In what should have been an easy re-election of two incumbents, the 2007 election in Ward 5 has ended up as a three-way race.
The main challenger to the two incumbents is Don Iveson (who I am proud to call a friend).
Running on the message of Smart Sustainable Growth for Ward 5, Don Iveson is easily the strongest and most energetic candidate running in in this Ward. As the underdog of the race, Don Iveson’s team has relied on volunteer power rather than the expensive American-style demon dialing of one of the incumbents.
With a solid platform centered around the principles of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and vibrant communities, the residents of Ward 5 and the City of Edmonton would be well-served by the fresh voice and ideas that Don Iveson would bring to the next City Council.
Since the beginning of the campaign, Don Iveson has gained the support of some of Edmonton’s strongest advocates including retiring City Councillors Michael Phair and Janice Melnychuk, former MLA Don Massey, Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Raj Pannu, and former City Councillors Larry Langley and Gene Dub.
Incumbent Councillor Bryan Anderson, whom I consider an “inoffensive” candidate has served on City Council since 1995 and though he has been a lower profile Councillor, has been a strong constituency worker. Much like Dave Theile in Ward 6, Anderson should beware of voters starting to think that he’s been around for too long.
Incumbent Mike Nickel (aka Mr. Demon Dialer), who was first elected in 2004 after failing to be elected Mayor in 1998 and 2001, is widely believed to be running re-election in order to set himself up for a 2010 Mayoral campaign. Part of Nickel ’10 includes the Nickel campaign’s fronting of pro-Nickel candidates in other Wards (Tony Caterina in Ward 3, Debbie Yeung in Ward 4, and Chuck McKenna in Ward 6).
Nickel, who, along with Mayoral candidate Bill Whatcott, is a fan of Ted Morton, proudly supported Morton in the 2006 Tory leadership selection over local-boy and moderate conservative, Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Dave Hancock.
Though Nickel has a reputation as an opponent towards any City involvement that does not include bare bones core services (such as his strident opposition to the Universal Bus Pass for University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College students) he should be respected for standing firm and actually believing in his Ronald Reaganesq-vaules. That said, it’s 2007 and the Reagan-era ended in 1988.
With serious transportation and urban sprawl issues facing Ward 5 now and in the immediate future, it’s important that Edmontonians in Ward 5 look carefully at these candidates and support the candidates who will fight for smart growth in Ward 5.
2004 Election Results
Bryan Anderson – 19,650
Mike Nickel – 16,803
Donna Finucane – 15,123
Al Slemko – 6,576
Ian Crawford – 5,307
Jung-Suk Ryu – 3,817
Katie Oppen – 2,029
Adil Pirbhai – 533
Don Iveson for Ward 5 City Councillor – 366 members