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Mayor Cathy Heron to run for re-election

Heron said she wants to focus on developing more defined climate targets for the city, revitalizing the downtown core, and protecting the Sturgeon River from development.
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Preparing to run for re-election, Cathy Heron said helping volunteers paint St. Albert's first rainbow crosswalk stood out to her when looking back on her term. SUPPLIED/Photo

After a summer without a single mayoral candidate declaration, Mayor Cathy Heron has announced she is running for re-election. 

Earlier in July, Heron said she would be holding off on declaring her intention for the fall election until the end of summer. At that time, she described the pause as an “opportunity to reflect.”

“A lot of it was just really good conversations with my three kids and my boyfriend John, to see if they were ready for all of this,” Heron said on Monday. “Although it’s my job, they get dragged into it, too, but everyone was very supportive.”

Looking back on her past term as Mayor, Heron said she is proud of larger projects, including making progress on the twinning of Ray Gibbon Drive, the establishment of the Edmonton Metropolitan Transit Services Commission, and the Payhonin Reconciliation report, but noted small projects also stand out to her. 

“Painting the rainbow crosswalk was huge for me,” Heron said. “So was hanging the Métis and Treaty Six flags in council chambers, and now we’re going to formally dedicate two flagpoles in front of city hall on Sept. 12.”

If re-elected, Heron said she wants to continue to build community by supporting the growth of neighbourhood commercial development, revitalizing the downtown core, and protecting the Sturgeon River from development. 

“I’m very cautious about people that are running to change things, because St. Albert is so fantastic as it is,” Heron said. “It’s about continuing the way we’ve grown over the last 160 years, and strengthening communities.”

Heron also said she wants to focus on developing more defined climate targets for the city. 

“We don’t have a solid strategy for not just adapting to climate change, but lowering our emissions,” Heron said. “We need to do our part.”

Before being elected Mayor in 2017, Heron worked as a councillor for two consecutive terms. One aspect from this most recent term Heron said she would want to carry over if re-elected is a collaborative atmosphere.

“I’ve served with three different groups of people, and honestly, this group has been the very best,” Heron said. “They have made such an effort to get along, and to not take decisions personally. As a councillor, you have to be able to move forward and you have to trust your colleagues.”

What an election in St. Albert will look like during the COVID-19 pandemic is still uncertain, Heron noted, especially in the midst of a federal election, and with two provincial referendum questions on the municipal ballot. 

She highlighted a call she has made to all candidates to take a local pledge initiated by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, which asks that candidates engage in respectful behaviour, demonstrate transparency, and “keep local elections local” by focusing their campaigns on issues that fall under the prevue of municipalities.

“Voting for a municipal candidate is not voting for a party,” Heron said. “We actually have to understand the full gamut of their perspective, from solar farms, to inclusion, to utility rates. Votes should represent a personal philosophy instead of one issue.”

No other candidates have declared they are running for mayor at this time. 

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