Jennifer | Balwin

Reading through the Proposed Accelerated Actions for our Energy Transition Strategy, I am heartened to see a focus throughout of Indigenous engagement. I believe this is a critical piece because not only do we need a technology change but a change of mind and heart. The dominating worldview in which we live prioritizes accumulation and growth and we are reaping the fallout of generations of this being lived out. Adopting a worldview in which we realize we are a part of the ecosystem and not apart from it will go a long way in helping us live out a way of life in harmony with the rest of the natural world and not in combat with it. I hope we embrace our place in nature with naturalized areas as carbon sinks and increased tree coverage. I hope we discover wahkohtowin or kinship with the outdoor world and our fellow citizens.

Personally, I am looking forward to living in a city where getting around on bike and foot is safe and easy for children, seniors and everyone in between. Having a daughter who has just turned 16, while living in northeast Edmonton, I am realizing that I feel safer teaching her to drive a car than learn to navigate the city by bike. It should not be this way.

Another aspect I am looking forward to is PACE funding for installing solar and other energy efficiency upgrades. I have been going back and forth about simply buying solar but not being quite able to afford them, I have been waiting for this financial technology to help buy them. With less than a decade left of our carbon budget, we don’t have time to wait any longer.

Many Edmontonians are only a generation or two from living in rural settings and we have brought our rural sensibilities with us of being self-sufficient and independent. Those qualities served many of our European ancestors well as they homesteaded but a new set of values is needed for the new milieu we find ourselves in. The city’s strength is found in collaboration and synergy. Yesterday, while driving to work I saw new LRT cars being delivered by train and an electric bus going by. I am so thrilled in the direction the city is going in and excited to see the city we are building together.