A fifth candidate has joined Edmonton’s sleepy Mayoral contest. David Dorward, a chartered accountant and driver behind the GO Community Centre in south Edmonton announced his candidacy yesterday. Mr. Dorward’s speaking notes were vacant of policy positions or what he actually wants to accomplish if elected Mayor. The only issue he appears to have a position on is his support of the Envision Edmonton petition to stop the redevelopment of the City Centre Airport lands.
Mr. Dorward’s supporters include Cal Nichols, the Chairman of the Alberta Enterprise Group and pro-airport advocate. His media release lists Paul Edwards-Shand as his media contact. Mr. Edwards-Shand is the former assistant to former Conservative Edmonton-Strathcona MP Rahim Jaffer.
In 2008, Mr. Dorward ran as the PC candidate in Edmonton-Gold Bar, placing over 1,000 votes behind Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald.
Incumbent Mayor Stephen Mandel is also being challenged by declared candidates Daryl Bonar, Don Koziak, and Daniel Dromarsky.
Mr. Bonar was the first candidate to launch his Mayoral challenge and recently held a joint-media conference with Ward 6 Councillor candidate Cris Basualdo and Ward 8 candidate Lori Jeffery-Heaney announcing their intentions to “fight back” against City Hall. Mr. Koziak, a hotelier and second time Mayoral candidate, launched his campaign by taking a bizarre stand against LRT expansion and for more freeway construction. Both candidates also oppose the redevelopment of the City Centre Airport lands.
Six years ago, Mayor Mandel’s election was considered a breath of fresh air after nine stodgy years under cheerleader Mayor Bill Smith. For all his faults, I believe that Mayor Mandel has done a decent job over the past six years.
With only a month until Election Day, it is difficult to imagine any of these candidates mounting a serious challenge against Mayor Mandel. As the election period official begins on September 20, I hope that these candidates will at least take the time to expand on their vision for our City beyond the single-issue of the City Centre Airport.