Mayor Don Iveson

Mayor Don Iveson addressed a crowd of more than 2,000 at his first state of the city address. (CBC)

Premier Alison Redford was at Shaw Conference Centre Wednesday to hear Mayor Don Iveson’s plea for funding to expand Edmonton's LRT system.  

Iveson argued during his first state of the city address that investing in transit will help the region stay ahead of its rapid growth.

“Madam Premier, never has the opportunity and timing to fully build out Edmonton’s network of LRT been more worthy of your government’s leadership, commitment and support,” he said.

“Show that you understand the needs of this city in the same way that my council does.

“Show Alberta’s capital city that we are worth investing in .. we look forward to tomorrow’s budget.”

Iveson touched on a number of themes that were part of his election campaign last year, including the need for municipalities around Edmonton to work as a region on infrastructure needs and economic initiatives. 

While he believes that amalgamation isn’t imminent, Iveson said he shares the frustration among business leaders about the “state of the region.”

“If the Capital Region Board cannot demonstrate results, voices calling for more radical change will drown out diplomacy,” he said.

“If we, or our neighbours, see this as playing for keeps, we will all lose in the end. That’s the pathway to lost investment and lost opportunity, and the pathway most likely to end with forced amalgamation, rather than the negotiated mutual benefit that we should strive toward together.”

Iveson made his remarks in front of more than 2,000 people at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce event.