September 21, 2013 6:12 pm
Updated: October 15, 2013 12:34 pm

Mayoral candidates outline campaigns as Nomination Day looms

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EDMONTON- With Nomination Day for candidates running in next month’s municipal election right around the corner, and the final council meeting in the books, mayoral candidates have hit the campaign trail running.

“It’s very much head down and just go,” said mayoral candidate Kerry Diotte.

“It’s now full time, it’s now our full focus to be active in the campaign,” added fellow mayoral candidate Don Iveson.

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But with a number of big projects like the downtown arena and City Centre Airport closure already finalized by the current council, what are the mayoral candidates focusing their campaigns on?

“I believe it’s going to pivot around who people believe can keep the momentum going in the city, who people believe can actually get things done,” said candidate Karen Leibovici. “We have a lot of projects out on a piece of paper, but in actual fact there’s no shovel in the ground.”

She believes it’s going to be someone with experience, skill, and the ability to bring together a brand new council who will succeed as Edmonton’s next mayor.

“It’s getting our business done right,” Leibovici explained, “being efficient, effective and ensuring that tax payers see value for their tax dollars.”

As for Iveson, he says the election is all about where the people of Edmonton would like to see their city go in the future.

“I think Edmonton is the most underestimated city in North America right now. We have a great story to tell, there are marvelous things happening here, and we are poised to meet incredible potential in the next four to eight years.”

Iveson believes, as mayor, he has the opportunity to inspire Edmontonians about the city’s potential.

“If one of us can inspire confidence, and I aim to do that, and inspire renewed passion for the city, then that’s who will be successful.”

Diotte says he’s got a few main areas he’d like to focus on if elected.

“It’s definitely fix the roads, which is a no-brainer. The arena deal is offside because of the bad financial side and people are very upset about that, that they weren’t heard. And debt and taxes, those are the big three or four.”

He believes his campaign focus varies greatly from his opponent’s.

“When we talk about debt and taxes, I’m the only person who consistently voted against three operations budgets because they had tax hikes that were double the rate of inflation, at least.”

All candidates running for mayor, city council or school board trustee must submit completed nomination papers to the Returning Officer by Nomination Day, which is Monday, September 23.

After that, the future of Edmonton will ultimately come down to the voters, who hit the polls on Monday, October 21.

With files from Tom Vernon, Global News.

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