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Edmonton mayoral candidates: Mike Nickel

Edmonton -

After three terms on city council, Mike Nickel says it’s time for change and he’s the one to lead it. 

“Nothing short of a complete mechanical philosophical overhaul of city hall is what's required,” Nickel said. 

“Somebody's got to come in and try and fix it.”

Nickel, 56, was first elected to council in 2004, defeated in 2007 but elected again in 2013 and 2017. He made two unsuccessful runs for mayor in 1998 and 2001. 

“We have so many things that are mechanically broken in town that it's just at the point we have to stabilize the situation.”

He’s promising to reduce management, consultants and red tape at city hall. 

“We got to be a city that builds things,” he said.  “I'm very focused in on small and medium size business creation for an export based economy”


Nickel’s other campaign pledges include scrapping photo radar, dealing with downtown crime and boosting city services.

“You have to cut the grass, you have to pick up the garbage, because if you don't ... the people stop caring.”

He also calls the city’s West LRT development “the worst business decision” the city has made and wants to revisit the issue of bike lanes.

“The bike lanes as we build them now … are at the cost of common sense, and the road.”


Nickel says the outgoing council he was a part of focussed on the wrong priorities. 

“We still want to talk about gondolas and funiculars…if you like those things I’m probably not your candidate,” he said. 

“Commercial and industrial is what I focus on,” he said. “A lot of the problems we stem from is a focus on downtown.”

“If you don't have safety downtown, you can't put businesses downtown.”

Nickel’s latest term as councillor was marked by an often combative relationship with other councillors. 

In July, the city’s integrity commissioner found that some of Nickel’s social media posts breached council’s code of conduct. 

He also had the lowest attendance among all city councillors over this term, according to CTV News analysis. He declined to comment for that story and has also skipped most mayoral candidate forums in the lead-up to election day.

Nonetheless, Nickel says he stands by his record of accomplishments at city hall.

“I'm proud of my record. They need to run on their own,” he said of other councillors. 

“The time for talk is over.”


What is your favourite meal in the city?

“Back in the day it used to be RoseBowl Pizza,” he said of the downtown restaurant that closed in 2016. 

“When I’m downtown it’s usually steak bites from Chop, and then when it’s breakfast it’s usually IHOP on the south side.” 

What is the best summer activity in the river valley?

"Usually, just walking."

What is your favourite viewpoint or public art piece in Edmonton?

The Art Gallery, the old pool in front of City Hall and Churchill Square.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies?

“I think a lot of people are surprised that I collect movie soundtracks,” said Nickel, adding he has about 700 in his collection. 

He says he also plays the clarinet and saxophone and is a self-taught piano player.

What was the last book you read?

Nickel says he’s preferred non-fiction books since he was a child. 

“I'm reading a book right now on public choice in government, that is actually quite fascinating. It’s about giving people real material choices and information.”

What sport do you enjoy playing or watching the most?

"I used to love to play baseball. But, I was like every kid in Mill Woods back in the day and I played a lot of soccer," he said. 

"I do enjoy swimming quite a bit."

What did you want to be when you grew up?

“I always loved business,” Nickel said. “I wanted to be that corporate guy in the corner office living the 80s lifestyle,” he said with a chuckle.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson Top Stories

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