Two-term incumbent City Councillor Michael Walters announced this morning that he will not be seeking a seat – either as Councillor or Mayor – in next year’s Edmonton municipal election, set to take place Monday, October 18, 2021.
“I wouldn’t trade my time on Council for anything, but like all good things it is coming to an end.
I have a wonderful wife and two teenage sons I haven’t seen nearly enough of due to this job, and I plan to refocus my work and life in a way that prioritizes them the most. That sounds like a cliché in this business but it shouldn’t be. Those we love are the source of our greatest joy and fulfillment in this life, and that goes for politicians as well,” said Walters.
Walters initially sought a seat on Council to work on issues both within the ward and at a city- wide level, and has achieved much of what he set out to do. At the ward level, highlights include the revitalization of Petrolia Mall, restarting development around the Century Park LRT, many neighbourhood renewals, the drainage transfer to EPCOR and south LRT prioritization. City wide files that Councillor Walters has worked to move forward include densification efforts, affordable housing policy and investments, regional transit, the Regional Growth Plan, shifts to Edmonton’s economic development approach, and the adoption of priority-based budgeting.
“This work is a team effort: my elected colleagues, the professionals in City Administration and many members of the Edmonton community all work together to move the city forward, and I’ve enjoyed what small role I’ve played. Not everyone agrees all the time on the best thing to do, but just about everyone I’ve come across in my time here genuinely wants what is best for Edmonton and for the whole community.
“Participating in the development of our community as a member of City Council has been a major highlight of my professional life and I cherish the experiences I’ve had. This is challenging but gratifying work, and I urge anyone considering seeking public office – but particularly women, visible minorities and those from marginalized communities – to take the leap. We need your voices around decision-making tables. I intend to provide support to those from equity-seeking groups to win Council races in whatever ways I can. The critical assignment for the next Council
is to secure Edmonton’s prosperity for the decades to come in what will be a vastly different environment than what we’re familiar with. I wish them every success in that regard.”
Walters was first elected to represent Ward 10 in 2013 with a wide majority of the votes cast, and re-elected in 2017 with the most votes of any council candidate city-wide in that election.