Good news and bad news in Edmonton's new ward system

The next civic election probably isn’t top of mind for you, but youmight want to start thinking about it. This one is going to be verydifferent.

 

The next civic election probably isn’t top of mind for you, but you might want to start thinking about it. This one is going to be very different.

 

In this October’s election, there will be 12 new wards with only one councillor per ward to be elected.

 

Assuming you were one of the few people who actually voted in the last civic election, you were given the opportunity to make two choices for city councillor. Now, you’re going to have to pick a single candidate. One or more of those names may be familiar to you depending upon where the incumbent councillors choose to run.

 

This new ward system is a bit of both good news and bad news.


If you’re a potential candidate, it’s going to be a whole lot easier to go from door to door. As someone who ran for council in the old Ward 4, I know first hand how hard it is to canvas an area with a population about equal to that of PEI. Serving a ward that big is also no easy task.


The old Ward 4 stretched from Glenora, through the downtown and into the east side. This resulted in trying to serve a range of people with very different needs and issues. In my opinion, the east end of the ward usually got the short end of the stick.


I hope this next part isn’t going to be too confusing for you.


As is the case with all the other wards, parts of the old Ward 4 and the old Ward 6 are now in Ward 8. Though it’s unlikely, that means there could be two councillors from the old Ward 6 and two councillors from the old Ward 4 running for election in Ward 8. Picking from them and a likely host of newcomers isn’t going to be easy. Few of us pay much attention to the activities of our own ward councillors and even fewer of us pay attention to those in other wards.


If you vote in civic elections, you should go to the city’s website and look at the new ward boundaries. After you’ve done that, you might want to think about common issues in your ward. At some point, the current councillors will announce where they’re going to run. When they do, you should ask yourself if you want one of them to actually represent you.

 
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