Get to Know Who's Running: Andrew Knack (Ward Nakota Isga)

By Emil Tiedemann

There happens to be a Municipal Election coming up in Edmonton on Monday, 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 Nakota Isga

Andrew Knack

"Andrew was born in Edmonton, raised just west in the city of Spruce Grove and has lived in west Edmonton since early 2002. Andrew received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta in 2006 and managed a retail business based in West Edmonton Mall until being elected in 2013. He is a strong advocate of our community league system and served on both the Meadowlark and Jasper Park Community Leagues. During his time on Edmonton's City Council, Andrew has served as the Council representative on the Accessibility Advisory Committee, City of Edmonton Youth Council, and Edmonton Transit System Advisory Board. He is responsible for four Council Initiatives: NextGen, Seniors, Public Engagement, and Transportation Innovation. Andrew also sits on the Edmonton Public Library Board of Trustees and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Board of Directors as Vice President for Cities over 500,000." 

The Questions:

IE/ Why do you want to run for City Council?

Andrew Knack/ I am running for City Council so that we can build a safer, more vibrant, and more resilient city filled with opportunity.

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?

AKI have been fortunate to serve on City Council for the last 8 years and have a track record of bringing people together for meaningful conversations and developing solutions together. With at least 5 new councillors starting this year, there is a need for people who can build consensus with people from across the political spectrum. Over my last 8 years, I have worked with many different people in order to accomplish the vast majority of my campaign commitments. I believe this experience is critical as we deal with very complex issues over the next four years.

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

AKThere are a wide range of issues that are facing Edmonton and I would recommend that people review my platform to learn more about those issues in detail.

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

AK/ The biggest issues are the need for more infrastructure (ex: rec centre, libraries, widened roads, additional bus service, etc.) in the newer communities while ensuring our mature communities are receiving the proper maintenance and renewal.

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

AK/ I would like to expand the reach of the Edmonton Public Library. We are fortunate to have one of the best library systems in the world and we need to make sure that all Edmontonians have easy access to the services and programs available at EPL.

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

AKThere were two different times that I brought forward a motion to allow members of the public to participate virtually during a council meeting. Both times my motion was defeated. COVID has changed everything and I hope that means that the next council will make a permanent change to allow people to participate virtually in our council and committee meetings. We should make it as easy as possible for people to participate in council meetings.

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

AK/ Yes. There should be clear rules about what will get someone blocked but they should have the ability to do so. I have blocked fewer than 10 people on my Facebook page over the years. I also realize that women and people of colour will receive far more harassment than I will which is why it is important for people to have the opportunity to create a safe environment.

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)?

AK/ I believe the provincial government got a lot wrong when it comes to handling the pandemic. The primary one is not listening to our healthcare workers who have been tirelessly working in our hospitals. For each of the last three waves, they were raising alarms about the impact to our healthcare system and for each of the last three waves, they were ignored. That is unacceptable.

From a City perspective, I think the introduction of the mask bylaw was the right thing to do but I was disappointed that the bylaw was deactivated for July 1st of this year. While I did not support deactivating it, a majority of council did support the deactivation which I did not believe was the right decision.

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

AKMy favourite thing about Edmonton is the same answer that most people would likely provide: the people. We are fortunate to have a city full of people who are always willing to help one another. Edmontonians are compassionate, creative, helpful, and inspiring.

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

AK/ Dedicated  and consensus-building public servant.

Thank you, Andrew!

Follow along with the candidates on Twitter

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


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