Get to Know Who's Running: Dan Johnstone (Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi)

By Emil Tiedemann

There happens to be a Municipal Election coming up in Edmonton on October 18, 2021, and I think it's important for locals to get to know the City Council candidates running for their particular ward (as well as their Mayoral candidates, of course). I chose to get more involved in the election this year and so wanted to give each candidate a chance to tell us a little about themselves, their vision, and why you should vote for them. I have sent a 10-question questionnaire to each of the 2021 Edmonton Municipal Election candidates and will post their responses (100% as written) here as they come in. With that said, let's get to know...


Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi


Dan Johnstone

"Dan (he/him) has been passionately serving Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi and the City of Edmonton for the last decade. He has built his long-standing reputation on listening to the needs of others and responding with hard work and compassion. Dan continually empowers his community to create positive change, and now wants to bring his dedication and work ethic to Edmonton's city council to serve YOU."

The Questions:

IEWhy do you want to run for City Council?

DJI feel like I have a lot to offer the city and my ward. Being a resident of Ward Ipiihkoohkanipiaohtsi for twenty years, I know a lot of the people and a lot of the issues they care about.


IE/ Can you tell us about your past or current experiences that you think could possibly benefit/ translate to your position as a member of City Council?

DJAs an award-winning activist, I have passionately served Edmonton for ten years and have raised millions in funding and resources for those who need it most here in our city.

Also, as the Executive Director of a popular non-profit organization stationed in Edmonton, I make it a priority to create strategic partnerships with Edmonton-based businesses to keep money local.

Also, as the Executive Director of a popular non-profit organization stationed in Edmonton, I make it a priority to create strategic partnerships with Edmonton-based businesses to keep money local.


IEWhat do you think are the 4 or 5 biggest issues facing Edmonton right now that you want to focus on most?

DJIn terms of Edmonton as a whole, I’ve always been a champion of affordable housing projects for low-income families, single parents, and seniors. Tying in with my activism, I, along with Edmonton, am very passionate about defeating homelessness and getting to the root causes of systemic poverty.

I am also a firm believer in a good public transit system. I truly believe that Edmonton can have a free public transit system, or close to it, and still remain sustainable, accessible, and efficient.

Finally, because I am a fan of shopping locally, I would like to see companies from Edmonton prioritized to fulfill city contracts. With COVID-19 hopefully passing soon, economic recovery is essential and I’d like to see companies who call Edmonton home leading the way.

I am also a firm believer in a good public transit system. I truly believe that Edmonton can have a free public transit system, or close to it, and still remain sustainable, accessible, and efficient.

Finally, because I am a fan of shopping locally, I would like to see companies from Edmonton prioritized to fulfill city contracts. With COVID-19 hopefully passing soon, economic recovery is essential and I’d like to see companies who call Edmonton home leading the way.


IE/ What do you think are some of the issues/struggles affecting your particular ward that you would like to focus on most?

DJThe number one answer that I’ve heard from constituents so far is property taxes. People are struggling to make ends meet and every year, they’re concerned about paying more and more with seeing little in return.

We also have some neighbourhoods that could use some TLC. They have cracked sidewalks that are unsafe to walk on, potholes covering the road in both directions, and with Spring coming, green spaces that have been largely unkept.

Lastly, I’ve also been told by numerous constituents that they have no bus stop within walking distance. Some neighbourhoods have closed a lot of the bus stops in the area, requiring seniors and single parents with children to walk long, unnecessary distances.

We also have some neighbourhoods that could use some TLC. They have cracked sidewalks that are unsafe to walk on, potholes covering the road in both directions, and with Spring coming, green spaces that have been largely unkept.

Lastly, I’ve also been told by numerous constituents that they have no bus stop within walking distance. Some neighbourhoods have closed a lot of the bus stops in the area, requiring seniors and single parents with children to walk long, unnecessary distances.


IE/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you loved and would like to expand upon?

DJI’m a big fan of community gardens and maybe that comes with me being a poverty activist, but I truly believe that community gardens can be a game changer when it comes to sustainable access to food and recreation.

I also love our local art scene, whether it’s one of our lovely festivals, or watching a band perform at a local venue, I honestly believe we have some of the most talented people living here and I’d like to keep them here!

I also love our local art scene, whether it’s one of our lovely festivals, or watching a band perform at a local venue, I honestly believe we have some of the most talented people living here and I’d like to keep them here!


IE/ What are some of the city/community initiatives that you are/were against, and what would you do differently?

DJI do think that our photo radar system needs to be retooled. In my opinion, it does very little to encourage safe driving. I think if we want to get serious about road safety and excessive speeding, we need to hold drivers more accountable by possible deterrence such as demerits on your license or human interaction with police services.


IE/ Do you think elected officials, such as City Councillors, should be able to block people on social media sites like Twitter?

DJTough question. I think it is the job of an elected official to listen to each and every one of their constituents, whether they agree with them or not. But then, some people on social media take it too far with misogyny, threats of violence, racism, and overall personal attacks. For me personally, I will never block anyone, but that’s because I have thick skin. Some candidates and politicians don’t have that luxury, so it’s hard for me to make a judgement call on this.


IE/ When it comes to COVID-19 restrictions, what do you think we got wrong (if anything) as a city or province, and is there anything you would want to do differently (municipally OR provincially)?

DJWhen it comes to COVID-19, hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t think any elected official on any level of government would have had the right answer in dealing with this pandemic as a whole. I do applaud the City of Edmonton for taking the steps they did to curb the spread and as more and more variants are found of this virus, it’s important that we learn from our mistakes and be more prepared.


IE/ What is your favourite thing about living in Edmonton?

DJThe people, hands down. I think Edmonton is home to some world-class leadership and visionary thinkers. You can’t have a city without the people.


IE/ Can you describe yourself in 5 words or less?

DJHard-working, compassionate, honest, innovative, and friendly.


Thank you, Dan! 

Follow along with the candidates on Twitter HERE! #yegvote2021

Find Dan on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram
See Dan's Platform/Priorities HERE.
Visit Dan's website HERE.
Contact Dan HERE.

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