October 17, 2017 1:27 pm
Updated: October 17, 2017 3:19 pm

Edmonton election 2017: Rec centre, LRT top priorities for new Ward 5 councillor-elect Sarah Hamilton

WATCH ABOVE: Ward 5 councillor-elect Sarah Hamilton speaks with Erin Chalmers.

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Edmonton has four new faces on council following Monday night’s municipal election, including Sarah Hamilton in Ward 5.

Hamilton won the west Edmonton seat with 35.5 per cent of the vote, according to unofficial results released Monday night.

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“I am overwhelmed, overwhelmed with gratitude,” Hamilton said following her victory Monday night. “It is emotional because you work so hard over the last eight months. It’s been a pretty long journey.”

READ MORE: Don Iveson crushes competition to be re-elected mayor in Edmonton election

Hamilton comes to city council with experience working with both the municipal and provincial governments. She is the owner of SPARROW Communications & Public Relations.

While she admits she was nervous watching the results come in on Monday night, she’s eager to get to work for the residents of Ward 5.

“I was hearing a lot of concern about the direction our city was going and a desire, I would say, for trust. People wanted to have trust that their city government is acting in their best interest but they didn’t know if they were seeing that,” she said.

“I intend to represent the residents of Ward 5 with fairness and talking to them about what their concerns are.”

Watch below: Sarah Hamilton will now represent Ward 5 on Edmonton city council after Michael Oshry left the seat vacant.

Hamilton’s top priorities include a rec centre, and ensuring the LRT extension to the west is built with Ward 5 residents in mind.

“I promised a rec centre and I’m going to be working really hard for the residents of Ward 5 to get a rec centre,” she said. “There’s kids that can’t get swimming lessons in the west end and I think that’s a pretty important part of childhood.

“I also promised that I’d stand up for Ward 5 on the LRT and when we build it, we build it right, we’re going over major intersections,” she said.

“There’s, I think, a big push for going over or under major intersections and I think that’s more affordable than going over the entire line or going under the entire line. There’s a lot of concern from people who’ve sat in traffic at the NAIT LRT or at the University Avenue LRT crossing. So there’s that counter balance. People are saying, ‘If we’re going to spend this money, then let’s spend it on something that adds value to our community and that doesn’t make our commute substantially longer.'”

READ MORE: Ahead of election, poll finds Edmontonians split on plans for affordable housing and LRT

With Hamilton elected Monday night, there are now two women on city council; Bev Esslinger was re-election in Ward 2.

“I think that the more diverse voices you have at the table, the better. And you get better government out of that. I think the residents of Edmonton have a lot to expect but a lot to be proud of tonight.”

Alberta’s Minister of Status of Women said she was encouraged to see more women elected on councils in Edmonton and Calgary.

“I am thrilled to see that more women ran and more women won in yesterday’s local elections across Alberta,” Stephanie McLean said in a statement.

“My heartfelt congratulations to all the women who stepped up to lead and serve. Your diverse backgrounds and ideas have enriched our democracy. And I know your communities are better served with your unique perspectives at the table, making life better for women and girls across our province.”

Watch below: Mayor-elect Don Iveson speaks about diversity on Edmonton’s new council 

Hamilton said Mayor-elect Don Iveson reached out to her on Monday night and they spoke briefly. Iveson was re-elected to the mayor’s chair with a crushing 72 per cent of the vote.

“I know councillor-elect Hamilton is quite excited about the west end rec centre and wants to push for more grade separations for the west line of the LRT, which we’re working towards as well,” Iveson said Tuesday.

“So I think we’re well aligned on a lot of the things I’ve heard from them so far as their priorities.”

Unofficial data suggests 31.5 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in Edmonton’s election.

Watch below: Former Edmonton city councillor Kim Krushell speaks about what new councillors can expect

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