Questionable Tactics by Envision Edmonton

Offering grants to “volunteer” to get signatures on a petition?  I really question this tactic of securing signatures. First I will state my position on the debate surrounding the Municipal Airport’s impending closure – I do not support it. At least, I don’t support it 100 percent.

First, I believe I have bias towards supporting the Municipal airport. A family member worked at one of the local businesses there, when I was growing up. As a result, I grew up seeing air shows, being taken for a helicopter ride (although only once), and an older sibling was in Air Cadets and obtained his pilot license. I also have memories of being spoiled by the cooks in the Edmonton Flying Club cafeteria.  They occasionally sent extra barbecue pork home with my father. I remember always devouring the treat, within a day or two. The food was always delicious, at “the cafeteria” as it was called by employees and visitors alike.

I digress however; back to EnvisionEdmonton. Yes, I can understand they want the airport to remain open. Stars Air Ambulance, Air 1 and 2, plus Global/Ched 1 all utilize the City Centre airport. Donour organs are flown to this airport, due to the close proximity of two hospitals.  Trying to keep an airport open, which they believe still holds value to the citizens of Edmonton, is an admirable pursuit. Though, is giving people grants for their signatures on a petition, really the way to go about pushing for a plebiscite?  I don’t think it is. If there is an incentive such as a grant, to garner signatures for such a petition, I must question the validity of these signatures.

Would the signatures be on this petition now, because people genuinely want to help keep the airport open? Or rather, would people’s signatures be on this petition because of the grants offered to them? Who’s to say, but answers to these questions should really be looked into.

Thanks to Noreen and Chris Hayden for their help, in writing this blog entry.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. djgirl
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 01:33:13

    You bring up some valid points Erin, but what about the City of Edmonton (CoE) using staff resources to fight Envision Edmonton and the citizens of Edmonton (and other regions)? Edmontonians who are increasingly simply asking to clear up the Municipal Airport questions and fate in an understandable and open way once and for all? CoE staff resources are valuable but are seemingly absorbed into the cost of running the city except the cost is passed on in higher costs and less service from the diverted staff members.

    Questioning the validity of signatures because of grants or having paid staff members/contractors of Envision Edmonton is a worthwhile exercise but then questions should be asked of the CoE in their efforts as well in my opinion. Comparing apples to apples is always needed in an open society.


  2. erindespas
    Aug 16, 2010 @ 18:15:31

    I agree completely! Questions needed to be answered. Suitable, and understandable answers need to be given.

    Thank you for the very well thought out, and eloquently put, comment. I’m unsure what the City’s role in all this is, but will be looking into it now, as well.


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