Platform: Building the New Economy

From an August 14, 1998, media release.


Thank you for joining us.

Over the next ten weeks the Gomberg For Mayor team will introduce key elements of our campaign for a healthy and sustainable Edmonton. We will address the critical issues raised by Edmontonians..

Today we will present our first platform plank. We call it: Building The New Economy.

But first some background: as a candidate for mayor I represent a team. Our team is working together to develop a compelling and attractive vision for Edmonton into the 21st Century. Over the next two months our platform will evolve and take shape. I can not promise you all of the answers. But I will give you a sense of our values and our priorities.

This campaign is not just about electing me to the mayor’s chair. It is about ideas. It is choices for our city. It is about possibilities.

With that in mind we have invited a few innovative Edmontonians to join us in today’s news conference. These are people with insights, and experience in business, in community matters, and in building the new economy.

Everybody knows how important a healthy economy is to our own health and to the well being of the community.

Looking at the big picture we see global forces, where communities around the world are battling it out for factories and jobs. The huge global corporations tend to seek out low wage havens, places like Mexico and China where workers are paid a pittance, and worker health and environmental protection laws are lax.

What is often overlooked when we talk about the economy is how important it is to keep the money flowing around locally as much as possible. The more that money stays in the Edmonton region the more it will benefit our community. When it leaks out to Toronto, Texas or Thailand, it no longer benefits Edmonton.

Our speakers today have a wealth of experience with local enterprise.

Introduce speakers:

Brian Johnston, Johnston Construction on energy and water conservation renovations.
Dennis Vriend, organic farmer, on food self sufficiency and healthy, local agriculture


The new economy is the local economy. As mayor I will find ways to support local enterprise. Here are a few ideas:

  • As mayor I would initiate a task force to Renovate Edmonton. Plugging the leakage of energy and water in buildings throughout Edmonton would create thousands of jobs and save the millions of dollars
  • As mayor I will ensure that city land is available for community gardens
  • We should investigate ways to support community kitchens
  • We can expand on the good work of Business Link and help small business to prosper
  • Why not encourage bartering and exchange of services via innovative programs like Local Employment Trading Systems (LETS)?
  • I am committed to hosting a meeting of Edmonton inventors to help foster innovation
  • With the City Manager and the Director of our Planning Department I would put forward strong policies to adequately protect our exceptional agricultural land from sprawling development
  • As mayor I would host a Youth And The New Economy Conference to encourage the enthusiasm and inventiveness of our youth, while tapping into the skills and expertise of retired businesspeople.

I believe that City Hall must show leadership in building the new economy.

Thank you.