Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday, February 6, 2020. Iveson says he won't seek re-election next fall. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson announces he’s not running for re-election next fall

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson announces he’s not running for re-election next fall

EDMONTON — The mayor of Edmonton says he won’t seek re-election next fall.

Don Iveson, who first became mayor in 2013, says that he had only ever hoped to serve two terms as leader of the Alberta capital.

“It was a family decision,” Iveson, 41, said during an online news conference Monday. “There are impacts. There are consequences to this life.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Edmonton particularly hard in recent weeks, has given him more time with his wife and two children in the last eight months than in the past eight years.

“Even though in the midst of the pandemic I was giving serious thought to running again because of all the pressure and disruption our community is facing … it will fall to others to carry that work forward.”

Iveson said not running again will allow him to keep his attention on city issues in the coming year.

“I am not going to relent at all in my focus on the pandemic, the public health issues and the economic issues we’re facing for the balance of this term.”

He said he will also work to deliver a city budget with a goal of no tax increase, support and attract new jobs to the city, tackle systemic racism in local institutions and deliver more low-cost housing to try to end chronic homelessness.

“There is much to do, and not everything will be resolved by the election.”

Iveson said Edmonton’s next leader will need to be thoughtful, compassionate and constructive — and he wanted to give those types of people enough time to consider a run.

“I think some new perspective from the next mayor and a very deliberate conversation for the public about the direction they want council and the mayor to go … will be refreshing for the city.”

At least three city councillors have said publicly that they are thinking about the mayor’s race. A fourth person, self-described tech-sector leader Cheryll Watson, has already declared her intention to vie for the top job in 2021.

Iveson has been a member of Edmonton city council since 2007 and has been the chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Big City Mayors’ Caucus since 2016.

“We’ve been so lucky at FCM to work with (Don Iveson) … a relentless advocate for stronger, healthier + more equitable communities,” the organization said in a tweet Monday.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who hasn’t said yet whether he will run in the municipal elections across Alberta next fall, said on Twitter that he and Iveson have been friends for more than 20 years.

“Despite the (Calgary-Edmonton) rivalry, he’s been an ally and friend for Calgary,” wrote Nenshi. “He’s also been the leader of the FCM Big City Mayors’ Caucus to the federal government for several years. That’s led us to some truly great things for Canadian cities.

“These will be big shoes to fill — Literally. he’s six-foot four! — for whomever is up next.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

A man on a skateboard and a young woman pass large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on November 22, 2015. The federal government is writing off more than $200 million in outstanding student loan payments that officials will never be able to collect. Recently released spending documents show the government won't collect $203.5 million in debts from 34,240 students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan

VANCOUVER — A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing is set to start… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $25 million Lotto max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

MADISON, Wis. — States asked the federal government this week to withhold… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Most Read