Alberta Mirror

Edmonton business groups ask the city to fix downtown chaos


Key takeaways: 

  • City councilors check the offered community safety and well-being plan.
  • Edmonton council heard from some business leaders Monday concerned regarding chaos in the city’s downtown center. 

Business owners and district leaders say social chaos and crime continue to haunt downtown Edmonton, even as more people are back to the office to work in person. 

Council’s community and public services committee began studying the city’s new proposed safety and well-being plan on Monday, and almost 20 speakers signed up to share their problems. 

Stacy Zaidi, a co-owner of 10 Remedy Cafe locations in Edmonton, said she fears her staff and clients, who’ve dealt with harsh happenings over the past year.

“My staff have been spit on. They’ve been hit in the face. There’s been sexual and racial bias,” Zaidi told councilors. 

Zaidi said staff sometimes have to guide trash, human waste, and needles to get into the building. 

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Business owners and district leaders say social chaos and crime continue to haunt downtown Edmonton,

“I suppose that many businesses are on our own,” she said. “We’re losing our compassion, we’re losing our patience, and we must help — now.”

Pamela Brown, who has worked in safety and protection at Edmonton City Centre mall for decades, said she helps the community safety and well-being strategy as a tool to manage the continued social disruption, which is more prominent than ever. 

“Before COVID, the working populace partially masked the challenges,” Brown said. “With the challenges of crime and disorder so clear, working people are afraid to return.”

Brown urged citizens, businesses, and workers to feel safer, and customers who use the mall as a hub need more areas, such as daytime shelter spaces. 

“In my 40 years, never have I seen downtown Edmonton in such dire straits,” Brown stated. “Please act now.”

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