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Edmonton Companies News & Discussion

NEWS RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT
For Immediate Release November 20, 2023 PROPOSED 2024 MUNICIPAL BUDGET INCREASE RAISES CONCERNS AMONG EDMONTON’S BUSINESS COMMUNITY

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, UDI - Edmonton Metro, BOMA Edmonton, and NAIOP Edmonton, have collectively expressed concerns over the proposed tax hike for 2024, potentially escalating the annual impact to over 7%. In an open letter addressed to Edmonton City Council, Edmonton’s member-funded business organizations emphasized the criticality of upholding fiscal responsibility while evaluating budgetary priorities based on their economic repercussions. “Our message to the City Council is all about balance – finding ways to grow without piling on extra taxes.” says Doug Griffiths, CEO of Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. “We're pushing for smart investments and careful spending, aiming to boost Edmonton's prosperity without burdening people with high taxes. Let's work together to build a future where smart financial decisions and a thriving economy go hand in hand for Edmonton's success."

Principles: Strategic Focus Areas
a) Ignite new investment: Budgets can be about many things, but a simple and effective metric is that any new dollars spent should be structured to bring back more to the community in return. Every public dollar invested should result in equal or better economic impacts for Edmonton.
b) Focus on areas where we can succeed: Not every problem needs to be dealt with at City Hall. Council should get out of whole lines of business that are not core mandates of a municipality and/or which would be better handled by the private sector, NGOs, or other orders of government. Aiming capital and operating resources at what will make the most impact within the municipal mandate is critical.
c) Commit to measurable progress: Do what municipal governments need to do best and excel at that. The “basic stuff” is the most important to most people (i.e. snow clearing, road conditions, well-maintained parks, efficient waste collection). A well-run city that provides the basics will support a high-functioning business community and citizenry. When infrastructure is not well-maintained and operations struggle, we lose credibility and a sense of civic pride.
The organizations also offer concrete recommendations aimed at optimizing the city’s financial resources:
• Leveraging EPCOR dividend: Urging the direct utilization of the recently announced additional $8 million annual dividend from EPCOR to mitigate property tax impacts instead of allocating it to new spending initiatives.
• Reviewing Agencies, Boards, and Commissions: Advocating for efficiency assessments and cost-saving measures within these entities, urging divestment from non-core mandates and areas covered by other governmental or private entities.
• Transparent approach to labor cost increases: Urging City Council to address pending labor agreements and police funding formula adjustments through operational spending for 2024 and beyond.
• Refining budget priorities: Recommending a focus on municipal strengths and strategic alignment with over 70 lines of business currently operated by the City of Edmonton.
• Maximizing Economic Returns: Focus on smart investments that encourage business growth, generate new tax revenue, and protect key economic areas such as business employment zones and downtown.
• Budget Flexibility: Evaluate the necessity of previously approved capital expenditures and adjust them to address funding shortfalls without escalating taxes.
• Optimizing Capital Projects: Evaluate, prioritize, delay, or cancel projects that don’t align with essential city requirements. Ensure projects are not overbuilt and explore private sector involvement where feasible for effective planning and execution.

The business community urges Edmonton’s City Council to engage in practical steps to eliminate the proposed budget increase. Now is the time to scrutinize all expenses and revenue sources in order to maximize the collective investments that our city requires to grow and succeed.
Vancouver: 10.7% last year, proposed 9% for each of the next 5 years
Calgary: 4.4% last year, 5%, potentially as high as 7.8% this year.
Saskatoon: 7.14% this year, 5.7% in 2025
Winnipeg: 3.5%, but also increasing a number of other city fees/revenue sources
Toronto: 5.5% last year, 3% for the year ahead, multiple new taxes on luxury residences, foreign buyers, and other fee increases.
Ottawa: 2.5%
Halifax: 6.2%
Hamilton: 14.2% - YIKES

So I honestly don't understand them making such a big stink. Especially when it's essentially a 5% hike, plus police salary settlements. This seems very in line with financial pressures all cities are facing.
 
If they could get it back to 5%, I would be fairly happy and probably some other people would be too. The stink is that it has crept up from that.

Financial responsibility is about holding the line at some point, not making excuses for not doing that. Cities do seem all over the place now - Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg seem to be at or below 5% .
 
Milestone for Aurora Cannabis as they achieve positive EBITDA.

Executive succession at PCL.

Edmonton-based K-Bro acquires Buanderie Villeray of Montreal.

Capital Power makes $1.5 billion acquisition

Stantec reports record revenue for Q3 of $1.3 billion.
 

But I thought the reason we don't want white collar, head office and "IT call center" jobs and Calgary can have all of those is because Edmonton gets all the energy, operator, construction and hardhat jobs?
 

But I thought the reason we don't want white collar, head office and "IT call center" jobs and Calgary can have all of those is because Edmonton gets all the energy, operator, construction and hardhat jobs?
That's also Carbon tax money.
 

But I thought the reason we don't want white collar, head office and "IT call center" jobs and Calgary can have all of those is because Edmonton gets all the energy, operator, construction and hardhat jobs?
Great news for Calgary! Great to see projects like this exist throughout alberta!
 

But I thought the reason we don't want white collar, head office and "IT call center" jobs and Calgary can have all of those is because Edmonton gets all the energy, operator, construction and hardhat jobs?
Maybe that was the informal arrangement at one time 10 or 20 years ago, but that is not how it works now.

Calgary is diversifying from being a white collar city and has been for a number of years, but for some reason, some here are still clinging to this past arrangement which really no longer exists.
 
Maybe that was the informal arrangement at one time 10 or 20 years ago, but that is not how it works now.

Calgary is diversifying from being a white collar city and has been for a number of years, but for some reason, some here are still clinging to this past arrangement which really no longer exists.
Precisely the point of my tongue in cheek comment.

Edmonton does well industrially and so does Calgary.

But Calgary does well at a lot more areas of investment and development, while Edmonton does not.

Hanging our hat on being the industrial investment area of the province is certainly not the end all be all given Calgary gets its fair share of industrial investment as well.
 

“I can’t share all the details yet, but our billboard in Times Square marks a modest first step in a broader public ad campaign Kemet expects to launch over the coming year as we scale up across Canada, the U.S. and internationally,” Oláèsèbikan added in a news release.
 
Is there a list of biotech companies based in Edmonton? I did a quick search and saw some were located downtown offices (yay) and some in Edmonton Research Park.

Feel like this sector meshes extremely well with our post-secondary specialization.
 

“I can’t share all the details yet, but our billboard in Times Square marks a modest first step in a broader public ad campaign Kemet expects to launch over the coming year as we scale up across Canada, the U.S. and internationally,” Oláèsèbikan added in a news release.

I'm hoping Kemet will use this opportunity to hype up Edmonton. Looking at the Times Square billboard, Kemet could be HQed in Bulgaria for all we know.
 
Obviously the company's main focus it to promote itself, but I hope this does help promote Edmonton as well.

Hopefully they will figure out it is not based in Bulgaria. It really irks me when Edmonton based companies sometimes get referred to in the media as being Alberta based, as if we don't exist.

Startups and hype are good, but we also need to retain successful companies here as they grow otherwise all the work an effort put may be wasted from an economic development standpoint.
 
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I’ll take YEG’s: Health Innovation Hub, Bio/Pharma Hub and of course our Hydrogen Hub’s over YYC’s Canadian Tire Credit card call Center Hub/tech Hub anyday of the week
 
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Is there a list of biotech companies based in Edmonton? I did a quick search and saw some were located downtown offices (yay) and some in Edmonton Research Park.

Feel like this sector meshes extremely well with our post-secondary specialization.

Edmonton needs to double down on its ambitions of being a major biotech and pharmaceuticals hub. I think it's an area where we already surpass Calgary (of course, thanks to the strong medical science research programs at the UofA, but we're also home to Gilead), even if they're taking the mantle of the software hub. Plus, as a guy doing a degree related to the field, it'll be nice to have more of these job opportunities in my home city.

I still do think we'll maintain a strong AI/machine learning sector though (based on what my friend in Comp Sci is telling me about the research they're doing at the UofA - it was all blowing his mind).
 

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