Amarjeet Sohi was elected as Edmonton's next mayor on Oct. 18 with 45.1% of the vote, handily beating the next closest candidates, Mike Nickel (25.3%) and Kim Krushell (17.3%).
Sohi, who has served Edmonton both municipally and federally, will lead a council on which four incumbents were unseated and onto which more women were elected than ever before. Sohi is also the first person of colour to be elected as the city's mayor.
"I came to this city as a young man ... I had nothing, yet I had everything. As an 18-year-old immigrant without much to my name, I had ambitions and dreams to build a better life in a new home," said Sohi on a livestream broadcast in lieu of a public event on election night.
"Dreams that sometimes seemed impossible, and today because of you ... we have made the impossible, possible. "
In a passionate speech, Sohi spoke about tackling racism and discrimination; nurturing arts and culture; building a sustainable and climate resilient city; and helping the economy recover and grow to withstand challenges in the years to come.
He also addressed voters for whom he was not the first choice, promising to show up for every Edmontonian as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will build an Edmonton for all of us," said Sohi. "So let's get to work."
The race for mayor, which many expected to be closer, was called early on as Sohi edged away from the other eight contenders (Rick Comrie and Abdul Malik Chikwudi both pulled out before election day, endorsing Mike Nickel).
Sohi will replace two-term Mayor Don Iveson, who announced last year that he would not seek re-election. Iveson congratulated Sohi in a statement, saying: "I know Edmonton will thrive under your leadership."
Record number of women elected
Edmontonians voted for a city council that looks significantly different from the previous iteration.
Moe Banga, Tony Caterina, Jon Dziadyk, and Bev Esslinger will not return to city hall, replaced by Jo-Anne Wright in Sspomitapi, Anne Stevenson in O-day'min, Karen Principe in tastawiyiniwak, and Erin Rutherford in Anirniq.
The new faces will bring fresh perspectives to city hall, but with the changing of the guard also comes the loss of decades of experience in outgoing Mayor Don Iveson and councillors who opted not to run for re-election: Ben Henderson, Scott McKeen, and Michael Walters.
First council meeting
Mayor-elect Amarjeet Sohi and the 12 newly elected councillors will be sworn in at a city hall ceremony on Oct. 26 at 1:30pm, followed by the first council meeting at 2pm.
In addition to choosing Edmonton's next mayor and city council, voters were also asked to weigh in on two referendum questions — on daylight savings time and equalization — plus pick up to three preferred Senate candidates. Those results won't be released by Elections Alberta until Oct. 26.
Unofficial results indicate a 37.6% turnout for Edmonton's 2021 municipal election, compared to 31.5% in 2017. Find the full vote counts for the city's mayor, council and school board trustees here.