A have a look at the Edmonton Heart’s federal using

Conservative MP James Cumming rises during Question Time in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Center’s riding is similar to other urban downtown neighborhoods in Canada.

It is home to many cultural attractions, and attracts singles and couples in their twenties and thirties who want a vibrant lifestyle and quick access to transportation while saving for a mortgage.

“It’s an urban city where you have lower median incomes than the average in Edmonton, Alberta. So the households are smaller, even if the people who live in those households are often employees,” says Feo Snagovsky, an assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta.

“It’s also more of a very well-trained horse riding, so you have more university degrees.”

The route is bordered to the north by a railroad line and the busy Yellowhead Trail Highway and extends south to the North Saskatchewan River.

Conservative candidate James Cumming won the seat in 2019 and was shadow minister for COVID-19 economic recovery under leader Erin O’Toole.

Cumming received 41.4 percent of the vote, while the liberal incumbent Randy Boissonnault was 33 percent behind.

Prior to Boissonnault, Laurie Hawn was riding for the Conservatives for three terms.

In this election, Boissonnault is back and trying to recapture the Liberal seat.

“There was a pretty big swing against the Liberals in Alberta in 2019 (and) the Edmonton Center was no exception,” says Snagovsky.

Despite the conservative stronghold, Snagovsky says polls suggest there might be a liberal bias on Monday.

“I think it could go either way.”

Also at the Edmonton Center, Heather MacKenzie is running for the NDP in this election.

The 2016 census shows that 109,941 people lived in horseback riding and 83,112 were registered voters.

In addition to English, many riders also speak Tagalog, Mandarin and Spanish.

With 25 percent of the population made up of immigrants, says Snagovsky, the Edmonton Center is “more diverse in the province overall, but less diverse than the rest of the city.”

Tall buildings line the city center and the nearby Rossdale district is nestled in the lush river valley.

A lot of people live on the streets north of downtown, in the McDougall district.

“Whenever I walk through the city center, I notice… how many people have no place to go home. So people are worried about it, ”says Snagovsky.

Indigenous peoples make up a large part of the ridings homeless population, adds Snagovsky, and voters may also consider reconciliation.

Downtown opioid use is also an issue, even if the country’s opioid crisis was not widely discussed during the election campaign.

“But I think it’s something that equestrian people will definitely be interested in,” says Snagovsky.

Childcare, which is a key issue for the Liberals, is also an issue that affects people at the Edmonton Center near them, Snagovsky adds.

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The Liberals introduced a national daycare program in their April budget that aimed to bring fees down to an average of $ 10 a day within five years, and signed agreements with eight provinces. Alberta and Ontario have yet to register.

The Conservatives have instead proposed a refundable tax credit that would cover up to 75 percent of childcare costs or a maximum of $ 6,000 for Canada’s lowest income families.

“People in equestrian sports are more likely to think about having children,” says Snagovsky. “So maybe they are thinking more about what affordable childcare will be available in the near future.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 16, 2021.

This story was produced with financial support from Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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