Edmonton municipal election 2017: Profile of Ward 11
The southeast's massive growth and expansion has presented challenges
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The “explosive” growth in the city’s southeast has transformed Ward 11 over the years, with some hoping the Valley Line LRT’s southeast extension will help ease the significant gridlock in parts of the area.
Southeast Edmonton has expanded rapidly in the past two decades, mainly because of the area’s proximity to major thoroughfares such as Anthony Henday Drive, according to Mill Woods Presidents' Council President Shane Bergdahl.
But that population growth has come with what he calls “horrendous” traffic congestion.
“The problem is during rush hour. If you’re heading south on 66th, and trying to turn left on 23rd Avenue, you’re lucky if you can get four vehicles through on a whole light cycle,” he said.
“(The LRT) is good and it’s bad,” he added. “The way they did it by Heritage and Southgate was poor, and I think they learned from that … We want the LRT out there, but we’re just not sure If the current plan is going to be the best.”
While Ward 11 is mostly residential, it includes South Edmonton Common, the Edmonton Research and Development Park and a significant portion of industrial areas.
“Ward 11 is kind if complex,” Bergdahl said. “We have this wide swathe of industrial going through the northern part into the middle a bit … When you look at the northern part of the ward, there are mature neighbourhoods. So there are a lot of infill issues going on there.”
He said he’s in favour of infill development, but only if it’s done right. In some cases he says there are poor designs, which don’t fit in the rest of the neighbourhood. That issue is particularly acute in Hazeldean, Ritchie and King Edward Park.
“We have this other shift going on where people are basically buying the lot, tearing down the house, and building a new one on there. Which is kind of what you want, but some of them are putting big monster houses there,” he said.
As the downtown changes, one issue that has become more troublesome is panhandlers migrating from the core into the south, said Julie Geldart, executive director of the South Edmonton Business Association. While it used to be more focused in the area near Whyte Avenue, it’s starting to become an issue right down to South Edmonton Common she said.
“There’s always been a homelessness issue, but it’s becoming a lot more, and more aggressiveness … it’s something we’re definitely focusing on.”
Running in Ward 11 are Rob Aromin, a landscaper and community activist, Brandy Burdeniuk, an entrepreneur and teacher, Chris Christianson, a resident who sued the City of Edmonton over their Valley Line LRT work and a conflicting gas line near his house, incumbent Mike Nickel, Troy Pavlek, a software developer, and Keren Tang, a provincial civil servant.
What you need to know: Key dates
Advance Voting starts on Oct. 4 and runs until Oct. 13, daily fron 1-7 p.m. The last day to vote is Election Day: Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 (9 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
Voters must be 18, a Canadian citizen, a resident of the City of Edmonton, who has lived in Alberta on or before April 16, 2017. Voters must have valid ID.
Where to Vote cards will be delivered to all Edmonton homes at the beginning of October. The cards include voter eligibility, how to find information on your ward’s candidates and the location of the voting station. All voting stations are wheelchair accessible.