ABmunis panel speaks plainly on Real Talk

The fifth and final Alberta Municipalities panel discussion of 2022 took place in podcaster Ryan Jespersen’s Real Talk studio in downtown Edmonton on December 13.

For 60 minutes, President Cathy Heron and Vice Presidents Tyler Gandam (Cities up to 500,000) and Angela Duncan (Villages and Summer Villages) spoke candidly about many of the challenges faced by municipalities in 2022 and shone a spotlight on some of ABmunis’ successes over the past year.

Their wide-ranging conversation touched on the Sovereign Alberta Within a United Canada Act, relations between the provincial government and municipalities, homelessness, the affordable housing shortage, policing, public safety issues and much more.

Here’s a sample of some of the things our panelists said:

  • Cathy Heron, talking about homelessness – “We work together as a region. (Edmonton) Mayor Sohi had the 13 mayors together a while ago talking about homelessness and housing affordability. We’re all there. We’re all ready to take on the responsibility, but we can’t do it alone. We need the province to step up...”
  • Tyler Gandam, talking about how he managed to get re-elected despite including homelessness as part of his platform during the 2021 municipal election – “I think the election was a lot closer than it should have been, but I was absolutely steadfast in my drive to change what the dynamics are in Wetaskiwin. The individual councillor that was running against me, in open council, suggested that we take a bulldozer to an encampment. So, that’s the mentality of some people in the community, and (it) garnered support.”
  • Angela Duncan, talking about how ABmunis members frequently share information and learn from one another – “We all come with our unique perspectives, from our municipalities and the municipalities that we represent, but all of our issues fall into the same ‘buckets.’ You’d be surprised at the number of times a mid-sized city can learn something from a village, and vice versa.”

Click here to catch the full round table discussion on YouTube.