Envision Edmonton’s petition to put the question of whether or not to keep the City Centre Airport open on the municipal ballot didn’t fly with the city.
In order to force a vote on the issue, the petition needed 10 per cent, or 78,244, of Edmontonians to sign. After 20 days of extensive review, city clerk Alayne Sinclair, said no more than 73,567 of the 100,063 signatures collected were eligible electors.
“We gave this petition a complete and reasonable review,” Sinclair said. “We have declared the petition we received from Edmonton Envision Opportunity Society as a not valid petition.”
Chuck Allard, chair of Envision Edmonton, said the reasons given for declaring the petition invalid are based on “unproven technicalities.”
“It is obvious that the mayor does not want to put our question to the public,” Allard said. “He is afraid he will lose his pet project so he has the people at City Hall trying to weasel their way out of putting it on a plebiscite.”
In addition to not coming up with enough valid signatures, the city said the petition was not filed within 60 days of council’s decision to close the airport, which is required by law.
Council will now decide whether or not to put a question on the ballot anyway that would not be legally binding but would gauge the opinions of voters.