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First mayoral forum sees 11 candidates discuss their platforms

Eleven out of 13 candidates show up to the first mayoral candidate forum

11 of 13 candidates showed up to Edmonton's first mayoral forum.

Kashmala Fida / Metro

11 of 13 candidates showed up to Edmonton's first mayoral forum.

As the first mayoral forum kicked off, candidates had four minutes each to introduce themselves and their platform to the public for the upcoming municipal election.

Out of 13 mayoral candidates, 11 showed up for the forum that took place on Tuesday at the Shaw Conference Centre. Candidates Henry Mak and Gordon Nikolic were not able to attend the forum.

LRT, bike lanes, photo radar, property taxes, accountability and the future of the Coliseum were common topics touched upon by candidates in their four-minute opening remarks.

Incumbent Mayor Don Iveson talked about his experience on bringing city council together.

“That’s why council was unanimous on so many complex issues from our work on ending poverty to prioritizing West LRT, from our budgets to installing bike lanes,” he said.

While candidates like Carla Frost and Bob Ligertwood told personal stories about their lives and their mothers, others like Ron Cousineau, Steve Shewchuck and Justin Thomas got right into speaking out against taxes, photo radar and bike lanes.

Neil Stephens held up a sign of the Edmonton logo stating “Something that the mayor would have to credit for is this. Three years and two million dollars.”

Speaking about a branding exercise that was misinterpreted by the public, he said many residents had pointed to this as a terrible decision on the city’s part. Stephens also spoke about investing in a nuclear fusion reactor with the help of funds from the provincial and federal government as a source of energy.

Candidate Fahad Mughal spoke about attracting film and media to make Edmonton an International hub for filming and having fair representation for diverse communities.

Taz Bouchier explained how her 30 years of social work, analytical thinking, research on issues and problem solving make her qualified for the position of mayor.

In the audience, Emma Jones,19, a student at the University of Alberta, was surprised at the number of candidates.

“I think it’s encouraging and it’s always a good sign that people care enough to run because it’s not an easy task to be in the spotlight and everything,” she said.

She said although she found their speeches informative, she was still undecided.

The next mayoral candidates forum will be on Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m at Harry Ainlay High School.

The longer forum will not only feature candidates speaking but the audience would also get an opportunity to ask questions.

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