The race for councillor in Edmonton’s Ward O-Day’min

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Ward O-Day’min covers the city’s core-communities similar McCauley, Riverdale, Blatchford, Westmount and Oliver — but besides downtown.

With Councillor Scott McKeen opting not to question re-election, 10 candidates person stepped guardant to correspond the people, and businesses successful O-Day’min.

Though there’s plentifulness of caller faces, there’s besides a acquainted 1 for metropolis assembly followers, Tony Caterina.

In January, Caterina announced he’d beryllium giving up his location ward to alternatively tally downtown.

“I was amazed erstwhile helium made that move. I don’t cognize wherefore helium did that due to the fact that he’d represented that portion of northeast Edmonton astir wherever Northlands is, and the aged Coliseum, for years,” said governmental expert John Brennan.

Caterina was archetypal elected backmost successful 2007, and said that clip connected assembly makes him the astir qualified to tackle O-Day’min’s pressing problems.

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“O-Day’min is going to beryllium the cardinal successful the recovery, economical wise, societal omniscient — and I person the astir experience, I felt obligated,” helium said.

However, backmost successful the 2017 election, helium narrowly held onto his spot by 155 votes after an aggravated challenge from Kris Andreychuk, a City of Edmonton employee.

Caterina said that adjacent telephone wasn’t the crushed helium switched wards.

“That had perfectly thing to bash with the decision,” helium said.

READ MORE: Edmonton election: Mayoral candidates speech downtown revitalization

His opponents question whether idiosyncratic who lives extracurricular the ward has the champion knowing of the section needs.

“Does helium cognize the issues we look successful this community? Homelessness, abject poverty, slum landlords and assemblage safety,” explained O-Day’min campaigner Naima Haile.

She said she’s moving to assistance the city’s astir vulnerable.

“I came to Edmonton 30-some years agone arsenic a exile from Somalia. I person been moving with marginalized communities, peculiarly newcomers and refugees.”

Haile said she’s been advocating for the impoverished successful the interior metropolis for years done consultations with the city, but adjacent though reports are filed, enactment hasn’t been taken to code the issues.

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“So I person decided to run, truthful I tin advocator connected a higher level, connected a argumentation level,” she said.

“Even if helium wins and I lose, I’m going to clasp him accountable connected these issues. He’s going to perceive from me.”

The contention adjacent has further complications, by an endorsement from Mayor Don Iveson, who is backing Anne Stevenson successful her tally — alternatively of his long-time assembly colleague.

Caterina said he’s disappointed the politician decided to measurement in.

Opponents, spot it differently.

“What we’re seeing … is simply a concerted effort astatine metropolis hallway to support the presumption quo. But the conversations I’m having with folks connected their doorsteps is, they privation to spot change,” said O-Day’min campaigner Adrian Bruff.

He said helium grew up successful poverty, surviving successful a azygous genitor household and acquisition helped him win successful life.

“10 twelvemonth vocation successful societal work, been surviving successful Oliver for the past 14 years, went to Grant MacEwan, unpaid connected galore assemblage initiatives to assistance marque my assemblage a amended spot to live,” helium said, outlining his qualifications for the job.

Given his firsthand acquisition with poverty, helium wants to re-purpose bare buildings to assistance the homeless.

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“Converting them into wellness centres, wherever there’s wrapper astir supports downstairs, similar intelligence wellness support, addictions counselling, 24/7 entree to food, and past imperishable lodging upstairs,” Bruff added.

Caterina said he’d usage existing bylaws to clamp down connected emcampments successful O-Day’min and marque the ward safer by focusing connected the needs of the radical who aren’t causing societal upset downtown.

“Whether I unrecorded present oregon not, I recognize the halfway of the city.”

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