It is time to say goodbye.
I look back on the Edmonton that once was … a city with booms and busts that blew in and out like the breath of an infant – so young, so naive. A city that lacked confidence and conviction about its role in the province, in the country and in the world. A city without identity … a city without soul.
It is now time to say hello.
I want to lean forward and embrace the Edmonton that now is … a city with potential that is just beginning. A city with confidence and charm that is, for the first time, understanding its responsibility in the world. A city with youth and vitality that knows no limits. And a city with purpose that defines Alberta within a strong Canada, as opposed to an Alberta that walks alone.
We are young, but no longer naive. We are powerful, but can no longer be irreverent. We are the economic and entrepreneurial engine of Canada, and we are a bridge-builder in a united West. We are a place of hope and opportunity for new Albertans, and we are a place with open arms, open hearts and open minds … grounded in the common values of respect, resourcefulness, creativity and compassion.
There is a mystique about Edmonton that makes people wonder how we can achieve so much. We are blessed with what the world wants – energy, water, food and fibre – and we are working endlessly toward creating an education system, a healthcare system and an innovation system that is among a handful of the world’s best. We will always challenge ourselves to be better and better, because Canada needs us to be better and better.
That is what is expected of a Capital City. That is what we should expect of each other.
The time has come to say thank you to our Mayor. And, perhaps for a moment, compare the Edmonton that once was … to the Edmonton that now is.
The last nine years will echo an eternity.
We thank you.