How to get involved in the civic election.

The municipal election is fast approaching, and you want to make your voice heard. Here’s a breakdown of how to run for office, some notes on eligibility, financing, and a few tips and tricks.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Nomination Deadline: September 20, 2021 – 12:00pm
  • Withdrawal Deadline: September 21, 2021 – 12:00pm
  • Election Day – October 18, 2021

Campaign Disclosure Statement Deadline: March 1, 2022

HOW TO RUN

General notes

  • Electors must be eligible to vote to have a valid signature
  • All fees can be paid via certified cheque, cash, debit, credit, or money order at City Hall
  • All forms are found at edmonton.ca/elections. Form 4 is for signatures, Forms 5 and 26 for finances
  • You can only run in one race
  • All signatures must be handwritten

Mayor

Fee $500 | You need at least 100 signatures from city residents

Councillors and School Trustees

Fee $100 | You need at least 25 signatures from within your target ward

Filing

There are two ways to submit completed forms:

  • Book an appointment at edmonton.ca/elections to drop them off in person at City Hall with government ID.
  • Mail them or courier them to City Hall. If you choose this option, forms must already be commissioned, and the deposit must be a money order or certified cheque.

Once you have completed all these steps and received your official confirmation from the City of Edmonton’s returning officer, congratulations, you’re in the race!

This is not a comprehensive list. For further questions, contact Edmonton Elections at elections@edmonton.ca.

ELIGIBILITY for electors and for candidates

  • You must be a Canadian citizen
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have resided in Edmonton for at least six months prior to the nomination deadline (since March 20 at the latest)

YOU’RE INELIGIBLE IF

  • You work for the City of Edmonton, or any public, Catholic, charter, or private school division (you must take a leave of absence)
    • Every official candidate is entitled to a leave of absence without pay
  • You owe money to the City of Edmonton
  • You’re an election auditor

TIPS AND TRICKS

Your signatures don’t need to be on the same copy of Form 4. If it’s easier to get one signature on 100 different copies of Form 4, the City will still accept it. Get creative!

Signs on public property aren’t allowed until after Sept. 20, 2021

FINANCES

$5,000 The maximum single-contribution amount

$10,000 The self-financing limit

  • You’re not obliged to accept any donations or spend money
  • You must record all donations and expenses
  • Even if you withdraw from the race, you must still report your campaign finances

New year, new carts

Edmonton is rolling out a new waste collection system. Here’s what you need to know.

New Year’s is long gone but some Edmontonians may soon be making a new resolution—to spend a little more time with their trash.

The City is rolling out a new waste cart system as part of its 25 Year Waste Strategy, which aims to divert 90 percent of residential waste from landfill. The new cart rollout will involve separating trash into three streams: organic waste, garbage, and recycling.

As of 2018, Edmontonians diverted only 36 percent of their waste from landfill. The new system will help change that, Jodi Goebel said, Director of Waste Strategy at the City of Edmonton. “It’s the first big step in our journey to our zero-waste future. Sorting waste at home and using carts helps us better divide the materials that Edmontonians are sorting; it’s easier and more efficient to process. It also allows for safer waste collection, and all of that together helps us keep utility rates stable.”

WHAT’S CHANGING?

The biggest change on the road to zero-waste is that residents with new carts will be required to sort out food scraps from their garbage. Edmontonians could choose between a small (120 litre) or large (240 litre) cart but had to submit requests by mid-February. The default size is large. You can put in a request online to swap cart sizes after you’ve received your first one. Switching sizes one time is free but if you change your mind again, it will cost you.

Garbage will be collected every two weeks year-round, while food scraps will be picked up weekly from spring to fall, and every two weeks in winter. The recycling schedule will stay the same.

WHO GETS THE NEW CARTS?

Anyone who lives in a single unit or certain multi-unit homes can expect to receive a new garbage cart, a food scraps cart, and a food scraps pail between March and August 2021. Twenty-two thousand multi-home units will be included in the new cart rollout, Goebel said. Residents in Oliver and Downtown who live in a building that qualifies will receive their new carts throughout July and the new collection system will begin the week of August 3.

Other multi-unit residences, such as highrises and apartment buildings, will be part of a different program, which is still in the works. “The intent is that we will do a similar staged implementation that would begin in 2023 and may take a couple of years,” Goebel said. “The variety with multi-unit sites is enormous and it’s quite a bit more complex than the single-unit sector that we serve, so we know that we’re going to be learning as we go.”

TRASH YOUR COMPLAINTS

The Edmonton Cart Rollout isn’t optional—it’s part of life in the city now. Gradually, Edmonton’s 400,000 households will shift to this new model.

If you’re unsure if you will receive new carts, visit Edmonton.ca and put in your address. It will tell you if and when you can expect your new carts. Residents are encouraged to check out Edmonton.ca/waste or call 311 if they have questions.

3 ways to take care of your mental wellness this winter

Edmonton may be a Winter City but there’s no getting around the fact that winter can be tough on our mental health. Factor in COVID-19 and all of the safety precautions (including staying inside more, seeing less of family and friends, and working from home) and this winter could see major mental challenges for many Edmontonians. Here are some ways you may boost your mental health, even on the darkest, chilliest days this winter.

Get In Tune with Nature

Is there anything as restorative as getting outside for fresh air, especially when the sun is out? If possible, try to get outside on your lunch break or carve out some time in the afternoon for a quick walk outside.

  • Take advantage of the gorgeous River Valley trails and walk, cross-country ski, or snowshoe your way into a better mood.
  • Take your furry friend for frequent walks during the day.
  • No pet? No problem. Volunteer at the Edmonton Humane Society or any animal rescue—there are always plenty of dogs who need exercise.
  • Speaking of exercise, it helps boost your mood. Take up a winter sport or adapt your usual routine to include some time outdoors. 
  • Hate the cold? Find a gym with floor-to-ceiling windows and spend your time on the treadmill soaking in all of the sunlight with none of the frozen breath.

Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Long winter days with early sunsets and bitter cold can result in a real struggle for many people. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is “a type of depression that’s related to changes in the season,” as per the Mayo Clinic. If you suspect you might have SAD, make an appointment with your physician so they can recommend a treatment plan or put you in touch with someone who can help. 

Main Symptoms of SAD:

  • Low energy
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight gain

Treatment Options:

  • Light therapy: light therapy lamps can be found at many major retailers and usually cost around $60-$90
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy

Mental Health Assistance on a Budget

Private therapy or counselling can be very expensive. If you find yourself struggling, there are budget-friendly options for counselling.

  • Contact the Primary Care Network in your area. The Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network offers virtual mental health courses and workshops for free.
  • The Boyle-McCauley Health Centre has two registered provisional Psychologists on staff to provide therapeutic support for individuals or families.
  • Edmonton’s Momentum Walk-In Clinic provides solution-focused counselling on a sliding-fee scale. It’s also ideal if you find yourself in need of immediate assistance. Call their 24-hr distress line at 780-482-HELP (4357).
  • Some psychologists will offer a reduced rate or a discount for post-secondary students (you may be matched with a Master’s level practicum student supervised by a senior level psychologist). Insight Psychological (www.insightpsychological.ca) offers sessions for a flat rate of $80, as well as a $25 rate for full-time post-secondary students. 

Your Core Staycation Bucket List

Although travel may be off the table right now, you still deserve a holiday this winter. Why not make a new winter tradition? Be a tourist in your own city with these staycation suggestions for the ultimate weekend getaway—all without having to step foot on a plane.

Shopping in a Winter Wonderland

Yes, you might feel a bit silly making a special effort to go shopping in your own city but no staycation is complete with at least one souvenir to remember it by. Whether you go for something locally-made at the indoor Downtown Farmers’ Market (10305 97 Street) or treat yourself to a new outfit or piece of art, whatever you purchase will act as a reminder of the incredibly fun weekend “getaway” you treated yourself to, and you will support local businesses in a time when they need it.

And To All a Good Night!

While it’s totally acceptable to staycation from your own home, there’s nothing like the luxury of knowing someone else is responsible for making your bed and cleaning the bathroom. Book into one of these posh downtown hotels for a decadent weekend. These picks range from reasonable to regal (you know you’ve always wanted to stay in a legit castle).

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

A staycation is your chance to try that restaurant you always wanted to, or to revisit an old favourite now that dining in is allowed again. If you’re not comfortable with eating indoors, make it a to-go picnic with charcuterie and wine from Cavern (10169 104 Street, Suite 2) or order take-out from any of these top-notch restaurants. For a fun staycation twist, consider trying a place with a cuisine you normally don’t eat, whether it be vegan food from Die Pie (10255 97 Street) or French cuisine from The Marc (9940 106 Street). Don’t forget a round of holiday cocktails while you’re at it.

Winter’s Play

One perk of a staycation is the chance to try new things and explore parts of your neighbourhood that you haven’t had time to visit before. Bundle up for a historical walking or biking tour in Oliver, take advantage of Edmonton’s fantastic museums or visit the brand-new Edmonton Public Library (7 Sir Winston Churchill Square). If relaxing is more your staycation style, there are several downtown spas that offer amazing day packages for premium pampering. Or, check off the cultural aspect of your trip by doing the Art Gallery Walk on 124th Street or blow off some steam in an escape room.