From left: Candas Jane Dorsey, Harvey Voogd, Chief Calvin Bruneau, and Alf White, President of the Boyle Street Community League. Sharon Pasula
The Raging Grannies Sharon Pasula
On a Saturday afternoon when most people are shopping, engaged in recreation, relaxing or taking a break from a hectic work week, Edmontonians from the west end, south side, downtown and north end gathered to hear about a proposed project. The project, Alldritt Tower, is an 80-storey high-rise just east of the Shaw Conference Centre between Jasper Ave and Grierson Hill Road, where 101 Ave branches off from Jasper Avenue. It would include a hotel and up to 700 luxury residential units, as well as three privately-owned “publicly accessible” terraces flanked by businesses and include seven levels of underground parking.
About 120 people crammed into the Willow room at the Boyle Street Plaza to hear a panel of speakers. The meeting was opened with remarks and a prayer from Elder Sharon Pasula, Nehiyaw/Métis. The event was facilitated by Penny Lightfoot, former Executive Director at Alberta Health Services who gave some background. A presentation by organizer Andrea Wilhelm followed to give context and additional information. The speakers included Harvey Voogd, Executive Director of the North Saskatchewan River Valley, Conservation Society, Calvin Bruneau, Chief of the Papaschase First Nation, Boyle Street Community League Executive member Candas Jane Dorsey, and a last minute invitation was accepted by local lawyer Cynthia Dovell.
The people in attendance were overwhelmingly against this proposed development. Concerns raised included:
A petition was circulated during the meeting that was sent to City Council. The meeting was capped by the Raging Grannies who added some humour and entertainment.
Despite the protests, as of press time City Council gave conditional approval to sell the piece of river Valley Parkland for the project. It passed 9-3 with Councillors Ben Henderson, Michael Walters, and Scott McKeen opposed.