On Monday, August 15, City Council decided not to proceed with land lease agreements with Prairie Sky Gondola (PSG). I agreed with and supported this decision.
This decision was based primarily on the plan for Indigenous engagement put forward by PSG. Discussion at Executive Committee on August 10 seemed to indicate that PSG would move forward with its development goals almost regardless of what input or advice might have been offered in the future.
I think this characterization of PSG is unfair. But at the same time, I think the sequence of development being proposed didn’t make sense. We need to have a clear, honest and open discussion about the Indigenous history of our river valley spaces in Rossdale. And we need to have it before we consider any future developments in Rossdale, gondola or otherwise. Council moved a motion to that effect, so we will see an exploration of these matters going forward.
I have always thought that this gondola proposal leaned more towards novelty and less towards a long term, viable, successful project. I still do not think that enough people would have occasionally taken a gondola ride to support the investment. But it is not Council’s place to prejudge private investment projects, and I was willing to let the project thrive or fail on its own merits.
There was also the concern that the gondola would be a private enterprise occupying public land for that private company’s benefit. I would be more supportive of such an arrangement if it were filling a critical transportation need and not a novelty.
All of that said, nothing prevents PSG from continuing to pursue the gondola. this simply means that Council is not willing to enter into land lease agreements until more robust engagement is completed.
We need to continue to explore interesting and innovative ideas in Edmonton. We need to continue to think outside of the box, to try to come up with those innovative projects that contribute to enhancing the quality of life in Edmonton.
As always, I appreciate your input and feedback on this or any other City related concern. You can reach me at tim.cartmell or by calling 780.496.8130.
Do you like this page?