Don’t put away those voting pencils yet, Sturgeon County and St. Albert — you’ve got a municipal election to vote in.
Just hours before polls closed for the 2021 federal election, the 2021 Alberta municipal elections got underway with the close of nominations at noon on Sept. 20.
In addition to the 24 people running for St. Albert city council, there were about a hundred candidates running for various school boards and municipal councils in the St. Albert and Sturgeon County region, some of whom won by acclamation. Check stalberttoday.ca for coverage of the acclaimed candidates and those who won't be running again.
Big field in Morinville
Morinville voters might need some plus-sized ballots next month to fit the 14 people running for town council.
This includes Shane Ladouceur, a last-minute mayoral candidate who filed to run Sept. 20. A 46-year-old gasfitter plumber who has lived in Morinville for just under a year, Ladouceur ran in the 2019 provincial election for the Alberta Independence Party in Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, where he won one per cent of the vote. (Ladouceur said he is no longer active with the party but still in touch with some of its members.)
Ladouceur said he decided to run for mayor after he learned council had approved a new pay policy in 2019 that gave council members substantial raises — about 29 per cent for mayor and 37 per cent for councillors — then declined to roll them back.
“That’s quite a big raise for anyone,” he said.
“There’s no need to take more [money] from the people.”
(Council was in the bottom 20 to 30 per cent of communities in terms of pay prior to the change. The new policy sets council pay at the market median of 10 comparable communities. Council voted 3-4 against a motion last June to cut council and non-unionized staff wages by three per cent for the rest of 2021.)
Ladouceur (no relation to former town councillor Rob Ladouceur) said he would reverse council’s pay raise and return the money to taxpayers if elected. He would also hold regular online community polls and seek administrative efficiencies.
Ladouceur said he has leadership and management experience and has previously coached soccer.
Also running for mayor in Morinville are Simon Boersma and incumbent Barry Turner.
Morinville residents will also get to pick six councillors this Oct. 18. Challengers Jenn Anheliger, Wayne Gatza, Alan Otway, Maurice St. Denis, Erin Vollick, and Ray White seek to unseat incumbents Rebecca Balanko, Nicole Boutestein, Stephen Dafoe, Sarah Hall, and Scott Richarson.
Sturgeon and the rest
Sturgeon County voters in Division 3, 4, 5, and 6 will head to the polls this October to elect council representatives.
Division 3 residents will get to choose between incumbent Wayne Bokenfohr and challenger Matthew McLennan. Robin Fuhr faces incumbent Neal Comeau in Division 4, while Jason Berry and Ronald Shaw compete for Karen Shaw’s vacant seat in Division 6. Lee Danchuk, Walker Hnatiw, Jonathan Kilbourn, Harco Middelkamp, and Deanna Stang will race for Patrick Tighe’s vacant seat in Division 5.
In Gibbons, incumbent Dan Deck will race Kendra A. Ball for the mayor’s chair, while Willis Kozak and incumbents Loraine Berry, Amber Harris, Darren McCann, Jaycinth Julian Millante, Norman Sandahl, and Jean Woodger will compete for six council seats.
Redwater voters will choose between Richard Jacob and David McRae as their next mayor, and any six of Constance Butcher, Tina Cosby, Michael Hawkins, Nicola Krill, Joseph Melnick, Kyle Needham, Robert Olsen, Dwayne Spicer, Allegra Tingley, and Joanne Williams as councillors.
Bon Accord residents have four council seats to fill and five candidates to choose from: Lynn Bidney, Larissa Gagne, Lacey Laing, Tanya May, and Cory Roemer.
Over in Legal, incumbents Pat Hills, Trina Jones, Fred Malott, and Carol Tremblay face challengers Andy Beaton, Guy Oullette, and Mark Veenstra for five council seats.
St. Albert ward Catholic families will get to pick four GSACRD trustees from incumbents Joe Becigneul, Greg Schell, and Serena Shaw, and challengers Cam Van De Walle and Lydia Yeomans.
St. Albert Public voters shall elect five trustees from among challengers John Allen, John P. Carle, Marcus Hoople, Sheyanne Levall-Crouse, Kristi Rouse, and Matthew Jarod Tait and incumbents Kim Armstrong and Stanley Haroun.
Sturgeon Public voters will choose between Cindy Briggs and Jared Ryan Thompson as trustees in Bon Accord/Legal this October. Irene Grace Gibbons and Barry Thimer are competing for Terry Jewell’s old seat in Gibbons/Lamoureux.
St. Albert and Sturgeon County-area voters will also get to vote on Senate candidates and referendums about equalization payments and daylight savings time.
Election day is Oct. 18.