UPDATE: Edmonton’s new city council sworn in

EDMONTON – Edmonton’s 35th mayor and 12 councillors were officially be sworn in Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

After being led in by bagpipes, all 12 councillor-elects and Mayor-elect Don Iveson took seats at the top of the steps at City Hall.

Following opening remarks, each new council member was asked to take the official oath prior to being sworn in. It reads: “I, _ , swear that I will diligently, faithfully, & to the best of my ability, execute, according to the law the office of councillor, for the city of Edmonton, so help me God.”

Called up, in order of their ward, each councillor took the oath and was sworn in.

Andrew Knack, Bev Esslinger, Dave Loken, Ed Gibbons, Michael Oshry, Scott McKeen, Tony Caterina, Ben Henderson, Bryan Anderson, Michael Walters, Mike Nickel and Amarjeet Sohi were official named councillors for the City of Edmonton.

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As of Tuesday’s ceremony, Don Iveson is officially Edmonton’s mayor.

Iveson began his speech by acknowledging that Edmonton sits on Treaty 6 territory, and restated his goal to building stronger relationships with First Nations communities.

The new mayor also thanked his predecessor.

On Oct. 21, said Iveson, this new city council was given to job to “build on the strong foundation built by our previous city council,” which “set  a vigorous pace… the bar was set highest by outgoing Mayor Stephen Mandel.” Iveson complimented Mandel’s “bold leadership” and successful consensus building.

Iveson said he’s fully aware that an effective mayor must draw on the diversity that each individual councillor brings to the table.

“Together, we work closely, in making the city an even better place in four years time than when we first arrived.”

“The group of councillors that I got elected with, they come from different backgrounds, they bring different experience to City Hall,” said Iveson following the ceremony. “I’m very excited to get to work with them… and I draw strength from the fact that I think we have a really really good team.”

It’s a period of transition at City Hall. Tuesday’s ceremony saw six new councillors and a new mayor sworn in. They join six re-elected members of council.

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“I’m just so grateful and humbled for this,” said Ward 1 Councillor Andrew Knack. “I mean, it’s an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful for everyone who’s here today.”

He admitted there is a learning curve, but said he’s “up for it.”

“We have a meeting starting next week – a public hearing – so we’ve got a lot of reading already to do.  I came in 6:30 this morning to start.  Then of course, we are going right into budget deliberations.”

“I think many of us have some common values of where we’d like to see the city go, and that’s pretty exciting,” said Ward 2 Councillor Bev Esslinger. “I think we’ll get some really interesting and innovative work done.”

Esslinger added that there have already been some informal conversations on the budget, and holding the line.

The new councillors all won open wards left by former councillors who either didn’t seek re-election or ran for mayor.

The ceremony was also streamed live on the City of Edmonton website.

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