Students cast votes in mock civic election
The Alberta government could be handing Edmonton a hot potato when it gives city council the right to set default speed limits this fall.
Although 58 per cent of candidates running for city council this election support reducing speed limits on all residential roads, there’s no agreement yet on whether that speed should be 30 km/h or 40 km/h, and many others are solidly against a reduction.
“I’m not convinced that lowering the speed limit will lead to the decrease in residential speeding,” said Ward 5 candidate Sarah Hamilton, asking why city officials wouldn’t first listen to frequent resident requests for
Candidates who want Brandon Gratton’s vote must explain how they plan to spend Edmontonians’ tax dollars, and reconsider the city’s separated bike lanes.
Lucky for them, they’ll have at least six more years to earn his support. Twelve-year-old Gratton is one of thousands of students at 225 Edmonton schools voting for the first time in a simulated civic election.
“I honestly was excited. I like the fact that we vote to see if our selection would be different than the parents and the adults — to see whether our society would be different or the same,” Gratton said.
Although Alberta students simple deterrents, like adding painted lines, a crosswalk, or signals.
“Safety is a shared responsibility and we need to stop demonizing drivers for everything that happens on our roads,” said Ward 4 candidate Tricia Velthuizen, suggesting cyclists and pedestrians need to take responsibility, too.
Fifteen per cent of the 67 candidates who answered the Edmonton Sun survey said there should be no change to residential speed limits. Twenty-two per cent were undecided, or said there needs to be more research and consultation before moving ahead.
With new 30 km/h speed limits around schools and playgrounds, Edmonton is gaining a patchwork of have previously marked mock ballots during federal and provincial elections, it’s the first time the Student Vote program has come to Alberta schools during a civic election. There are 934 schools taking part allowed speeds across the city. Some suggest it would be simpler to have a lower speed on all residential roads, since children also play in front of their homes and walk from their homes to the playground.
Those in favour of the change say it would add seconds to most commutes to drive slower from a house to the main collector road or bus route.
But others still say they have unanswered questions.
Ward 7 candidate Liz John-West said she’d like to know how many collisions are taking place on residential streets now, and how this would change under the new speed limits.
Ward 5 candidate Dawn Newton said she wants actual across the province.
At H. E Beriault Catholic Junior High School at 8125 167 St. NW Thursday morning, Steven Bain’s Grade 8 social studies class had morphed the small gym into a polling station. data on the projected travel delays.
“There are enough obstacles on workers’ daily commute to and from work without following a turtle,” said Ward 5 candidate Brian Kendrick, saying his decision would be based on feedback from residents.
Ward 6 candidate Tish Prouse said lobbying the province to increase testing for drivers and penalties for driving poorly is more important. “Lots of parked cars and poor visibility lends itself to slower traffic anyway.”
Those in favour of lowering the limit said it would make communities more walkable and save lives. Several quoted a statistic that says people walking have a 90 per cent chance of survival Working as deputy returning officers, the teens prepared a voter’s list for each class, checked each student’s identification, signed and distributed ballots, and watched over the polls.
All 420 students at Beriault were tasked with studying a selection of mayoral, council, and school trustee candidates before marking their ballots.
“It really gets kids to think about the candidates, spot issues, to have discussions, and it lets them know how to become an engaged, active, informed citizen,” Bain said Thursday.
With voter turnout at 34.5 per cent in Edmonton’s 2013 civic election, Student Vote prepares students to be comfortable when struck by a car travelling 30 km/h — when hit by a car travelling 50 km/h that survival rate drops to 10 per cent. Candidates also said people are fed up with people speeding past their homes.
“Motorists are making short cuts through residential neighbourhood roads without reducing speeds,” said Ward 4 candidate Beatrice Ghettuba. “I will (also) encourage use of bumps to slow traffic speed ... Young families that live in these residential neighbourhoods are extremely unhappy because of the risks posed to their children.”
Read what candidates in each ward had to say and all our election coverage at edmontonsun.com. Sixtyseven of 69 ward candidates with how polling stations work before they turn 18, and how to efficiently research candidates, he said.
Sharone Abhilash, 13, can’t wait until she’s old enough to vote. She likes the proposal recently endorsed by city council and public and Catholic school boards to lower the civic voting age in Alberta to 16. Adults should also pay more attention to school trustee elections, she said.
“We want innovation. It’s 2017, and the world needs to change a bit more. Look at the ’90s, and look at 2017. The classroom hasn’t changed. It’s the same thing, in a room, with tables and students,” Abhilash said.
When 13-year-old Alexis Undecided/need more research or consultation: responded. @jantafrench Reduce speed limits: Skelly researched candidates in the ward, she was surprised how much work it took to run for office. She said people who don’t vote have no right to complain about election results.
“This person is representing you. Don’t you want to have a say in who would represent you?”
Student Vote is run by Toronto-based charity Civix. Chief operating officer Lindsay Mazzucco said ballots cast by Edmonton students will be compiled and the results released on Monday, shortly after the real polls close at 8 p.m.
Students vote during a mock municipal election at H.E. Beriault Junior High School in Edmonton on Thursday.