With Edmonton’s elections now officially underway, we’ll obviously be talking about city and school board politics and platforms in the Headlines a lot for the next month. Buckle up!
— Alison Poste (@AlisonPoste) September 18, 2017
Monday’s Nomination Day was a blur of candidates and their teams and volunteers filling City Hall (and lots of social media photos), filing their papers and getting their names onto the ballot. This year is record-setting, with more people running for office than ever before.
We also have more women running for city council this year, with about one-third of candidates for council and our two school boards identifying as female. We didn’t hit 50% parity, but we can at least hope for a better representation on city council than the one woman we elected in 2013.
— EqualVoice ABNorth (@EqualVoiceABN) September 19, 2017
We didn’t end up with a historic acclamation for Ward 1’s Andrew Knack, as three challengers showed up on Monday to run against him. (Where were these guys all summer?) We do have one acclamation though, with current Edmonton Public School Board chair Michelle Draper facing zero opponents and automatically winning Ward B.
Since candidates had 24 hours to change their mind, we didn’t get the official list until noon on Tuesday. Just one person decided this wasn’t the year to run after all.
With no household names on the ballot against Don Iveson, he’s expected to ride to a fairly easy victory and second term as mayor. The three vacant council seats present an interesting opportunity to see him pick up more support for his city-building ideas.
Edmonton’s best list of candidates is over at Daveberta. Dave Cournoyer’s got every candidate listed and links to their website and social media (if they’ve got it). Hopefully candidates in your neighbourhood actually have some kind of online presence and a platform posted (at this point they should know why they’re running).
Strathcona County’s election received a shock when longtime councillor Vic Bidzinski had a stroke and died last week. Bidzinski was running for re-election, and this changed what’s going to happen in his former ward. Bidzinski died the day after the final council meeting of the term, and his loss is being felt around Sherwood Park and Strathcona County, after decades of tireless volunteering and many terms on county council over the last 20 years. His family shared some more personal thoughts on the councillor who meant so much to people east of Edmonton, but obviously leaves just as large a legacy with his family.
It’s going to get harder to skip out on parking tickets in Edmonton. The City’s adding new vehicles to the downtown patrol that will snap photos of license plates and then, if you’re not paid up, send you a ticket in the mail. You won’t get a ticket under your wipers anymore.
City-owned lots will also have cameras that will catch you 100% of the time when you’re not paying or over your time. The vehicles downtown will mean fewer parking enforcement officers in the city centre, but those staff members will just be patrolling other neighbourhoods more.
Unless MLAs feel really strongly about ending Daylight Saving Time, we’re going to stick with switching clocks twice each year after a committee of the Alberta Legislature decided to end debate on the proposal. Thousands of Albertans wanted to end the time change, but pressure from Edmonton and Calgary’s NHL teams and airports, and West Jet, seemed to sway the debate.
We’re not done talking about elections yet! A week after the municipal elections, people west of Edmonton will head to the polls again to vote in a by-election to replace Sturgeon River-Parkland MP Rona Ambrose.
The Edmonton Police Commission meets Thursday at noon, in the River Valley Room at City Hall. The agenda is online. Items include presentations on files re-examined for the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), a presentation from Black Lives Matter (carding has been a big issue in Edmonton this summer) and the police budget (including the numbers from policing the Oilers playoff games).
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