The recent provincial budget was a good news / bad news budget for ward pehêsiwin and for southwest Edmonton.

A 1988 healthcare system for 2027.

The bad news was that the south Edmonton hospital was put on indefinite hold. This is a significant setback for our part of the city and for Edmonton generally. 

The Province did provide some financial support for development of a stand alone Stollery Children’s Hospital, and there is no doubt that our region needs this investment as well. But we need both facilities, and it feels like one was supported at the expense of the other.

There are times when it seems that the Province plays one part of Edmonton against another. I am not sure if that’s what happened here, but a united effort among Edmonton’s political, business and community leaders to gain funding support for both facilities is necessary. 

The last hospital built in Edmonton was the Grey Nuns in 1988. The City’s population was about 583,000.  The Conference Board of Canada projects that Metro Edmonton’s population will grow to 1.74M in 2027. It has grown by 100,000 people since 2021. That means Edmonton has added the population of Red Deer in two years, and will add 1.5 more Red Deers by 2027.

How do we expect to provide a reasonable level of health care in 2027 for a system built for 1988? If we don’t get started soon, when will we? It’s not like this hospital will get less expensive to build 5 or 10 years from now. This is a profoundly disappointing and shortsighted decision.

Credit where credit is due.

In the good news department, Southwest Edmonton will see a new K-9 school in Cavanagh, a new K-9 school in Hays Ridge and a new 7-12 school in Glenridding Heights. It is my hope that we can see a small community centre added to that Glenridding high school, something City Administration and the Province have been discussing. Design dollars for a new K-6 school in Glenridding were also approved.

The provincial government also announced a top up in funding for Terwillegar Drive Phase 3 which allows the overall project to be completed. 

Phase 3 consists of a second overpass and a pedestrian bridge over Anthony Henday Drive, resulting in a multi-modal corridor that includes dedicated transit lanes, three vehicle lanes in each direction plus turn bays at each intersection and a multi-use trail from Windermere Boulevard to Whitemud Drive.

Provincial support for Terwillegar Drive has been there since this project was conceived and represents more than 45% of total project costs. Without that support, the project would have been spread over three budgeting cycles - at least - and I am not sure it would have proceeded.

The Terwillegar Drive project has also benefited greatly from outstanding work by City Administration. Their tireless efforts to work proactively and collaboratively with their colleagues at the Province is the primary reason that we have seen this provincial support. With funding firmly in place, detailed design work can proceed and we can anticipate the start of construction early in 2025.

While I know that the next few years will be challenging and frustrating with construction delays,  ultimately this project will fundamentally change lives in pihêsiwin. Those that walk, run and ride will have dedicated, separated paths all the way to the river valley (and by the way, this is the way to build out the Bike Plan, by leveraging dollars to achieve multiple outcomes). That pent up demand that results in congestion at the Henday-Terwillegar interchange will see relief, and serve the more that 20,000 people yet to move into Greater Windermere. And we can finally bring reasonable transit service to the deep southwest.

This is a great outcome in support of a great project. 

Supportive housing has not stopped being a priority.

I know that there are a number of other priorities that have been communicated to the Provincial government by City Council, and it is my hope that in the days and weeks to come, we see provincial support for those investments. Primary among these would be more support for affordable and supportive housing and significant investments to augment our mental health system. It is only with these investments that we will be able to address ongoing and increasing concerns around housing affordability, poverty, homelessness and addictions that we all share.

As always, please feel free to contact me at 780-496-8130 or at [email protected] with any of your city related concerns.

Timothy Cartmell


Honoured to be the City Councillor in Edmonton's Ward pihêsiwin. #yegcc #Wardpihêsiwin