Welcome to our first ever, age friendly blog! This upcoming series is to help educate citizens of all ages to learn more about how the City of Edmonton operates.
An Introduction to Municipal Politics!
You may have some sense of what your municipal government does for you. Take a moment and think about what you normally do within your everyday life. Maybe you take public transportation to get around. Maybe you visit the library to take books out. Maybe you go swimming at your local recreation center. These are just some examples of how you interact with your city on a daily basis.
Some of the other responsibilities that the City of Edmonton has includes:
- Emergency services (fire department and police)
- Maintaining roads
- Snow removal
- Garbage, water, and sewage systems
- Planning the city’s streets and buildings
The City of Edmonton manages these things and many more, making sure everything works together to create a great place to live.
The 3 Levels of Government in Canada:
Now we will take a look at how decisions about our city are made and the key players that make them.
The Role of the Mayor:
The Mayor of Edmonton is the head of the municipal government. They are also the City’s representative at meetings, public functions, ceremonies, and other events.
They are the chief spokesperson for the City and work closely with other communities. The people that live in Edmonton, and are eligible to vote, decide who becomes Mayor.
The Role of City Council:
Council is the main decision-making body.
In addition to the Mayor, there are 12 members of City Council. Each represents a different area of the City of Edmonton called a “ward”. The people that live in each ward, and are eligible to vote, decide who represents them as City Councillor. You can see which ward you live in by looking at this map.
The Councillors and Mayor work together to make decisions about plans, strategies, and policies to govern our city.
You will also see members of City Council attending meetings, public functions, ceremonies, and other events, particularly in the area of the city that the Councillor represents.
This is because the City of Edmonton’s Councillors want to build relationships with the people living in the city and learn what they are happy about and what they want to see change.
Who can run for City Council?
In order to run in a municipal election, a person must:
- Be allowed to vote in the election (so, 18 years or older and a Canadian citizen)
- Must live in Edmonton for at least six months in a row before Nomination Day
City Council sets the City of Edmonton’s policies to match the needs of the residents. When making decisions, City Council considers the advice of employees, as well as the opinions of the public.
Over 12,000 people work for the City of Edmonton to make sure that the services it provides are taken care of efficiently and effectively. The City Manager is the connection between council and the employees who carry out plans.
In our next blog, we will look at how everyday citizens can provide input and share their opinions on issues within their community.