Although all eight wards voted in his favour, the city’s newly elected mayor Greg Dionne received the strongest support from Wards 1 through 4 — “the flats.”
The City of Prince Albert released their poll-by-poll election results this week, showing support for Dionne in every ward during the Oct. 24 election, over incumbent Jim Scarrow and newcomer Dean Link.
Ward 2, which saw 56.1 per cent of voters support Dionne, doesn’t come as too big a surprise, Dionne said, because he’s served the ward as councillor for nine years.
“In Ward 2, I got a lot of work done, because it’s so diversified,” he explained.
In addition to the city’s downtown core, Ward 2 includes city land north of the river, which comes with its unique challenges.
Some of these challenges were addressed during Dionne’s campaign, particularly when it comes to things like utility rates coupled with limited services offered by the city north of the river.
A new cutoff wall at the city’s landfill site, which protects residents’ wells from contaminated water seepage, is a notable recent success story for council, Dionne said.
The Gateway Mall is also located within Ward 2. Dionne has served as mall manager for 22 years.
“I’ve had lots of opportunity to talk to the people in the flats,” he said, noting that Wards 1 and 3 border Ward 2, with Ward 4 located at the city’s eastern edge of the flats.
“If they had a concern, I went out and looked at the issue. I didn’t just talk to them on the phone.”
A key campaign point during Dionne’s run for mayor was the need to work on city infrastructure. With the flats housing older infrastructure than much of Wards 5 through 8, Dionne suspects that this point may have resonated more deeply in the flats.
Dionne took the strongest lead in Ward 1, which makes up the city’s westernmost area south of the river, at 57.6 per cent of the vote. Link also received his strongest support in Ward 1, with 14.3 per cent of the vote.
Ward 3 saw Dionne with 55.8 per cent of the vote, and Ward 4 with 55.4 per cent.
Wards 5 through 8 showed support of between 47.1 per cent and 51.5 per cent for Dionne, with every ward’s vote coming in his favour.
Dionne said that this shows him where he will need to focus greater attention during his time as mayor, during which time his focus must broaden from his time as councillor.
“As a ward councillor, you have three or four issues,” he said. “Now, I have the three or four issues in eight wards … I have to rethink myself for all eight wards.”