.

Designing liveable neighbourhoods

Edmonton should now focus on making our neighbourhoods better, safer and more liveable, instead of building sprawling suburbs on prime agricultural land.

  • All Edmontonians, including Ward 4 residents, pay for the enormous infrastructure costs of suburban development.
  • Let’s develop some of the thousands of vacant city lots and invigorate our existing communities.

Transportation with imagination

Transportation alternatives can make Edmonton friendlier and easier to get around with less traffic, fewer accidents and injuries, and reduced pollution.

  • Transit is an investment in the city’s future. It is a vital service for commuters, students and seniors. Let’s make it better and cheaper, not run it down with higher fares and poorer service. Tooker’s proposal, BusLink, provides transit users with a handy 24 hour bus information phone line.
  • Let’s shift our priorities to better transit and extended LRT, and more express buses.
  • Move all scheduled flights to the International Airport, thereby boosting the city’s economy, reducing the noise and air pollution and allowing city centre redevelopment.

Councillor Gomberg was chosen EMERALD AWARD winner by the Alberta Foundation for Environmental Excellence for his personal commitment to the environment, and for his environmental leadership at City Hall.

“Provincial cuts have really hurt our city. I have always believed in a universally accessible and comprehensive health care system.” — Tooker Gomberg

Safe streets, safe communities

Community policing and other initiatives have made Edmonton safer. There is more we can do with continued citizen participation:

  • Reduce traffic speeds on residential streets and start Safe Routes to School programs throughout Ward 4. Let’s keep our kids safe!
  • Make our neighbourhoods safe for people by implementing traffic plans, safety audits and improved lighting.
  • We can keep on revitalizing Whyte Avenue and 124 Street to make them even more people friendly. Let’s do it for downtown too. Our downtown needs more residents and space for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Let’s increase social and recreational opportunities for our young people, so they can stay healthy, active and out of trouble.

Jobs with a future

Over the past year Councillor Gomberg has been working with businesses, community groups, banks and all three levels of government on a special project. It is an affordable program to create jobs by making buildings more energy efficient and conserving resources. His vision and initiative is transforming ideas into action.

  • An activist Economic Development Edmonton (EDE) can work more with local community initiatives. Co-operation with small business and neighbourhood projects will create jobs and boost our economy.
  • Tooker has proposed that the City develop a local Small Business Investment Fund to put our money into our commmunity, not invest it elsewhere.
  • Employment opportunities are boosted by protecting the environment. Edmonton’s recycling program has created hundreds of jobs, and spawned a whole new ecological industry.
  • Look for alternatives to privatizing our utilities and city services. Let’s keep the good jobs here in Edmonton.

5. What others have to say about Tooker

“Councillor Tooker Gomberg worked diligently to make the intersection at 122 Street and Stony Plain Road a safe place to cross. He and his assistant were very helpful and informed. We thank them for all their help, hard work, and caring.” ~ Suzan Burtic, Building Manager, Resident of Oliver

“Gomberg has proven a strong advocate of a range of issues, from historic preservation to community planning principles.” ~ John Geiger, The Edmonton Journal, May, 1995

“Tooker Gomberg is motivated by principles that will make Edmonton a better place to live. He is the kind of person I want representing me at City Hall.” ~ Marie Gordon, Lawyer, Resident of Glenora

“New jobs are important to hold our communities together. Boosting local economies and green jobs: Tooker’s ideas can get people to work.” ~ Keith Wiley, Editor, Spare Change Newspaper

“I have known Tooker for 13 years. He has proven his commitment to the community. He understands that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are two sides of the same coin.” ~ Peter Amerongen, House Builder, Resident of Riverdale

“What a surge of confidence to have Tooker Gomberg on City Council. He is aware, articulate, and committed to the arts. It speaks of such hope and great vision for this city — what it is, and what it can be!” ~ Judy Lawrence, Executive Director, Chinook Theatre/The Fringe Festival

“Tooker’s commitment to the community and democracy was well-demonstrated in his fight to let the citizens of Edmonton decide on whether or not to sell Ed Tel. Such integrity is exceptional. I cannot imagine City Council without him.” ~ Ivor Dent, Former Mayor of Edmonton, Resident of Forest Heights

“Tooker transforms innovative ideas into practical solutions. His creative approaches to everyday problems will help make this city thrive.” ~ Janice Williamson, U of A Associate Professor, Resident of Mill Creek

“Councillor Gomberg creatively and ably tackled some local problems we had in our neighbourhood. It was a good example for me of how Tooker works well with communities to solve problems.” ~ Jean McBean, Lawyer, Resident of Bonnie Doon

6. Tooker Gomberg – A Biography

Tooker Gomberg was born in Montreal in 1955. After two years at McGill University, he transferred to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Tooker earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental studies with a focus on recycling of urban resources, such as newspaper, glass, and cans. He also studied the potential for creating local employment with these resources.

After completing his degree, he returned to Montreal where he spent three years founding and operating Vieilles Nouvelles / Old News, one of Canada’s first curbside recycling organizations. As well, he was instrumental in establishing a province-wide recycling association to assist new, environmentally-based industry.

In 1982, Tooker moved to Alberta to work for Alberta Energy, where he helped expand an education program teaching energy conservation to school-aged children. He traveled throughout the province, using theatre to teach kids conservation values. He also instructed adults in ways to conserve energy in the home.

Since 1986, Tooker has been a driving force behind several environmental non-profit groups in Edmonton, such as the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters, a dynamic organization which seeks to integrate the bicycle into the city’s modes of transportation, and the EcoCity Society, a grass-roots organization which advocates and educates for a more ecological city. As well, Tooker has produced and hosted Edmonton’s only environmental radio show, ‘Terradox,’ for CJSR Radio. He has also had his photography and writing published. His interests include reading, travelling, bicycling and gardening.

In October of 1992, Tooker Gomberg was elected to Edmonton City Council on a platform largely emphasizing environmental and social justice issues. He believes that co-operation, intelligence and humour are staple ingredients in preparing a healthier and safer urban community.