Edmonton Electoral District Profile: O-day’min

EDMONTON –

The O-day’min neighborhood is the north-central district of Edmonton, encompassing the communities along the north edge of the North Saskatchewan River, downtown and McCauley, as well as the developing neighborhood of Blatchford.

The new district consists of a territory further north than before and less to the west; it now ends in Westmount at its westernmost limit.

Previously, residents of the O-day’min ward were reportedly represented by councilors in ward 6 and ward 2: Scott McKeen and Bev Esslinger, respectively. The district is without real holder because McKeen does not run again and Esslinger seeks to be re-elected in the district Anirniq.

O-day’min is pronounced Oh-DAY-min. O-day’min is an Anishinaabe word meaning strawberry or “berry of the heart”. It was chosen for a name because the neighborhood represents the center, or heart, of the capital of Alberta.

Here’s a look at the candidates running in O-day’min.

Gino Akbari hopes to bring to Edmonton City Hall his experience in training troops in cultural sensitivity, negotiation and consensus building. This is one of the two reasons he says he let himself be persuaded to present himself as an advisor.

“We’ve lost this ability to sit down and disagree with each other and then be courteous to each other,” he told CTV News Edmonton.

The second reason was an old personal childhood reality in Pakistan: poverty.

Akbari’s platform prioritizes permanent housing solutions, starting by streamlining the approval process for affordable housing projects and advocating for provincial and federal collaboration.

“We can do it if we get everyone together to work on it – the council, the provincial government, the federal government… I think we can absolutely fix it. “

Former small business owner, performance artist and resident of Riverdale, Akbari’s platform also includes points on economic recovery, a vibrant arts scene, and community safety.

Anne Stevenson studied to become a city planner while living in other parts of Canada, West Africa and the UK, before returning to her hometown in 2012 for a role within the City of Edmonton . She worked there in the area of ​​town planning and zoning bylaw until 2019, when she joined the staff of the Right at Home Housing Society, where she served on the board of directors.

“I love cities – that’s why I became a city planner. But I didn’t think it would be the year,” Stevenson, a new mom, said of her candidacy for the councilor position.

“It felt like there was a great opportunity to bring my knowledge and experience. As the pandemic comes out of the pandemic, we’re going to need very clear and decisive action and decision-making from the board. , and that’s something I’m really in a good position to do. “

She says the city needs to grow efficiently by investing in central neighborhoods and wants every Edmontonian to feel at home.

Stevenson described the Edmonton she wants to help create as fair, efficient, inclusive and resilient.

Outgoing Mayor Don Iveson endorsed Stevenson in late September, saying his “professional leadership in providing affordable housing and his expertise in urban planning is so relevant to representing the heart of Edmonton.”

Naima Haile came to Canada in the 1990s as a refugee and eventually found a career helping other refugees settle into their new homes. In Edmonton, where she has lived for a decade, Haile works in the MacDougall and McCauley neighborhoods to teach families about healthy lifestyles.

“I was scared,” she laughed, “because in Edmonton there has never been a black Muslim woman elected as a city councilor… I didn’t know how, where or what that meant. to present himself to the municipal council.

She shows up to increase representation at Town Hall and make the change she wants as a member of the community.

“We sit with them [the city] in our spare time, we give them our expertise, then they publish a report and then it is rushed. Nothing happens after you write a report, ”Haile said.

“If we are not at the table, our voices are silent. “

She advocates for supervised consumption sites, harm reduction strategies, affordable housing and decent wages.

“I’ve always been happy to be a background advisor,” says Gabrielle Battiste, lawyer and consultant, “but we’re at a critical juncture in Edmonton with crime at an all-time high, with our economy in need of improvement. given a massive boost and small businesses are suffering after the pandemic. “

As an advisor, Battiste says her priorities would be to create a culture of “yes” – meaning “less administration and more facilitation for businesses and residents” – reducing crime, improving public transport and tackling the opioid crisis.

Everything would help rebuild the “ghost town” that is currently downtown Edmonton, Battiste said.

“We are the people and the company in this neighborhood who built Edmonton and who promote its economy. And we should be a destination, not a region to flee, ”she told CTV News Edmonton.

“I have picked up trash several times in Chinatown, and the amount of drug paraphernalia, needles, human excrement, and clothing littering the streets make it completely dangerous for pets and children. “

“With me, what you see is what you get,” promises Joshua Wolchansky. “I’m going to be someone who shows up, someone who is approachable and who wants to take care of my quarters.”

An employee of the Alberta public service, he feels like he trained to be a city councilor for some time. More recently, its role has been in the field of environmental protection. Previously, he worked in economic development and international relations.

“What I bring is the ability to wear different hats and bring people together,” Wolchanksy says.

He says his top priorities as a councilor would be to tackle the social and housing crisis and to reinvigorate downtown Edmonton.

“We are currently seeing candidates who are either single subject or single path. The next council will have the capacity to show empathy, compassion and courage in the face of our social and housing crisis. “

He also believes the city needs to take action on sustainability, prevent brain drain and invest in neighborhoods.

Tony Caterina represents what comes closest to an incumbent Ward O-day’min. His 2021 campaign is for a fifth term on Edmonton City Council.

“If people don’t know me, I’m surprised,” Caterina said.

He sees a role for himself in guiding the next Edmonton council through aftershocks of the pandemic and helping shorten the learning curve for newbies.

“I feel obligated; i can’t stop at this point now. The city needs this experience and this efficiency. “

However, Caterina is technically not the outgoing candidate. He has just completed a term as Ward 7 councilor in east Edmonton, which has been split almost in half between the new Métis neighborhoods and Tastawiyiniwak.

He said he had decided to run for office in O-day’min – a central area where the Council. Scott McKeen will no longer run, because he is the face of the capital of Alberta and therefore the most important to get back on track.

If elected, he said he would also prioritize faster progress on Blatchford.

Of her previous work as a councilor, Caterina was most proud of her contribution to Edmonton’s neighborhood and laneway renovation programs and the conversion of Yellowhead through the Building Canada plan.

He also said he was not surprised to see Iveson lend his support to another O-day’min candidate, noting that the incumbent mayor was never his supporter. “I’m glad I didn’t get her approval because if it were offered, I wouldn’t accept it.”

MOHAMMED MIGDADDY

Mohammed Migdaddy moved to Edmonton as a recent Canadian immigrant and recertified pharmacist. Her children, now thriving teenagers, were born at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and raised in Little Italy.

One of his pharmacies is located downtown and has given him a good understanding of people and their concerns.

“I know how they feel, what is wrong with them, what the city can improve in my area,” he told CTV News Edmonton.

“I go with these people. My children, they go with these people.”

Migdaddy believes Edmonton needs to focus more on supporting local businesses, much of which he says he saw during the pandemic. An economic stimulus package should include either subsidies for businesses or tax breaks, he told CTV News Edmonton.

He also said he would support the continued expansion of Edmonton’s transit system, affordable housing and the coming together of O-day’min’s diverse communities.

Adrian Bruff ran one of the longest counseling campaigns in 2021. He decided two years ago to run and started door-to-door in 2020.

“It’s long,” he admitted. But he says it paid off.

“During that period – 13 months – of the 13 communities in my riding, we knocked on the door of every house three times.

Its two-pronged plan to tackle homelessness suggests that the number of Edmontonians living on streets and in parks could be reduced by 80% by 2026: the first step is to convert existing infrastructure into spaces of well-being with comprehensive services; the second is to transform unused houses into assisted living units.

The plan is part of its larger Security Platform, which also proposes to halve the automatic increase in the police budget, invest in other community services such as crisis diversion teams and partner with stakeholders to redevelop abandoned properties.

On Economic Recovery: As an advisor, Bruff says he would use the provincial and federal relationships he established over 10 years of social work to bring in $ 5 million in grants to small businesses during the Fourth wave COVID-19, propose a freeze on commercial rents, and help local contractors move into vacant commercial spaces at a lower price.

Adil Pirbhai did not respond to CTV News Edmonton’s interview request.

The Kenyan-born candidate appears to have run in several previous municipal elections and ran as an independent candidate in the 2019 federal election.

His website says it’s “time for real change”. There, he promises to protect Edmonton’s best features and stand up for all residents, suggesting that the provincial government prioritize the concerns of special interest groups.

This information will be updated if it becomes available.

IBRAHIM WADO

CTV News Edmonton could not find contact or campaign information for Ibrahim Wado.

This information will be updated if it becomes available.


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