Former Liberal MP Sohi is aspiring to develop into the subsequent Edmonton Mayor
Amarjeet Sohi does not miss federal politics.
The 57-year-old former bus driver is one of ten candidates to succeed Edmonton’s Mayor Don Iveson in the local elections on October 18.
Sohi served two terms as a city councilor after his first election in 2007.
In 2015 he won as a Liberal candidate for Edmonton-Mill Woods. He played a key role in Justin Trudeau’s government, overseeing infrastructure and communities, and natural resources.
Sohi would only serve one term in the House of Commons after losing to Conservative MP Tim Uppal in 2019.
Sohi said little about his next political move until last May when he announced his campaign for mayor.
While a federal election is underway, Sohi said he was only targeting Edmonton.
“I honestly don’t miss being part of party politics,” he told iPolitics. “I really enjoyed working as a Member of Parliament, as a minister … but I didn’t like the lifestyle of going back and forth (to Ottawa) and traveling around the country.”
Sohi’s return to local politics comes during significant changes in Edmonton and Calgary.
Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, both considered progressive mayors, will no longer run. Iveson made his decision public in November last year, and Nenshi made his intentions known in April.
The mayors of Alberta’s largest cities often clashed with Jason Kenney’s provincial government.
A major point of contention was the United Conservative Party’s decision to cut Edmonton and Calgary’s $ 500 million-a-year core funding, shared between them, by $ 45 million, ending years of negotiations for the two Giving cities more say in how they spend their money, according to a CBC report.
“Little did we know that the fiscal framework of the City Charter was going to be torn apart today,” Iveson later told reporters.
When asked how he would handle the situation, Sohi said he would start by making sure the Edmonton people understand what is at stake.
“If funding for urban infrastructure is cut, it means there will be cracks in the streets, traffic will stall and transport systems will not be upgraded,” he said. “I want to have conversations like this with Edmontonians and the province. (I want to) find common ground on these topics. “
In the event of an election, Sohi would seek to work with all partners in the city, including the provincial government.