Iveson endorses 3 candidates for council
Outgoing Mayor Don Iveson declared his support for three city council candidates on Monday.
Iveson, who announced last fall he would not seek re-election, endorsed Anne Stevenson in Ward O-day'min, Ashley Salvador in Ward Métis and Ahmed Knowmadic in Ward tastawiyiniwak.
Wards O-day'min and Métis do not have incumbent candidates, while Jon Dziadyk is seeking re-election in tastawiyiniwak.
The mayor said Knowmadic will bring "thoughtfulness, passion for community and an articulate city-building approach to Council's deliberations" in tastawiyiniwak.
Knowmadic was a member of the Law Enforcement Review Board and is an advisor to the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
"After spending four years voting against his tax increases, voting against his downtown-centered plan, and voting against his wasteful spending, Don wants me gone," Dziadyk tweeted. "This is the best news I could ask for!"
In O-day'min, where current councillor Tony Caterina is running after changes to ward boundaries, Iveson said, "Anne's professional leadership in affordable housing delivery and her urban planning expertise are so relevant to representing Edmonton's core."
Stevenson has a masters in city design and is working with the Right at Home Housing Society.
Caterina told CTV News he's not suprised Iveson did not endorse him.
"He's never been a supporter of mine for the last eight years," Caterina said.
"I'm glad that I'm not getting his endorsement because if it was offered I would not accept it."
Métis has the highest amount of candidates with 12. Iveson is endorsing Salvador because of her "thoughtful and impactful advocacy on urban planning and climate issues is grounded in the practical realities facing Edmonton today."
Salvador has worked with local businesses associations and community leagues and describes herself as an urban planner and sociologist.
‘A BIT UNFAIR’
MacEwan University political scientist Chaldeans Mensah is “very surprised” Iveson is endorsing candidates in the municipal election.
Mensah argued Iveson is putting his credibility on the line and intruding in the election process, making it unfair for the candidates who are not receiving his boost.
"I think in these kinds of contests, any kind of support from a leader like Iveson is very helpful. But I don't think it's fair to the other candidates to be doing that,” Mensah said.
"The mayor is a very peculiar position. He has a strong sense of political awareness, political credibility, and to simply squander that to endorse a single candidate among a bunch of candidates is a bit unfair to everybody contesting that race."
Mensah thinks Iveson is “concerned about his legacy,” and pointed to the transition memos he released last week.
“He's trying to make sure that the incoming council continues with the Iveson agenda. He wants that progressive vision for Edmonton to be continued under a new council. This is an endorsement to ensure that Iveson's vision for the future continues."
The municipal election is on Oct. 18.