Meet Edmonton's mayoral candidates for 2021 civic election
CBC Edmonton is tracking the new mayoral candidates as they file their nomination papers
Cheryll Watson was the first person to announce her run for mayor in the upcoming civic election this fall.
Even though Watson has no political experience, she said the council is ready for some external perspective.
Watson has worked more than 20 years with mostly technology and innovation organizations, including four years as vice-president of Innovate Edmonton, a division of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
She co-founded the Alberta Innovation Corridor partnership and was a member of the Business Council of Alberta's advisory board for the tech, innovation and telecom sector, providing policy recommendations to the premier's office.
Current Edmonton city councillor Mike Nickel has once again thrown his hat in the rink for the mayoral race.
He said Edmontonians have been asking him to run for the past year-and-a-half. After talking to his wife, he decided to do so.
Nickel has been a councillor three times. He was first elected in 2004 in Ward 5 but lost the councillor's seat in 2007 to Don Iveson. In 2013, Nickel was elected as the councillor for Ward 11, where he was re-elected in 2017.
Nickel has also run for mayor twice before, in 1998 and 2001, defeated both times by Bill Smith.
At city council, Nickel has developed a reputation for opposing tax increases and any regulation that he believes opposes businesses.
Former Edmonton city councillor Kim Krushell announced her decision to run for mayor on Jan. 27 in front of Edmonton City Hall.
Krushell was a councillor for Ward 2 for three consecutive terms before stepping down in 2013 to spend more time with her family.
Krushell was involved in the decision to shut down the Edmonton City Centre airport, now the community of Blatchford, in 2010.
She also created Edmonton's NextGen, a task force created to conduct public consultations on arts and culture, business opportunities, sports and education in the city. The task force is still active today, led by Coun. Andrew Knack.
Brian (Breezy) Gregg
Edmonton musician Brian Gregg is seeking the mayor's chair for a second time. Gregg first campaigned for the city's top job in 1998.
On his campaign website, Gregg lists his platform priorities. A partial list: getting big money out of politics, affordable housing, free transit, free Wi-Fi, promoting "unionization of all essential workers" and strengthening library services.
Gregg also advocates freezing the police budget and investing in alternative strategies to reduce crime and deal with problems arising from addictions and mental health.
Diana Steele is president of the Crestwood Community League. She has been a community volunteer since her teen years, she says on her website. Steele says she has run three small businesses and has taught business courses at NorQuest College.
Her platform priorities include a review of the property tax system "to determine if it is transparent, structured properly, and fair." She also advocates supporting local business, working to end homelessness, and stronger partnerships with community leagues.
Michael Oshry represented Ward 5 on city council from 2013 until 2017. An entrepreneur, he founded FIRMA Foreign Exchange and more recently Blue Pen Capital, which finances small and medium-sized builders, mostly with infill projects.
Oshry sits on the board of the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation and mentors small business owners through a U of A initiative.
In a statement on social media Feb. 11, Oshry said he had filed his paperwork and would next start "putting together the structure" of his campaign.
"This is just the beginning, but I do want to say that there is no question that our next mayor will be challenged to lead at a critical time — we have not encountered this level of uncertainty in a generation — and so many people in our city are feeling it," Oshry said.