Why I am supporting Don Iveson for mayor

Don Iveson For Mayor Edmonton 2013

Don Iveson for Mayor

Edmonton has adopted a more ambitious attitude since Stephen Mandel became Mayor in 2004. I voted for Mr. Mandel in that election because he embodied an exciting and forward-looking change that contrasted sharply with the past decade of mediocre leadership.

In many ways, I feel the same way about Don Iveson in 2013 as I did about Stephen Mandel in 2004.

Because Mr. Mandel’s leadership, the City of Edmonton is a different place. Looking outward, our City is no longer embroiled in painful public squabbles with our regional neighbours. Looking within city limits, we have seriously invested into renewing our crumbling public infrastructure and public spaces. The expansion of Edmonton’s Light Rail Transit system has been a big step in making our city more accessible and our downtown and inner city neighbourhoods are beginning to blossom.

When I first moved to Edmonton in the early 2000s, I lived in an apartment in a decrepit area of Oliver. I soon moved south of the North Saskatchewan River, but when I moved back two years later, I was surprised at how different the area had become. New condo and apartment buildings had been constructed over the past five years, which led to new businesses and restaurants in the area. This spilled over into the 104 Street district, where a bustling farmers market, restaurants and new condo developments have brought people downtown. People are now actually walking down Jasper Avenue at night!

With the closure of Edmonton’s City Centre Airport, the development of the new Blatchford district will present many challenges and opportunities. It is a blank slate that, if properly developed, could grow into a vibrant core neighbourhood. It will take discipline and foresight to make sure this happen.

It would be unfair to only focus on the city centre. Our city’s suburban communities have greatly expanded over the past nine years, putting significant growth pressures on our city’s transportation infrastructure and school systems. The next mayor will need to balance the pressures of managing growth on our outskirts and the continued renewal of downtown and mature neighbourhoods.

Mr. Mandel helped take Edmonton to where it is today and our next mayor will need to avoid the comfortable allure of the status-quo. Our next mayor will need to take Edmonton to the next step. I believe that Don Iveson is the mayor who can take Edmonton forward.

Over his two terms on city council, Don Iveson has defined himself as a hard-working and thoughtful leader through his words and actions. Reinforced by the comprehensive platform positions released over the course of this election campaign, he has demonstrated a solid understanding of the infrastructure and growth challenges facing Edmonton. I appreciate that many of the ideas he has presented in this campaign are long-term plans and opportunities that would transform our city over the next thirty-years. I believe he has the leadership skills needed to build a coalition on the next city council that can implement these plans.

Read Don Iveson’s approach to funding our city and proposals for expanded LRT and public infrastructure, new approaches to housing choice and infill, support for business and the arts and volunteer sector, as well as expanded partnerships with Edmonton’s capital region partners.

Don Iveson has taken principled positions on controversial issues like the closure of the City Centre Airport and the development of the new downtown arena district. While I disagree with his final decision to support funding the downtown arena project, I respect his ability to ask tough questions of the process and how he made his final decision. I trust him to make the best decision, even when I may disagree.

I expect Don Iveson will be the strong advocate Edmonton needs when dealing with the provincial government. Along with Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Alberta’s two largest cities could be the powerful force needed to fix the fiscal inequities faced by our province’s urban municipalities.

Perhaps one of the characteristics I like most about Don Iveson is that he is not afraid to dream big. “No one should underestimate our city” is a catchy phrase, but it is more than a slogan. It represents the next step that Edmonton needs to take to become a great city. Stephen Mandel helped build a solid foundation over the past decade and I believe Don Iveson is the person to lead us through the next decade.

(For the reasons explained above, I am happy to be volunteering my personal time during the election campaign to help Don Iveson become the next mayor of Edmonton. If you want to help Don Iveson become Edmonton’s next mayor, you can volunteer too!)

26 thoughts on “Why I am supporting Don Iveson for mayor

  1. Jack Parker

    Nenshi has been a terrible mayor for Calgary. Ask any taxpayer or anyone who parks downtown for one. Iveson will be even worse for Edmonton. Time to focus on core issues of government not all the bells and whistles like a monorail salesman

    Reply
  2. Tim Henderson

    Well said, Dave. Don Iveson is the only candidate that can build on the progress made over the past 9 years and take Edmonton to the next level. For me, Don’s thoughtfulness on the difficult issues is one of the things that sets him apart from his competitors. He’s a Mayor I could be proud of.

    Reply
  3. Wayne Arthurson

    I will probably vote for Iveson but shouldn’t you also say that you are also a volunteer for his campaign?

    Reply
  4. daveberta Post author

    @Tim – Thanks!

    @Wayne – Because of the reasons I outlined above, I am happy to say that I am dedicating my personal time as a volunteer to help Don Iveson become mayor.

    Reply
  5. Christine

    Me and my husband were undecided between Don Iveson and Karen Leibovchi until we went to last night’s open forum at the Italian Centre. Iveson gave the best impression with smart answers and won us over. The other candidates not so much.
    Christine

    Reply
  6. Working Albertan

    Good choice. I’m voting for Don Iveson too. Without doubt he is the best person running in the mayors race.

    Reply
  7. Glen

    I’m voting for Don as well but I have a number of concerns over where our city is going. For example why is the southeast LRT such a priority when the northwest line is only half done. Also the west end needs the train more than any other area so should it be left to last? Millwoods has some great access roads so why is it necessary to build before the lines that really matters?

    Reply
  8. Wayne Arthurson

    I still think you should say that in the endorsement piece. To be fair you aren’t the first person to do this. Another blog about Boyle City endorsed a candidate without the writer disclosing their connection to that candidate.

    And to be further fair, I think you should disclose the fact you are volunteering for Iveson in this. You may, technically, not be a journalist, but you have covered the Edmonton as a journalist, your blog is popular, people comment on your opinions and look at your endorsements. A lot of people, like me, did not know you were volunteering for Iveson until a week or so ago when it came up on Facebook. So you should have stated in this endorsement that you volunteer for Iveson without someone like me pointing that out. Your comment to my earlier comment should have been your opening line on this endorsement.

    Reply
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  10. daveberta Post author

    Hi Wayne – Thanks again for the comment.

    Those are good points. I don’t want to mislead anyone, so I’ve added the following addition to the post:

    For the reasons explained above, I am happy to be volunteering my personal time during the election campaign to help Don Iveson become the next mayor of Edmonton. If you want to help Don Iveson become Edmonton’s next mayor, you can volunteer too!

    Cheers,

    Dave

    Reply
  11. daveberta Post author

    @Glen – I agree. Compared to cities like Calgary, Edmonton is way behind in LRT development – especially to the West end and to Mill Woods. I linked to Don Iveson’s policy on LRT in this post (also here) and I really hope we can see some significant progress on this front over the next 5-10 years. It’s essential for dealing with the growth our city is going through.

    Dave

    Reply
  12. Don is next mayor, very likely

    Don Iveson, smart man, good policies, good integrity, would make excellent mayor. Well spoken, fresh face, good energy, he will get my vote. X

    Reply
  13. ric dolphin

    Of the three, Iveson is definitely the most presentable and the most equipped to be the poster-boy for the interests/image of Edmonton on the provincial and national stages. On the negative side, he’s no more than a play actor delivering his lines convincingly, but without any real personal conviction. His past suggests he has been co-opted by left, certainly the green left. The may bode ill for the average Edmontonian who drives a car, feels that Edmonton’s road should be at least as good as Calgary’s (they are much inferior), and is more interested in sound fiscal management than agendas like those of Tides Intl. and the other American anti-oilsands funds that are helping with Iveson’s campaign. We are, when all is said and done, a city whose livelihood depends on the continuing exploitation of the oilsands. We are the Gateway to the North, and why we ever abandoned that title for the ephemeral “City of Champions” is a travesty attributable to a previous mayo (come on down, Cec Purves!). A mayor who is in bed with the deep-pocketed environmental organizations who oppose the oilsands with every fibre of their being is not really a mayor who has Edmonton’s best interests at heart. Unless, that is, one who thinks Edmonton’s best interests would be to jettison all of the enterprises that service Canada’s golden goose – pipeline constructions, steel fabrication, heavy equipment supply, pipeline and refinery infrastructure and expertise, upgrading, engineering, industrial construction, cement processing, aviation, trucking, welding, plumbing, pipefitting, tool and die making, and countless other industries and trades — and attempt to create a fossil-fuel free economy that depends on — well, what? The agricultural sector is probably out, because most of what they do involves genetically modified produce and hormone injected livestock, both of those things anathema to the pur-vert sensibilities or our presentable mayor presumptive. In snort, Iveson is part of a small, elitist clique unnttuned to the wants and needs of most Edmonton citizens. If a majority of fellow travellers is elected to council, economic catastrophe may ensue.

    The other candidates may not be as young, handsome and presentable as Don, but they do not pose nearly the same dangers. Beware of pretty boys with silver tongues; they’ll love ya and leave ya.

    Me, I’m voting for the plumber.

    rd

    Reply
  14. Aden

    I’ve been impressed with how thoughtful and common-sense all of Don’s writing and speaking has been. While I don’t envy the problems he’ll have to deal with, I believe that he would make the best mayor for Edmonton.
    As a side note, I’m very happy that his campaign has stayed away from criticism and negativity. It’s cool to see, and rare enough in politics.

    @Wayne: full disclosure: I’ve been volunteering for Don’s campaign. I’d be voting for him regardless, so I figured I may as well do what I can to help make him Edmonton’s next mayor!

    Reply
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  16. Andrea M.

    It was a pleasure meeting you at Don’s rally today (thanks to Anton). Don is a very articulate and passionate man. That said, he is fortunate to have your support. I trust that we can all rely on you for accurate updates on the current election!! Cheers!

    Reply
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  18. Debra Garland

    I haven’t decided whether to vote for Don yet but something to keep in mind regarding his candidacy, was described by Lorne Gunter in his article on Oct 18th, 2013:
    “If, as most polls and observers predict, Iveson wins the mayor’s chair, he will need a fiscally tight-fisted council to keep his dreams and schemes in check.

    Candidates such as Sharon Maclise in Ward 1, Michael Oshry in Ward 5 and Dexx Williams in Ward 6 would help keep a Mayor Iveson from soaring too close to the sun.”

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/10/18/lacklustre-mayoralty-campaigns-could-result-in-close-vote

    Reply
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  20. Duncan Kinney

    But David, can you be more clear about how you’re a volunteer, volunteering for the volunteer Don Iveson effort?

    Reply
  21. Mr. Scott

    Since Dave has been enthusiastic in his praise about Don, wouldn’t it make logical sense that he might volunteer his time to help in the mayoral race? Isn’t that what we do when we support someone – donate our time and/or energy to their cause? Why are people even commenting on this point?

    Go Green!

    Reply
  22. Sagar

    I must say this year’s Mayoral election was really fascinating!! I was involved in many ways with candidates and yes I am sure the decision of Edmontonians will take Edmonton to new heights.. I am keen to see the plans and movements happening in the city over the next few years!!

    I must say Dave your blogs and views are simply amazing.

    Reply

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