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Kim Krushell’s Edmonton

The former city councillor says her approach is to
balance the needs of private and public sectors

Kim Krushell says her vision for the downtown involves bringing the right people together. (Campaign poster)

By Austin Schuster

SINCE KIM KRUSHELL announced Jan. 27 that she would run for mayor, she has been clear that her campaign would have a “distinct difference” from that of competitor Mike Nickel.

She also says her diverse background could be a distinct advantage for her as mayor.

A librarian and archivist by training, Krushell started her political career as an advisor to Larry Langley, former councillor of Ward 5 (now known as O-day’min). She was later elected to one of the 12 city councillor seats, overseeing Ward 2 (now known as Anirniq).

So, despite her time in city hall, Krushell is not a career politician.

“I know how tough it is to start a business and make it grow,” she told The Magpie in an email interview, “and how critical it is to have access to top talent from our post-secondary institutions, such as MacEwan University.”

Since leaving politics in 2014, she has been working in the private sector, with two companies she founded with her husband Jay, a lawyer. Now, she is president of Lending Assist, an IT company that helps cut red tape on commercial lending processes.

Krushell says her campaign aims to cover all bases: A balanced approach that includes focusing on private- and public-sector issues, as well as the economy and the city’s vulnerable population. The candidate cites as valuable her broad range of experience in the public sector, and more recently business. 

Krushell’s economic and city development track record includes voting in favour of closing the Edmonton Airport to develop the Blatchford neighbourhood, focusing on infrastructure issues like filling potholes. She also focused on projects for Edmonton’s vulnerable population during her time as councillor.

In the downtown area, Krushell was one of the councillors who was integral in supporting the Rogers Place Arena. This location is significant because it serves as a hub for downtown employment and other future services. 

Krushell was one councillor who was
integral in supporting Rogers Place

Krushell’s track record for addressing the city’s vulnerable and minority demographics is notable; it was a main focus during her term as councillor. She also contributed to the foundation of Edmonton’s next gen, an organization that aims to give young people a voice on economic opportunity, social issues and the city’s future. 

Krushell has assisted the Boyle Street community area through fundraisers like the Heart 2 Art project, which educates homeless youth and raises funds for Edmonton’s homeless population.

Looking forward, Krushell says she aims to revitalize the downtown area by listening to residents and workers concerns, then implementing thoughtful and informed solutions. She says her approach spotlights the hardships faced by city workers, non-profits, business leaders, and will improve downtown safety, an important issue. 

Business revival, she says, involves connecting the right people with the right businesses. 

Edmonton needs to create a downtown that attracts businesses and entertainment venues, she says. Potential projects to promote this could include business tax incentives, increasing downtown living, and decreasing vacancy rates. 

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