A St. Albert resident has officially opened up the race for a seat on city council this fall.
Michael Ferguson, a 15-year resident of St. Albert, filed his nomination papers for the city council election on March 8. At the time of writing, he is the first person to do so in the city, with this marking his first time running for elected office.
“It's a wonderful city, and I plan on keeping it that way,” said Ferguson.
Previously, the 47-year-old husband and father of one had worked as an oil patch worker in Fort McMurray and at the Sturgeon Refinery before moving on to another industry when the price of oil crashed in 2018. He now works at Canada Post, a job that’s given him an opportunity to meet people in the community, he said.
“I’m always looking for a company that I can work for, to believe in. And I figured, since I believe in St. Albert, I could work for St. Albert."
If elected, Ferguson said he would champion the idea of slowing down growth and high-density projects in the city, pointing to the development proposed at Riverbank Landing as an example.
“That would be something I'd be totally against,” he said. “As soon as you start building taller buildings, you're ruining the skyline, the tree canopy of the city.”
Keeping St. Albert’s small-town feel is more important to him than building new subdivisions to accommodate population growth, he said. His goal would be to focus on bolstering St. Albert’s family-friendly environment.
“There are things that define your community, and I just want to protect those. St. Albert is great for kids,” he said, mentioning the International Children’s Festival and other family events in the city.
“There's probably a million ideas out there for more events, right? And fully supporting all of them. That's what makes St. Albert unique, that’s the reason why we're one of the top places to live in Alberta.”
Nominations for the 2021 St. Albert election are due by noon on Sept. 20. Anyone with questions about the election can go to the city’s legislative services department at 780-418-6663 or [email protected]. Visit stalbert.ca/election and click on “Information for Candidates” to download the city's 2021 Candidate Handbook.