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Edmonton city councillors debate with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen about ‘City of Champions’ slogan

A series of 15 billboards touting Edmonton as a "City of Champions" began popping up through the city in early May. Aaron Streck, Global News

Bring up the “City of Champions” slogan and you’re almost guaranteed to spark debate among Edmontonians.

The debate heated up again after Edmonton city councillor Tony Caterina told city council in early May he was planning to ask councillors and the mayor to debate the slogan.

On Wednesday, councillors Scott McKeen, Michael Walters and Michael Oshry appeared on 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen Show to talk about council’s decision to defeat Caterina’s motion.

“I think it’s important to a certain percentage of the population, but nobody knows what that percentage is,” Oshry said. “The problem with slogans is that it means something to different
people and, for a lot of people, this doesn’t have meaning.”

WATCH: Councillors Scott McKeen, Michael Walters and Michael Oshry discuss the ‘City of Champions’ slogan on the Ryan Jespersen Show

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“Why bring up something now, just before the election, that divides people and maybe brands some people?” McKeen asked.

“I thought it was a waste of council’s time and only served to anger a certain segment of the population.”

During the Facebook Live session, CHED listeners weighed in on both sides of the debate.

“No offence. This sign fiasco is ludicrous,” wrote Vernon Charles Penney Jr.

“These guys are idiots…..when will they listen to the people,” Michael Sherban wondered.

Despite Jespersen’s questioning on the matter, the three remained adamant that the city does not need a slogan.

“The best way to brand the city is to tell the stories of the people who live here and what they have done, not having–what I think–is a cheesy phrase,” Oshry said.

The motion was defeated by a vote of 7-5 in Tuesday’s council meeting.

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