Former Sun columnist running in city election

The former Edmonton Sun columnist who is suing the newspaper for $2.28 million is now turning his attention to politics.
Former Edmonton Sun columnist Kerry Diotte speaks to reporters Monday at the launch of his campaign for city council. ((CBC))
A former Edmonton Sun columnist who is suing the newspaper for $2.28 million is turning his attention to politics.

Kerry Diotte announced Monday he is running as Ward 11 councillor in the Oct. 18 municipal election.

Diotte, who is suing the Sun after a dispute with management, said his experience as a journalist will help him serve the residents of the ward.

"I think I've built up a fairly good reputation as a journalist," Diotte said. "I'm pretty straightforward. I say what I think. I am a fighter.

"I've listened to people as a journalist and [I] have gotten a lot of feedback from the public."

Diotte held his campaign kickoff near a pothole in a back alley. He said core city services, such as road repair and snow clearing, are issues on the minds of many Edmontonians.

"If you talk to any Edmontonian you'll find that one of the key things that they talk about all the time is 'Why doesn't the city fix potholes? Why don't they plow the streets properly?'" Diotte said.

"We also need better transit, well-used parks and good recreational facilities."

Reducing crime in the city, is also one of Diotte's top issues.

"People are very fearful of crime…we've had a lot of really ugly incidents lately," Diotte said.

Diotte became the Sun's bureau chief at the Alberta Legislature in January 2009 after the newspaper moved him from his position as city columnist.

Diotte said he was demoted from bureau chief to general assignment in October 2009 in a dispute with his editor-in-chief. He left the newspaper shortly afterwards.

In his lawsuit, he is asking his former employer to compensate him for lost wages and benefits as well as medical costs for the chronic depression he says was triggered by the demotion.

The case is before the courts.