Edmonton Votes 2017: Addiction, homelessness issues in downtown Ward 6
Central Edmonton ward includes the city's most dense neighbourhood, Oliver
Ward 6 encompasses the downtown core, stretching west into Glenora and Westmount and east into Riverdale and McCauley. The Oliver neighbourhood, just west of downtown, is the most dense community in the city.
The fentanyl crisis is felt most strongly in the core, with opioid overdose rates dramatically higher than average in the area encompassing the downtown core and stretching through McCauley and Alberta Avenue.
The City of Edmonton is proposing that supervised injection sites be offered at three community agencies — Boyle Street Community Services, Boyle McCauley Health Centre and the George Spady Centre. A fourth program would be set up at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for inpatients only. All of the sites are within Ward 6.
Side effects of gentrification
"I'm seeing a lot of homelessness downtown and people that have nowhere to go when it's –40C," she said. "And despite the fact that the mayor has made some strides so that people can access the LRT platforms when it's really, really cold in the winter, obviously I don't think that's anything that's, in any meaningful way, addressing that problem."
She added: "I'm really enjoying living and working downtown, but it tugs on my heart strings a bit when I see the side-effects."
2016 municipal census statistics
Eligible voters: 53,393
Owns home: 24.4%
Rents home: 53.5%
Lived there five years or more: 23.6%
Mainly drives to work: 53.8%
Takes transit to work: 19.5%
Main language other than English: French (2.6%)
Income under $30,000: 12.9%
Income $60,000 to $100,000: 10.7%
Children in preschool: 2.2%
Children from kindergarten to Grade 6: 2.2%
Interesting statistics: Only 15.2% of residents live in single detached homes. The majority live in high-rise apartments or condos (42.7%) or one- to four-storey apartments or condos (34.5%).
Neighbourhoods: Downtown, McCauley, Boyle Street, Riverdale, Rossdale, Central McDougall, Queen Mary Park, Oliver, Westmount, Glenora, Grovenor, McQueen
Four candidates: Bill Knight, Scott McKeen, Adil Pirbhai, Tish George Prouse
CBC Edmonton's candidate survey responses:
Scott McKeen, 58, has lived in Edmonton 51 years
Family: three children
Credentials: Ward 6 incumbent; diploma in journalism from MacEwan
Top issues: help attract and maintain talented workforce; do something about homelessness; attract families to downtown neighbourhoods
City's biggest challenge: homelessness, rebuilding the required supportive housing
Bill Knight - No response
Adil Pirbhai- No response
Tish George Prouse, 37, has lived in Edmonton his whole life
Family: married, one child
Credentials: landlord and property refurbisher; master's degree in archaeology, University College London
Top issues: tackle homelessness; address infill while preserving historical spaces and places; increase accountability in transportation and spending
City's biggest challenge: fix process for consulting residents and business owners on infrastructure decisions, such as the bike network and public transportation
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With files from the CBC's Natasha Riebe