Ward councillor candidates address questions Discover ward candidates’ stance on key issues

On Oct. 16, Edmontonians will vote for a mayor and ward councillors. The RCP distribution area covers Wards 2 and 7 and voters have many candidates from which to choose.

Check out each candidate’s response to key questions. Answers have been summarized.

What do you feel is the biggest issue in this election?

Ward 7 candidate answers

Matthew Kleywegt: Citizen engagement.

Matthew Kleywegt. | FO Photography

Tony Caterina: Everyone has different priorities, but will continue to focus on quality of life for ward residents.

Tony Caterina. | Supplied

Liz John-West: Voter turnout. Over 50 per cent of the ward neighbourhoods have a 25 per cent or less voter turnout.

Liz John-West. | Erin Walker

Andrzej Gudanowski: There is no one biggest issue. Everyone has their own priorities.

Andrzej Gudanowski. | Supplied

Mimi Williams: Traffic safety, the future of Northlands, and anger over financing of downtown arena.

Mimi Williams. | Supplied

Kris Andreychuk: Representation. Ensuring ward residents have a voice on city council.

Kris Andreychuk. | Arda Ozum

Ward 2 candidate answers

Bev Esslinger: Growing responsibly, meeting citizen needs, improving infrastructure, increasing safety, working with communities to develop appropriate assets, and working on homelessness issues.

Bev Esslinger. | Supplied

Shelley Tupper: Infill housing.

Shelley Tupper. | Supplied

Why should people vote for you?

Ward 7 candidate answers

Matthew Kleywegt: The depth of his lived experience and the ability to relate to people from many backgrounds and experiences.

 

Tony Caterina: A record of getting things done in the ward. Has highlighted ward needs and brought positive change.

Liz John-West: Thirty years of community work in the areas of homelessness, addiction, and domestic violence issues and 27 years of living in the ward. Community engagement is important to her. She’s finishing a master’s in community development.

Andrzej Gudanowski: The challenge of being a leader, advising, and helping people. Will fight for people’s rights.

Mimi Williams: Thoroughly understands the way the city operates due to political science and municipal government educational background, years of covering city hall as a freelance journalist, and 30 years of volunteering for community causes.

Kris Andreychuk: Raising a family in the community and committed to Ward 7. Has worked and volunteered in the ward and understands ward issues, problems, and possibilities.

Ward 2 candidate answers

Bev Esslinger: Experienced, passionate, and a leader. A ward advocate who gets things done. Worked on securing funding to make Yellowhead a freeway and working on a NW LRT, a new seniors centre, space for cultural groups, and meeting recreational needs.  

Shelley Tupper: Dedicated, hard working, informed, open-minded, and a good decision-maker. Experience working on community initiatives like Front Yards in Bloom and Capital City Clean Up. A Ward 2 resident for over 30 years.

What is your vision for Northlands?

Ward 7 candidate answers

Matthew Kleywegt: Take the land back, keeping what works and turning the remainder into housing. Amalgamate the convention centre and the Shaw Conference Centre under the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation. Keep the urban farm and turn remainder into a walkable residential/commercial community. Subsidize some units in every building and make at least one building an assisted-living facility. Turn Rexall into a community building.

Tony Caterina: Don’t let the land sit idle. It’s an opportunity to develop the land and create well-planned housing, retail, and commercial developments.

Liz John-West: Continue agricultural aspect and combine the Edmonton EXPO Centre and Shaw Conference Centre under one umbrella. Resident ideas for the Coliseum range from a recreation facility to ice rinks to concert venues. Ideally keep Northlands accessible to all.

 

Andrzej Gudanowski: Present projects and embrace patronage of gardens like Muttart Conservatory as well as festivals and naturalized pools. Use the Coliseum or affordably build a forum for community leaders and community members to interact and resolve different issues.

Mimi Williams: Northlands holds a lease on the property until 2034, with a clause allowing them to extend the lease to 2049, so it’s difficult to frame the discussion, but Northlands employs over 700 people.

Boutique hotels and restaurants could capitalize on conference centre events. High-rise development would be great north of 118 Ave, while south of 118 Ave and north of 112 Ave could be returned to residential and pedestrian-friendly streets leading to Borden Park.  Increase involvement of surrounding communities in the conversation.

Kris Andreychuk: With the existing connection to transit, Borden Park, and the river valley, this could be the most exciting development in our city. There’s nothing but promise here. Done correctly, Northlands could create a positive domino effect and widespread revitalization

Ward 2 candidate answers

Bev Esslinger: Create a vibrant, useful site reflecting community feedback. Hopefully the organization will evolve into an agriculture and foods-focused organization.

Shelley Tupper: Redevelop the Coliseum into a Hockey Canada Centre for Excellence and delay redeveloping the whole area. Support Shaw Conference Centre and the Edmonton EXPO Centre working together.

How would you approach development in the ward?

Ward 7 candidate answers

Matthew Kleywegt: Infill isn’t easy; work with developers to get desired developments for communities while still allowing them to make a profit. Make the middle ground possible.

Tony Caterina: Pleased with the increased development and investment and better access to valued amenities. The development and investment shows the increased desirability of the ward.

Liz John-West: Increase community engagement and encourage a public dialogue or even hold a plebiscite on contentious issues like infill housing.

Andrzej Gudanowski: Help grow businesses and bring in investors. Create a five-year housing program. Everyone should be able to own their own home. Perhaps introduce tiny homes.

Together with other councillors, create the first street commercial passage in Edmonton and open new post offices, banks, neighborhood police stations, and night emergency clinics.

Mimi Williams: Complete partially-finished neighbourhoods. Increase density, but with options like row housing or townhouses. Prompt developers to think creatively with multi-unit development. Encourage multi-generational communities, where people can age in place.  

Ensure every multi-unit development permit issued has a percentage of units set aside for affordable housing.

Kris Andreychuk: Attract and retain new businesses, especially small businesses. Ward 7 has over 200 per cent more vacant land than average. Encourage building and preserving quality, unique, and historical homes. Build structures that add to the neighbourhood.

Ward 2 candidate answers

Bev Esslinger: Support a growing city with housing needs, but carefully develop mature neighbourhoods while creating growth opportunities. The city’s made positive progress in reducing impacts on nearby homes and providing community support. Continued work is needed until we have it right.  

Shelley Tupper: Ward residents have suggested a moratorium to ensure neighbourhood character is maintained; others have said there’s little incentive to maintain or improve a property when a developer will bulldoze it to build skinny houses.

What is your stance on reducing crime?

Ward 7 candidate answers

Matthew Kleywegt: Support stronger communities where neighbours watch out for one another. Provide services like managed drug and alcohol programs to reduce theft-related crimes because those struggling with addictions sometimes steal to support their habit. Encourage more communication with police in communities and support an enhanced program for school resource officers.

Tony Caterina: Considers crime reduction important. Provided support for increased or better community-based policing, transit security, enforcement, as well as strategies for addressing derelict and problem properties.

Liz John-West: Reduce crime through prevention and strong communities. Reinstate neighbourhood police stations and help those wishing to live a non-criminal lifestyle. Use initiatives like Abundant Community to create safe, inclusive communities. Encourage property upkeep; it helps increase community morale.

Andrzej Gudanowski: Create community centres providing free universal access to a psychologist. Justice must be fair and honest. If someone is charged with a crime, ensure fair treatment and open access to defense lawyers.

Mimi Williams: Address the root causes of crime before it happens. Provide youth with educational or training opportunities and lobby all government levels to adequately fund welfare programs with educational programming. Support social service agencies working with marginalized communities to identify and help people before they resort to criminal activity.  

Encourage neighbours to know each other and be vigilant. Practice crime prevention through environmental design or through increased police patrols when needed.

Kris Andreychuk: Has extensive experience in crime prevention and community safety in the ward. Currently works as the city’s supervisor of community safety. Was previously a social worker with EPS and community partners.

Very familiar with the crime issues the ward faces and he would start with problem properties.

Ward 2 candidate answers

Bev Esslinger: Reducing crime and increasing safety in neighbourhoods, public spaces, and on roads is a huge priority. Will promote and support awareness, education, and enforcement. Will continue to focus on increasing traffic and transit safety. Created and will continue work on the Gender Based Violence Prevention initiative, which focuses on domestic violence and sexual assault.

Shelley Tupper: Have been involved in crime prevention for 22 years by supporting organizations like Edmonton Neighbourhood Watch, Neighbourhood Empowerment Teams, Edmonton Community Patrols, Capital City Clean Up, and Front Yards in Bloom. Knowing your neighbourhoods and neighbours is great crime prevention, along with keeping neighbourhoods upkept and clean.

Editor’s note: Ward 2 candidate Ali Haymour was not able to respond in time for publication. For more information about his platform, visit www.vote4haymour.ca.


EDMONTON MUNICIPAL ELECTION

Oct. 16, 9 am-8 pm

edmonton.ca/election


Featured Image: This Oct. 16 election has plenty of ward candidates. | City of Edmonton

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