It’s a new year, and that means another new resolution—but you aren’t the only one trying to quit that stubborn cookie habit to shave off those holiday pounds; the entire city—and province—is hitting the treadmill hard to quit that stubborn spending habit that has led to an ever growing budget deficit. For individuals, families and businesses, it’s a new year but same old budget grind. For city council, welcome to the diet!
It’s easy to slip back into old habits—and to place the blame anywhere you can when you do. It takes a lot of work and dedication to keep trudging on towards those goals, especially when it isn’t convenient. The same goes for the budget. A lot of sacrifices simply must be made, and some don’t seem very reasonable, especially depending on the perspective you are looking at them from. The view from the boardroom is different from the council chambers. The view from the kitchen table is different from the boardroom. But, ultimately, spending is spending and when one spends more than one makes, it’s a problem you are eventually forced to deal with.
The truth is, it doesn’t come down to any one entity to take on the burden of this year’s resolution. Everyone is feeling the impact; and some have been feeling the pinch for quite a long time – for five or more years. Living with a reduced budget means funding and services are cut across the board, and while this may seem to impact certain demographics more heavily than others, Edmonton’s economy is structured around balance. Any impact that is felt carries throughout each economic sector and affects all stakeholders.
The recent cuts mean the city is ready, willing and able to share the burden of a reduced budget as well as helping us all work towards a resolution. All stakeholders must start working hard together to make the changes that will help everyone reach their cumulative goal—and each sector should support each other through the changes that are causing impacts across the board.
Change doesn’t happen overnight; all the stakeholders need to be looking in the mirror before they open the floodgates of criticism regarding how other entities are doing when it comes to budgetary spending or prioritization.
Businesses and individuals have been living on a tight budget for years, so we know that with some belt-tightening, it can be done. As a democratic province, we all made the collective choice to prioritize our budget and it’s a decision that is better late than never.
Confidence among all the stakeholders must be positive as it is easier to exercise in a positive mind frame then one based in reluctance and misery. Let’s be supportive rather than critical as we all work hard to reach our budget goals.