There has been a lot of confusion (and misinformation feeding into that confusion) about the proposed gondola project and what City Council was voting on today. We did not vote to build a gondola today. The vote today, which passed 8-5, was to support the working relationship framework for the urban gondola project. That means determining exactly what needs to be looked at for City Council to consider proceeding with the project.
There needs to be public and Indigenous engagement, environmental studies, and land agreements. Today’s vote just allows the Prairie Sky Gondola group to do more work on this journey—at their expense. City Council has been clear that no public money will go into this project. There is also concern about the impacts on the environment.
I voted yes as I am open to the possibility. I think at this time we do need more private investment to build our city and this is an innovative idea that aligns with our strategic plans. It will create more jobs to build and operate the system.
But before we get there we need to understand all the risks and this next piece of work will allow that to be explored. There are at least 14 more opportunities to say no to this project. If at any time in the future the risks are demonstrated to be too much then I will vote no.
I hope this helps clarify exactly what was voted on today and where we are at with this project.