Growing up here when Alberta was a have-not province, Gordon Ward never imagined Edmonton would become the prosperous and dynamic capital city it is today.
What worries him now is how the city is managing the explosive growth that’s happening.
“As I watch Alberta enter into a new age of prosperity, the executive management of the city has begun a process of mortgaging our grandchildren into debt.”
It doesn’t make sense to elect the same people
A 52-year-old father of three, Ward believes his experience in engineering and business, as well as medical research, make him an ideal candidate to be Edmonton’s mayor. He thinks it’s time for a new approach.
“It doesn’t make sense to elect the same people that have been digging the holes we live in. I think it’s time to fill the potholes and start with doing something new.”
Ward is currently working in the medical field as a hyperbaric specialist. He offers pioneering oxygen chamber treatment for patients with severe conditions like brain injuries.
But he’s so concerned Edmonton is heading in the wrong direction, he’s taking on a new challenge. “The mismanagement concerns me enough I will step away from my desk and walk into an election.”
With the city’s debt in excess of two billion dollars, Ward believes Edmonton could be headed for the same financial ruin as some hard up European countries. “Previous generations used to leave a solid and prosperous community to my generation and I’d like to do the same for the next generation.”
"The pothole money is being misdirected"
Admitting he doesn’t have all the answers, Ward is still convinced Edmonton has a strong enough tax base to fix the potholes and invest in social programs while still keeping taxes at a reasonable level. “The pothole money is being misdirected. We’re being told one thing publicly, but where is that money going?”
He’s another candidate running a campaign that he promises will be paid for entirely by himself.
And while he says many are encouraging him to “litter the city with signs,” he won’t be using any campaign signs during his run for mayor.
Ward says a colleague told him that signs aren’t everything and many election losers use them. Instead he’s hoping to meet potential voters on the street, the bus or the LRT. He’ll also try to connect with people in Edmonton restaurants and bars.
His big hope is people will give his vision a chance. “Ultimately it boils down to Einstein’s definition of insanity. That would be doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
CBC News has contacted the sixth mayoral candidate, Kristine Acielo, for a profile but has not yet been able to schedule an interview.