Edmonton adopts food and urban agriculture strategy
FRESH: Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy
By Gordon Kent
November 14, 2012
EDMONTON – The city is going ahead with a food and urban agriculture strategy after councillors accepted a report Wednesday outlining how it will benefit Edmonton.
A food council is expected to be created to implement nine recommendations, including providing food skill education, expanding urban agriculture, supporting farmers and developing local food infrastructure capacity.
But there was little support among councillors for the controversial idea of saving large amounts of farmland, including a proposal by the Greater Edmonton Alliance to protect up to 600 hectares in the city’s northeast corner.
“This is not just about land. There are many other aspects of the policy that we should focus on,” Coun. Dave Loken said.
Only Coun. Linda Sloan voted against the proposal, after her amendment asking to delay a northeast development plan until administration could report on options for retaining Edmonton agricultural land was defeated.
There were 64 speakers on the issue at public hearings in late October and early November.
City staff will bring back a report early next year outlining how to move forward with the plan and the cost.
They have also suggested adding $150,000 to the 2013 budget to set up the food council, develop programs and hire a planner.