Latest The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation News
Oct 3, 2021
Author of the article: Article content It’s an open race for the mayor’s chair in Edmonton’s civic election with 11 candidates vying for the seat left by two-term Mayor Don Iveson. Advertisement Article content But several of the candidates aren’t new to the political landscape, with four having previous council experience and one representing Edmonton on the federal stage in the House of Commons. Many first-time candidates say they’re looking for change and hope to steer the city in a new direction coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologize, but this video has failed to load. Try refreshing your browser, or Here are all of the 11 mayoral candidates on the ballot: Abdul Malik Chukwudi Mayoral candidate Abdul Malik Chukwudi. (Shaughn Butts/Postmedia) Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia Chukwudi said he decided to run for the mayor’s chair after becoming more and more frustrated with the decisions being made by council, especially significant spending on the LRT line. He said he would like to see the city be more prudent with its finances and consider operating costs more thoroughly before investing in long-term capital projects. Advertisement Article content If elected, Chukwudi said he will focus on economic recovery and diversifying the economy by looking to offer grants and tax incentives to small businesses. Although still on the ballot, Chukwudi said he supports Nickel in his campaign for mayor and issued an endorsement. His platform can be found here. Rick Comrie Mayoral candidate Rick Comrie speaking at the Downtown Business Association forum. (Ian Kucerak/Postmedia) Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia First-time candidate Comrie said he wants to see Edmonton return to being a city of champions, calling the city currently in crisis. A long-time business owner of local company TireBoys, Comrie said if elected he would call for a financial audit of all the city’s expenses to find ways to save money. He said one of those ways could be redirecting funds from LRT expansion; he would call for a plebiscite to hear from Edmontonians. Advertisement Article content “In my journey to become mayor, I can see clearly there is department overlap and bureaucracy that obstructs action in favour of government employment,” he said. “We must alter our path that perpetuated these issues.” Vanessa Denman First-time candidate Denman said her campaign is rooted in human rights for all and she wants to see a complete shift in how the city is run. “We need to look at it from a stance of optimism and prosperity and abundance as opposed to restriction, restriction, restriction.” She pointed to reducing the city’s carbon footprint under the energy transition strategy as a main priority. Denman doesn’t have a campaign website. Brian (Breezy) Gregg Brian (Breezy) Gregg. (Shaugn Butts/Postmedia) Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia A musician by day, Gregg said he wants to see the City of Edmonton run more like a rock and roll band and less like a business to ensure Edmontonians are happy. If elected, he said his main focus will be to increase social services to those in need, including providing free transit and expanding affordable housing. Advertisement Article content “In rock and roll bands, taking care of business is really important, but what’s most important is that everyone’s having a good time,” Gregg said, noting his motto is to provide love and respect for everyone and the planet. More information can be found on Gregg’s website. Kim Krushell Mayoral candidate Kim Krushell. She has previously served three terms as councillor for Ward 2. (Ian Kucerak/Postmedia) Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia Krushell, a three-term councillor from 2004 to 2013, said she’s running for council’s top seat because it’s “a critical point in Edmonton’s history” and she is prepared to get to work. Krushell, who formed two tech companies during her time away from city hall, highlighted her council experience in helping form the neighbourhood renewal program and Edmonton’s NextGen as a proven track record to get things done. The top priority for her if elected would be to review the city’s financial situation and find a way to freeze the 2022 property tax rate before council needs to approve the budget. She said she will focus on the core services and look at finding savings in areas such as land development. Advertisement Article content Augustine Marah Mayoral candidate Augustine Marah. (Supplied) Photo by Supplied Marah is running for the mayor’s chair in an effort to give back to the Edmonton that gave so much to him as an immigrant from Sierra Leone. He is a former teacher and founded and ran a school in the city, an experience he said will come in handy as mayor. His top priority is recovering the embattled recovery plan, which he said can’t be done without repairing the relationship with the provincial government. “If we think about the interests of our citizens, we can put our political ideologies aside,” Marah said in calling for a joint government plan to address homelessness. Videos outlining Marah’s seven platform points can be found here . Mike Nickel Article content A three-term city councillor, Nickel has entered the race for the mayor’s chair for a third time. In an email to Postmedia, Nickel said the biggest issue facing the city is crime and that he will focus on making the city safer by calling on the Edmonton Police Service to deploy an additional 18 community officers in the core. In his platform point, Nickel said police presence is a deterrent to crime and that he would like to “get more feet on the street.” Nickel, who has been invited to but decided not to attend most of the mayoral forums that have been held, said he will be calling for lower taxes by reducing the management ranks at the City of Edmonton. His platform points can be found online. Michael Oshry Mayoral candidate Michael Oshry. (Shaughn Butts/Postmedia) Photo by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia Oshry, a one-term Ward 5 city councillor elected in 2013, wants to be mayor to help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and said his work in business has prepared him to make the tough decisions necessary. Advertisement Article content Although she said she would continue to advocate to senior levels of government for funding, she said partnerships are necessary with private companies to build tiny villages with wraparound community supports. “I decided to run to offer Edmontonians a different kind of leadership,” she said. More about Steele’s platform can be found online. Cheryll Watson Mayoral candidate Cheryll Watson. (Ian Kucerak/Postmedia) Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia Watson hasn’t served on council before, but has attended her fair share of council meetings as vice president of Innovate Edmonton, working under the former Edmonton Economic Development Corporation to advance technology and innovation in the city. Watson pointed to the need to create a safe, welcoming place as a main priority, noting she has experienced and witnessed a slew of petty crime Downtown where her office is located. She is calling on more community police patrols, in partnership with outreach teams, and an increased focus on security. “When you have petty crime like that Downtown, that does make it a really unsafe place that people don’t want to be in and businesses have really been battling this on their own,” she said. Watson’s proposed policies can be found here.