While a great deal of attention is being focused on Monday’s municipal election in Edmonton, voters in another northern Alberta city will also be heading to the polls that day.
Melissa Blake, the mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, will be seeking re-election for her fourth straight term on Monday.
“We have an incredible future and I want to be there to make sure we're on the right path,” she said.
If elected, Blake would like to see all projects on the current council’s slate come to fruition, including a 7000-seat arena, more downtown revitalization and the addition of pedestrian bridge over the Snye River.
It is this final item on the agenda that is causing some controversy.
The bridge in question comes with a $77 million price tag – a cost one of her competitors calls ‘absurd.’
"The city is not doing it's due diligence," said mayoral hopeful Gene Ouellette, who thinks the money would be better spent on non-profit groups, transportation improvements and long-term care.
Jim Rogers, who is also in the running for mayor, said the city should be exploring less costly options to connect MacDonald Island – the site of the 2015 Western Canada Games – with the rest of the city.