2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

edmonton election 2007: my predictions.

In preparation for tomorrow’s Edmonton Municipal Election, here are my predictions for the Mayor, City Council, and Edmonton Public School Board elections…
2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Predictions

1. Stephen Mandel
2. Don Koziak
3. Dave Dowling

Ward 1
1. Karen Leibovici
2. Linda Sloan
3. Andrew Knack
Ward 2
1. Kim Krushell
2. Ron Hayter
3. Dave Loken
Ward 3
1. Ed Gibbons
2. Harvey Voogd
3. Tony Caterina
Ward 4
1. Ben Henderson
2. Lewis Cardinal
3. Jane Batty (within 1,000 votes)

Ward 5
1. Bryan Anderson
2. Don Iveson
3. Mike Nickel
Ward 6
1. Dave Theile
2. Amarjeet Sohi
3. Chinwe Okelu
Edmonton Public School Board

Ward A
1. Bev Esslinger

Ward B
1. Wendy Keiver
2. Ken Shipka

Ward C
1. Sue Huff
2. Don Williams

Ward D

1. Dave Colburn
2. Amanda Beisiegel

Ward E
1. Ken Gibson
2. Neil MacDonald

Ward F
1. Don Fleming
2. Susan O’Neil

Ward H
1. Catherine Ripley
2. Neil Robblee

Ward I

1. Gerry Gibeault
2. Judith Axelson
2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Don Iveson

a day with don iveson in ward 5.

On Thursday, October 11, I joined Ward 5 City Council candidate Don Iveson and volunteers for an afternoon and evening of campaigning. Here’s my story of the day:

12:30 p.m. Don Iveson and his Deputy Campaign Manager Leanne Brown pop by my house to pick me up.

12:45 p.m. We start doorknocking in the Belgravia neighbourhood. As a first time candidate, I was surprised at the amount of positive support Don got at the doors. The big issues I heard of at the doors with Don were transportation, and the sorry state of our roads and planning in Edmonton.

It also wasn’t uncommon to hear complaints about the demon dialing ways of another Ward 5 candidate.

We also got eight lawn sign requests in less than an hour in Belgravia. Go team!

1:50 p.m. Don, Leanne, and I head off to the Queen Alexandra Seniors Lodge in the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood.

Don spoke to a group of about 40 seniors and covered a wide range of issues. Following Don’s introductions, the residents had a chance to ask Don questions about his platform and what his stances as a City Councillor for Ward 5 would be.

Questions ranged from snow removal, the labour shortage, the difficulty of keeping up with Alberta’s and Edmonton’s growth, roads and potholes, sidewalk maintenance, and the state of infrastructure in Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods (such as Queen Alexandra).

Don’s was also able to cover issues spanning from smarter planning, public transit, road maintenance, education, and fair taxation.

As we were leaving the Seniors Lodge, one of the residents leaned over to Don, thanked him for speaking to the residents, and told Don that he “had learned more about Edmonton in the one hour talking with Don than he had in the past 10 years.” Touching and powerful.

3:10 p.m. Leave the Queen Alexandra Seniors Lodge and hard off towards Riverbend!

3:30 p.m. – We stop to have a quick lunch at the Fresh Start Cafe in Riverbend neighbourhood. I had a great roast beef sandwich with a tomato soup (not really relavent to this story, but good none the less).

While at Fresh Start, we meet up with Dr. Rob Agostinis, President of the Terwilliger-Riverbend Advisory Council, who joins us for some doorknocking in Riverbend.

3:45 p.m. After a quick lunch, Don, Leanne, Dr. Agostinis, and I head off to Riverbend to do some doorknocking!

Some big issues at the doors in Riverbend include transportation, I hear something at the doors that sticks in my head:

there is a great willingness to take public transit, if service was improved and made more convenient for the residents in Riverbend.

I also canvass a surprising amount of families who will be voting for Don Iveson and Mike Nickel. An interesting mix. There seems to be quite a bit of hostility towards Ward Five’s other City Councillor, Bryan Anderson, in this neighbourhood.

I also sense some strong support for Edmonton Public School Board candidate Catherine Ripley in this area.

7:10 p.m. Now that the sun has set, I join Don and his team as we depart Riverbend, pick up another volunteer, and head to downtown Edmonton to listen to an urban development lecture at the Citadel Theatre. The lecture was part of the Edmonton 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada program delivered by Dr. Roberta Brandes-Gratz.

Dr. Brandes-Gratz is an award-winning journalist and urban critic, lecturer and author of The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way, and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown. She is an international lecturer on urban development issues and former reporter for the New York Post.

It was a very interesting lecture (and really makes me wish I studied Urban Planning, rather than Political Science). Dr. Brandes-Gratz had some great quotes, here are some I remember:

“Urbanism cannout exist with out the layers of history.”

“Density is not a problem, overcrowding is.”

“Urbanism does not exist with out denisity, density breeds diversity, diversity defines a city.”

“Lively diverse cities contain the seeds of their own rejuvination.”

As much of Don’s campaign has centered around vibrant communities and efficiency, this lecture was particularly fitting.

While filing out after the talk, we bumped into former City Councillor Gene Dub who wished Don good luck in the final days of his campaign (Dub has also endorsed Don).

9:00 p.m. After Dr. Brandes-Gratz’s lecture, we joined fellow audience members and delegates of a national urban planning conference at a reception hosted by the Edmonton Arts Council

While at the reception (and enjoying the complementary wine and brilliant goat cheese), we were joined by retiring Ward 3 City Councillor Janice Melnychuk. Though the conversation began as a review of the talk, it soon turned to discussion about the final days of campaign.

9:45 p.m. Leaving the Citadel Theatre reception, I continue to tag along with Don and team as we head back to headquarters (not headquaters) in the Malmo Plains neighbourhood, but not before we pick up some pizza, and drive through Belgravia to put up some of those lawn signs that were requested earlier that day.

10:30 p.m. We arrive back at the campaign headquarters after a long and hard day of campaigning. We open up and the pizza and start the daily debrief and small talk.

It was a good day, but with only a hand full of days left in the 2007 Edmonton Municipal campaign, the final push over the weekend is what will make the difference on Monday, October 15, 2007.

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Don Iveson

edmonton election 2007: choice in ward 5.

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.

2007 Candidates
Bryan Anderson
Don Iveson
Mike Nickel
Brent Michalyk

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

Facebook Race
Don Iveson for Ward 5 City Councillor – 366 members

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

edmonton election 2007: the wrath of ward 6.

Edmonton’s Ward 6 covers the entire southeast section (Mill Woods) of Edmonton and includes some of the most ethnically diverse areas of the City. Not shying away from its reputation for delivering raucous election campaigns, Ward 6 presents an interesting race for 2007.

With the overdue retirement of long-time Councillor Terry Cavanagh (who was appointed and defeated as Mayor two-times since first being elected to Council in 1971), there are no shortage of candidates lining up for the challenge of representing Ward 6.

Incumbent Dave Theile, who was first elected in 1998, is seeking re-election. Though I like Theile’s easy-going style, he may be reaching the point of getting too comfortable in his City Council chair. Hopefully he won’t fall victim to the ‘big chair syndrome’ if he is re-elected on Monday.

Two of the main challengers lined up are Chinwe Okelu and Amarjeet Sohi, and both are in a dog fight with each other after mounting very strong campaigns (and both aren’t shying away from their partisan connections to help them over the top – Okelu as a Liberal and Sohi as a New Democrat).

Okelu, who has run in Ward 6 in 1998, 2001, and 2004, placed a very strong third in 2004 against Cavanagh. This is Sohi’s second run at Ward 6, having placed a strong fourth in 2004.

I’ve met both candidates a number of times and though both would be effective advocates for Ward 6, I’ve been particularly impressed with Amarjeet Sohi’s work with Public Interest Alberta.

With both of the main challengers holding decent name recognition, boasting strong teams and platforms, and campaigning hard I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them won (or if both of them won).

The ‘other interesting candidates’ category includes Lori Jeffery Heaney who is a former Councillor from the Summer Village of Val Quentin and right-wing ‘Mike Nickel‘ candidate Chuck McKenna.

2007 Candidates
Lori Jeffery-Heaney
Chuck McKenna
Chinwe Okelu
Amarjeet Sohi
Dave Thiele*
Tomas Dennis Vasquez

2004 Election Results
Dave Thiele – 16,128
Terry Cavanagh – 14,725
Chinwe Okelu – 12,877
Amarjeet Sohi – 8,077
Barbara Ann Thompson – 6,339
Terry McKinnon – 2,908
Sean Diakiw – 1,013

Facebook Count
Friends of Chinwe Okelu – 19 members
Elect Amarjeet Sohi for Ward 6 Councillor – 80 members

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

more edmonton municipal election posts!

Coming soon: Race profiles of Ward 5, Ward 6, the Edmonton Catholic School District and Edmonton Public School Boards, as well as my predictions for Monday October 15, 2007.

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Smart Growth

out-of-the-box development.

I have a new post up on CBC’s Edmonton Votes 2007 in which I discuss Transit-Oriented Development – one alternative to the current reckless urban sprawl-type development we are witnessing.

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

it’s about a plan.

I have a new post up on CBC’s Edmonton Votes 2007 on some ideas about how Edmonton can be savvier in the way we let our city grow while avoiding the mistakes that other cities have made in not managing their growth and development properly.


2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Ben Henderson

edmonton election 2007: something about ward 4.

It must be something in the water that attracts the flood of candidates that Ward 4 perennially does.

There are 15 candidates running in this Ward with one vacant seat left by retiring Councillor Michael Phair. I don’t blame Phair for retiring after 13 years on City Council, but his retirement has cost Edmonton its easily most effective and progressive member of City Council.

That said, there are some pretty good candidates running to replace Phair.

Ben Henderson (who I am supporting and voted for when I lived in Ward 4 in 2004) is the front-runner to take Phair’s seat. Henderson placed a unusually strong third place in 2004 – nearly defeating Councillor Jane Batty (who is seeking re-election).

Ben Henderson has a strong team (including his wife – Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman) and has been campaigning hard since April. Henderson is a strong candidate with strong ties to Edmonton’s Community Leagues and Arts Community.

Another candidate who I’ve been fairly impressed with is Lewis Cardinal. Cardinal, a consultant and aboriginal social activist, has laid out a good platform and would be a strong and effective voice on City Council.

A Ben Henderson and Lewis Cardinal Ward tag-team could be the most effective Edmonton has seen in years.

The only other two candidates who I would classify as ‘serious’ are Jane Batty and Debbie Yeung. Batty, who was first elected in 2001, is what I like to consider an ‘inoffensive candidate,’ I don’t have much against Batty but she hasn’t been the strong advocate that one would expect would come out of an eclectic district like Ward 4.

Third-time candidate Debbie Yeung has stunned Edmontonians with her campaign team’s superior website designing skills, but her platform hasn’t really diverged from the typical right-wing pablum that usually comes out of candidates aligned with the likes of Mike Nickel (which she is).

Other entertaining candidates include former Ward 6 City Councillor Sheila McKay (who claims she invented the LRT), Reverend Brian Patterson (who thinks prayer would solve fire response problems), Adil Pirbhai (a perennial candidate), Margaret Saunter (of Christian Heritage Party of Canada fame), and Brian Wissink (who clearly has no idea what he’s getting himself into).

2007 Candidates
Jane Batty*
Nyambura Mia Belcourt
Lewis Cardinal
Judith (Jodi) Flatt
Ben Henderson
Sheila McKay
Brian Patterson
Deborah Peaker
Adil Pirbhai
Hana Razga
Thomas Roberts
Margaret Saunter
Brent Thompson
Brian Wissink
Debbie Yeung

2004 Election Results
Michael Phair – 23,219
Jane Batty – 14,352
Ben Henderson – 12,475
Debbie Yeung – 10,500
Thomas Roberts – 1,945
Dale Ferris – 1,702
Paul Welke – 1,417

Facebook Count
Elect Ben Henderson – Ward 4 – 40 members
Lewis Cardinal for Ward Four – 382 members
Rev. Brian Patterson for Edmonton City Councillor, Ward 4 – 17 members
Vote Brent Thompson for Alderman (Ward 4) – 138 members
Change for Ward 4 (Brian Wissink) – 8 members

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

mayoral forum.

The Vote Project will be hosting a Mayoral Forum tomorrow night (October 10) at Red Star (10534 Jasper Avenue NW) starting at 7:30 p.m.

It’s your chance to hear what the Mayoral candidates have to say!

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Don Iveson

building a big tent in ward 5.

Don Iveson has received another round of endorsements in his campaign to represent Ward 5 on Edmonton City Council.

Recent endorsements include:
Larry Langley (Ward 5 Councillor, 1995-2004)
Janice Melnychuk (Ward 3 Councillor 2001-2007)
Dr. Gary McPherson (Former PC leadership candidate)
Gene Dub (Architect, Ward 2 Councillor 1977-1980)

Earlier endorsements included:
Michael Phair (Ward 4 Councillor, 1992-2007)
Dr. Don Massey (Alberta Liberal MLA Edmonton-Mill Woods, 1993-2004)
Dr. Raj Pannu (New Democrat MLA Edmonton-Strathcona, 1997-present)
Ellen Shoeck (Author of I was there, an alumni history of the University of Alberta)
Alex Khan (President, Malmo Plains Community League)
Dr. Don Carmichael (University of Alberta Political Science Professor)

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

edmonton election 2007: a race in ward 3.

With the retirement of two-term Councillor Janice Melnychuk, the open seat in Ward 3 has captured the imagination of a couple interesting candidates (though not the floodgate of 15 candidates vying for the vacant seat in Ward 4).

Contenders for Ward 3 include social activist and Friends of Medicare head Harvey Voogd and businessperson Tony Caterina. You might remember both of them from previous races such as Voodg’s 2001 adventure with the New Democrats in Edmonton-Norwood and as a candidates for the short-lived elected Capital Health Board. Tony Caterina’s previous adventures include time as Ward 3’s third place candidate in 2004 and the Alberta Alliance in provincial constituency of Edmonton-Centre in the same year. I’m sure both Voogd and Caterina are hoping that the ‘third time’s a charm.’

It should be a close fight between Voogd and Caterina for the vacant seat, but with Voogd as the natural candidate for the northeast’s Liberal and New Democrat voters, I’m predicting Voogd has the edge over Caterina.

Incumbent Councillor Ed Gibbons will most likely be safely re-elected. Even though Ed Gibbons hasn’t been the most effective voice on City Council, his long-time involvement in Ward 3 has bolstered his name recognition in Edmonton’s northeast. Gibbons is the former President of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and served one-term as the Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Manning from 1997 to 2001.

Ward 3 has elected a number of luminaries in the past, including former Mayoral candidate Robert Noce, current leader of the New Democrats Brian Mason, and former Edmonton-East Federal Liberal MP Judy Bethel.

2007 Candidates
Kyle Balombin
Tony Caterina
Ed Gibbons*
Shiu Wing Mak
Chris Martin
Chris Roehrs
Thomas James Tomilson
Harvey Voogd

2004 Election Results
Janice Melnychuk – 21,020
Ed Gibbons – 17,524
Tony Caterina – 9,416
Joan Duiker – 5,978
Kyle Balombin – 3,334

Facebook Count
Tony Caterina for Ward 3 – 48 members
Chris Martin for Edmonton City Council – Ward 3 – 118 members

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

edmonton election 2007: the race for ward 2.

There is a pretty straightforward race in northwest Edmonton’s Ward 2.

Ron “ten-terms isn’t enough” Hayter is seeking his eleventh-term on Council. This is unfortunate, because Edmontonians would do well to rid themselves of the dead weight of having Hayter in the Council Chambers (I’m sure he was an effective City Councillor when he was first elected in 1971).

Hayter’s ward-mate, Kim Krushell, shouldn’t have much of a problem getting a second-term representing Ward 2. First elected in 2004, Krushell was EA to former Ward 5 Councillor Larry Langley before running in Ward 2. Though I have some reservations about Krushell’s cutthroat networking style, she has been a fairly effective advocate on City Council (her spearheading of the Universal Bus Pass for University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College students on City Council was a particularly bright spot).

Both Hayter and Krushell are facing some interesting challengers though. Dave Loken and Jabin Caouette, who both ran in 2004, have come off as more tight and together with their ideas and presentation than they did three years ago. Unfortunately for first-time challenger Shelley Tupper, crying during her speech at the first Ward 2 forum has set an unfortunate tone for her chances on October 15.

Dave Loken will have a good chance in 2010 if and when either a) Hayter FINALLY retires for good in 2010 (don’t bet on it), or b) Krushell take a run for the Mayor’s chair in 2010.

2007 Candidates
Jabin Caouette
Ron Hayter*
Kerry Hutton
Kim Krushell*
Dave Loken
Shelley Tupper

2004 election results
Ron Hayter – 18,386
Kim Krushell – 12,966
Dave Loken – 7,512
Don Koziak – 7,289
Tim Hajar – 4,542
Mimi Williams – 3,978
Kerry Hutton – 1,820
Larry Thomson – 1,629
Jabin Caouette – 1,526

Facebook Count
Re-Elect Kim Krushell: 56 members

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Alberta Royalty Review polls

edmonton mayoral election poll.

Here are the results from the recent daveberta election poll. Not surprisingly, Stephen Mandel crushed.

Dustin Becker – 1 (1%)
Dave Dowling – 4 (5%)
Khaled Kheireddine – 0 (0%)
Don Koziak – 18 (22%)
George Lam – 1 (1%)
Peter T. Lefaivre – 1 (1%)
Robert Ligertwood – 1 (1%)
Stephen Mandel – 46 (57%)
Bill Whatcott – 8 (10%)

Votes so far: 80
Poll closed

A new poll is now up asking readers their thoughts on the ‘Our Fair Share’ royalty review report and Alberta’s natural resource royalty rates…

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

edmonton election 2007: ward 1.

With four candidates, including two incumbents, running in the October 15 election, the 2007 Ward 1 race is a little quieter than the 2004 race.

In 2004, a vacant seat left by Mayoral candidate Stephen Mandel was hotly contested between former Liberal MLA Linda Sloan (MLA for Edmonton-Riverview from 1997 to 2001) and Karen Lynch (who is now rumoured to be running for the Tory nomination in Edmonton-Calder). Sloan ended up besting Lynch by just over 1,000 votes.

Sloan joined fellow former Liberal MLA Karen Leibovici in representing Ward 1. Leibovici was first elected in a landslide in 2001 after being defeated in the 2001 provincial election. Leibovici served as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark from 1993 to 2001.

In my opinion, both Sloan and Leibovici have done a decent job in representing Ward 1 and have solid records on Council.

My one issue with Councillor Leibovici was her bizarre attempt in Fall 2006 to derail the Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) project. Leibovici joined right-wing Ward 5 Councillor Mike Nickel in attempting to remove the U-Pass project funds from the City of Edmonton Budget.

She justified her support of the Nickel motion because she was already paying for her son’s tuition, his car, and his parking. I’m sure if all of the +60,000 students who are benefiting from the U-Pass lived in Ward 1, Mr. Leibovici would have some explaining to do.

The Nickel/Leibovici motion was defeated in a solid 11-2 vote.

Challengers Andrew Knack and Betty Kennedy have uphill battles against them if they are to unseat these two well-known and politically savvy incumbents. Knack has some interesting ideas and I encourage you to check them out.

2007 Candidates
Betty Kennedy
Andrew Knack
Karen Leibovici*
Linda Sloan*

Facebook Count
Elect Betty Kennedy for Ward 1 City Council – 84 members
Andrew Knack for Edmonton City Council Ward 1 – 202 members
Re-Elect Karen Leibovici for Ward 1 – 84 members

2004 Election Results
Karen Leibovici – 23,793
Linda Sloan – 12,353
Karen Lynch – 10,909
Charlene Davis – 6,888
Terry Demers – 3,306
Joe Hudson – 3,046
Samir Ghossein – 1,534
Rory Koopmans – 1,332
Trent Soholt – 1,149

You can listen to Ward 1 candidate comments from public forums here.

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election

time to talk amalgamation?

I have another post up on the CBC Edmonton Votes 2007 blog this morning.

Also on the CBC site, you can listen to audio clips of your council candidates from local forums.