DISTRICT: EDMONTON-CASTLE DOWNS
|Updated: Mar. 4, 2008 12:02 MST
||89 of 89 polls reporting
EDMONTON-CASTLE DOWNS (27)
Current MLA: Thomas Lukaszuk (PC)
This northwest Edmonton riding is bordered by the city limits to the
north and west, by 97th and 113A Streets to the east and by 153rd and
137th Avenues to the south. The riding's boundaries were unchanged by
this year's redistribution.
This is a diverse riding, where more than eight per cent of residents
are Muslim and a similar percentage of people are of Chinese origin.
About 56 per cent of the population was born in Alberta. Household incomes,
at $63,029, are just under the provincial average, while 14.1 per cent
of residents are considered low income, which is above the provincial
average. Retail is the biggest employer, followed by health care and social services.
This riding has been represented by a series of single-term MLAs — both
Liberal and Conservative — since it was created in 1993. And after the 2004 elections, the residents of Edmonton-Castle Downs were left without an MLA for two months after Liberal Chris Kibermanis and incumbent Conservative Thomas Lukaszuk were separated by the slimmest of margins: three votes.
On election night, Kibermanis was declared the winner by five votes. A manual recount later dropped that figure down to three ballots. Lukaszuk then filed for a judicial recount, which was granted and confirmed Kibermanis as the winner. Lukaszuk then appealed the court decision — the first time a provincial election result was ever taken to the Court of Appeal. Kibermanis waited as the legal matter proceeded and was not sworn into the legislature with his colleagues.
It all came down to the stroke of a pen. After reviewing a number of ballots from the Nov. 22 election, the Court of Appeal decided that some ballots which were marked with scribbles, asterisks or circles — instead of the traditional "X" — should be accepted as clear signs of the voters' intentions. The ruling changed the count and put incumbent Lukaszuk back in his post as MLA. Kibermanis vowed to run again in the next election.
Lukaszuk first took office in 2001 with a much more decisive win of 1,500 votes over Liberal Boris Yaremko.
Lukaszuk's predecessor, Liberal Pamela Paul, slipped past the PC's Ihor
Broda by 83 votes in 1997. In 1993, Liberal Sine Chadhi defeated Tory
John Belzerowski by just over 3,000 votes.
In 2004, voter turnout was 41.3 per cent.
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