Activist Taz Bouchier enters race against incumbent Don Iveson
A local political activist has joined the race for mayor, against two others including incumbent Mayor Don Iveson.
Taz Bouchier has become the third candidate for mayor, when Edmontonians head to the polls in the fall.
She said her decision to run came after she asked her supporters what she should pursue.
“’Would you want me to run for mayor or council?’” Bouchier said. “And every single person said Mayor.”
Back in 2013, she was one of 16 candidates who ran in Ward 6, she received 199 votes and lost to Scott McKeen.
“I still see the same concerns I saw back in 2013,” Bouchier said.
The former social worker and Edmonton Transit Service driver said she plans to stand up for seniors, improve public transit and come up with a plan to end homelessness.
“There should not be one individual that’s homeless,” Bouchier said. “We should be able to work as a community, together, to end homelessness completely.”
Bouchier also said she believes City Council needs to be more diverse.
“All you see are basically these suited guys, one woman,” she said. “You don’t see what’s supposed to represent a multicultural city.”
She was born in High Prairie, Alberta, and has lived in Edmonton for more than five decades. She is proud to be the first Indigenous woman to run for mayor in Edmonton.
“I’m not just for indigenous people; I’m for all voices, all people and all cultures.”
She’s confident that will help her beat the sitting mayor.
A political analyst said she has her work cut out for her.
“Anything can happen, but the incumbent is always difficult to beat,” John Brennan said. “Because the incumbent has the advantages of being in office, advantages of being in the public eye all the time.”
Brennan said he believes Iveson’s odds of winning improve when the number of candidates running against him increases, as it stretches the vote against the incumbent across more candidates. Meanwhile, Brennan said more candidates mean there will be better debates.
“Because the more candidates we have running for mayor, that means there’s going to be more discussion of issues,” Brennan said.
Edmontonians have until September 18 to announce they’re running for either City Council or Mayor.
Voters head to the polls on October 16.
With files from Matt Woodman