Edmonton City Councillor Michael Janz joins the Daveberta Podcast to talk about the recent municipal election, his experiences during his first month on City Council, what he hopes to accomplish in the years ahead, and how ordinary Edmontonians can have an impact on decisions at City Hall. We also dive into provincial politics and what might lie ahead in the future for Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s 2023 election.
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One of the fun things about writing about politics is that every few years I have a chance to say nice things about friends and people I know who are running as candidates for election.
As the advance voting stations have opened this week and Edmontonians are beginning to mark their municipal election ballots, there are a few people who I want to write some nice things about.
The first is my friend Cori Longo, who is running in my City Council ward of Ward Métis.
I first met Cori ten years ago through our involvement in the labour movement and have had the privilege of co-facilitating an annual Communications for Union Activists course with her for many years since then. I learned first hand during these classes that she is probably one of the best facilitators I’ve ever worked with.
Cori’s enthusiasm and positivity is contagious and she is incredibly down to earth. She is without pretence and doesn’t carry any hint of elitism with her.
And as the mother of young kids, I think she will bring an important voice to City Council that isn’t always represented under the glass pyramids.
These traits, along with her progressive values, I believe will serve Cori well as a City Councillor.
The second person I want to write some nice things about is my friend Michael Janz, who is running for City Council in Ward Papastew.
I’ve been friends with Michael since we were students many years ago at the University of Alberta. I actually first met him when he volunteered for my campaign for Students’ Union Vice President External (I won) and we’ve been good friends ever since.
One of the things I like most about Michael is his addiction to learning. He reads more books and listens to more podcasts than anyone else I know. It’s remarkable.
Michael has also proven himself to be an enthusiastic and relentless advocate for better public education during his eleven years as a trustee on the Edmonton Public School Board. I have no doubt he will bring that same tireless work ethic to City Council if he is elected on Oct. 18.
For the Edmonton Public School Board, I am happy to support Trisha Estabrooks in her bid for re-election in Ward D. Trisha has been a strong advocate for public education and the safety of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amarjeet is one of the most sincere, humble, genuine and hardest working politicians I have ever met. He brings a wealth of real world experience with him with a resume that ranges from cab driver to bus driver to city councillor to federal cabinet minister. I think he would be an exceptional Mayor of Edmonton.
I also want to give a shout-out to Jenn Prosser, who is running for City Council in Lethbridge and DJ Kelly who is running for City Council in Calgary. If you live in their communities please consider supporting them on Election Day.
Michael Janz is filing his papers to run for Edmonton City Council in the new Ward papastew. The ward encompasses many central Edmonton neighbourhoods that lie south of the North Saskatchewan River.
The three-term public school trustee announced late last year that he would not run for re-election to the Edmonton Public School Board after 11 years, a handful which he served as board chairperson and vice president of the Alberta School Boards Association. Janz has been an outspoken advocate for fair and equitable funding for public schools and improving financial literacy in schools.
Janz was re-elected in 2017 with a landslide, earning more votes than any winning municipal candidate in Edmonton except Mayor Don Iveson.
Along with filing his papers with the municipal elections office to officially enter the race, Janz released a long list of prominent Edmontonians who are endorsing his city council campaign. The list includes Edmonton-Glenora NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman, former Liberal MLA Raj Sherman, former Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MLA Raj Pannu, former city councillors Allan Bolstad and Michael Phair, former school trustees Heather Mackenzie, Dave Colburn and Ray Martin, former Catholic school trustee John Acheson, past city council candidate Sim Senol, past school board candidate Neda Asadi, harm reduction advocate Petra Schulz, and former cabinet minister Danielle Larivee among many others.
Already in the race in papastew are Haruun Ali, Kirsten Goa, Tarcy Schindelka, and Byron Vass. Visit the Edmonton Elections page to see the full list of candidates running for Council, Mayor, and School Boards in Edmonton in the October 2021 elections.
Krushell represented northwest Edmonton’s Ward 2 from 2004 to 2013 but her city hall career began in the mid-1990s when she worked as executive assistant to Councillor Lillian Staroszik and Larry Langley. She left municipal politics in 2013, becoming President of Lending Assist.
While Krushell never ran for provincial political office, she has past ties to the now defunct Progressive Conservative Party. She was the President of the PC Party association in Edmonton-Calder in the early 2000s and later served as Edmonton regional director and budget director for the PC Party until Jason Kenney became party leader in 2017.
Another former city councillor, Michael Oshry, is also said to be assembling a mayoral campaign team, and former councillor and Member of Parliament Amarjeet Sohi is rumoured to be considering a run for mayor.
And a number of new candidates have announced their plans to run for City Council:
Gino Akbari, Gabrielle Battiste and Tony Caterina have announced their plans to run in in the central Edmonton Ward O-day’min.
Caterina is a four-term City Councillor from northeast Edmonton who is running in the new downtown Ward because his current Ward 7 is being heavily redistributed between the new Ward Metis and Ward tastawiyiniwak (ᑕᐢᑕᐃᐧᔨᓂᐊᐧᐠ).
The boundary change puts Caterina in a position where if he did not choose a brand new ward to run in, he could have either run in the north half of his current ward, facing off against Councillor Jon Dziadyk, or in the south side of his current ward, which now stretches south of the North Saskatchewan River to Bonnie Doon and King Edward Park. He previously ran in downtown as the Alberta Alliance candidate in Edmonton-Centre in the 2004 provincial election.
In Ward Metis, which includes the southern half of Caterina’s current ward, Ashley Salvador and Liz John-West have filed their nomination papers. Salvador is an urban planner and President and Chair of YEGarden Suites. John-West is the Regional Service Director for WJS Canada and was a candidate in the 2017 municipal election.
In Edmonton’s south west Ward sipiwiyiniwak, first-term Councillor Sarah Hamilton has announced her plans to seek re-election.
Recently announced candidates in Ward Papastew include student Haruun Ali (who had previously announced his candidacy in Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi), DJ and entertainment company owner Tarcy Schindelka, and Byron Vass.
Local celebrity Dan Johnstone has announced his plans to run in Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi. Johnstone, who also goes by the nickname “Can Man Dan,” previously ran for city council in Ward 10 in 2013, in Ward 12 in a 2016 by-election, and mounted a brief campaign for the Alberta Party nomination in Edmonton-South ahead of the 2019 provincial election.