Councillor Jane Stroud is seeking a fourth term on council representing Ward 4, which includes the hamlets of Anzac, Conklin, Janvier and Gregoire Lake Estates. Stroud has held her council seat since 2010. She is the only incumbent councillor running for reelection so far and is running unopposed in her ward.
“I’m committed to being a positive and influential councillor for our communities and to continue to raise concerns and achieve results that our residents of Ward 4 deserve,” said Stroud. “It’s been an honour serving since 2010 and I’m looking forward to another term.”
The past few years has seen work on much-needed infrastructure begin in the rural hamlets south of Fort McMurray.
Stroud confirmed Thursday that high-speed internet infrastructure will be built starting in 2022. Bringing in rural water and sewage services south of Fort McMurray has also been a priority for Stroud.
The 2021 municipal budget included $15 million to bring rural water and sewage services to Anzac, Conklin, Gregoire Lake Estates, Janvier and Saprae Creek. To this point, $167 million has been spent on the project.
Another $36.9 million is needed to complete the project, which is scheduled to be finished between 2024 and 2027 depending on the community.
“We put sidewalks in Gregoire Lake Estates last term, and it just makes it safer for children,” said Stroud. “We have walking paths in Janvier and Anzac and I received concerns in Conklin about the heavy traffic from industry going right through Conklin. People were concerned for safety, so we put in sidewalks and streetlights.”
Flood mitigation in Fort McMurray will also be a priority for her following the April 2020 flood. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates the disaster caused more than $424 million in insured damages and $617 million in uninsured damages.
By 2023, it is expected the municipality will have spent $257 million on permanent flood mitigation measures since 2015. This includes $44 million for flood mitigation in the 2021 municipal budget and $63 million for the next two years.
“My last two terms on council have been quite challenging, with the fire in 2016, the flood in 2020, and COVID-19, but I want to thank the municipality that even with these challenges projects in [Ward 4] continue to move forward," she said.
Stroud has twice ran for the Alberta NDP, first in the 2018 byelection in the former Fort McMurray-Conklin riding and again in the 2019 provincial election in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche. In both elections, she finished second to current UCP MLA Laila Goodridge.
Councillors Verna Murphy and Mike Allen are running for mayor.
There are eight people running for six council seats in Ward 1, including Funke Banjoko, Sandy Bowman, Alex McKenzie, Joseph Mugodo, Ij Uche-Ezeala, Jennifer Vardy and Rene Wells. Councillor Krista Balsom is not running for reelection.
No candidates have come forward for two Ward 2 seats representing Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan. Councillor Sheila Lalonde is running for reelection in Ward 3, which represents Draper and Saprae Creek.
Anyone interested in running for mayor, council or school trustee can apply until Sept. 20. Election day is Oct. 18. Potential candidates can contact the Elections Office at 780-743-7001 or email@example.com for information.
Information for interested candidates and voters will be provided on the RMWB website at rmwb.ca/elections. More information on the upcoming election can be found on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website.
Scott McLean, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today