Edmonton Votes 2017: Transit woes and hopes are key issues for Ward 2
Several challengers seek to replace incumbent Coun. Bev Esslinger in the Ward 2 race
Edmonton's Ward 2 encompasses the northwestern-most corner of the city, stretching from Kingsway Mall in the southeast over to St. Albert/Mark Messier Trail, and up to the north leg of the Henday.
Transit will be a key election issue. Ward 2 has a troubled, yet optimistic, relationship with LRT. Delays and signalling issues plagued the Metro Line LRT, which is still not running as intended.
Mayor Don Iveson has admitted the troubles have cast some doubt on the city's management.
"I don't think we have a huge public-relations challenge here with desire to use the system," Iveson said. "I think people's confidence is more in question about the city's ability to manage projects. And I don't think council is done asking tough questions about that."
Meanwhile, a renewed battle is brewing over the extension of the line into the northwest to Blatchford. Two of the three candidates running for the seat say the northwest LRT expansion will be a top priority for them as councillor.
2016 municipal census statistics
Eligible voters: 53,404
Owns home: 46.2%
Rents home: 33%
Lived in home five years or more: 34%
Mainly drives to work: 74%
Takes transit to work: 11.3%
Main language other than English: Arabic and Tagalog (each 2.6%)
Income under $30,000: 9.2%
Income $60,000 to $100,000: 12%
Children in preschool: 4.1%
Children from kindergarten to Grade 6: 5.4%
Neighbourhoods: Prince Charles, Inglewood, Woodcroft, Prince Rupert, Sherbrooke, Dovercourt, Athlone, Calder, Lauderdale, Rosslyn, Kensington, Wellington, Griesbach, Carlisle, Baranow, Caernarvon, Pembia, Hudson, Cumberland, Carlton, Blatchford
Three candidates: Bev Esslinger (incumbent), Ali Haymour, Shelly Tupper
CBC Edmonton's candidate survey responses:
Bev Esslinger, 59, has lived in Edmonton for 36 years
Family: married with two children, two grandchildren
Credentials: pursuing a master's degree in leadership
Top issues: public and transit safety; continue to develop gender-based violence prevention; build northwest LRT and northwest seniors centre.
City's biggest challenge: growth — balancing new infrastructure such as roads, fire halls, recreation centres within a limited budget. And more housing.
Ali Haymour - No response
Shelly Tupper, 57,has lived in Edmonton for 39 years
Credentials: retired federal government employee, NAIT accounting grad
Top issues: city should be conservative with property taxes; maintain character of mature neighbourhoods; safer, more reliable transit
City's biggest challenge: city growth and the role of infill
Ward 2 issues:
With files from the CBC's Natasha Riebe