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Home News Longtime businessman and community organizer to run in Ward 8 by-election

Longtime businessman and community organizer to run in Ward 8 by-election

Longtime businessman and community organizer to run in Ward 8 by-election
Community organizer and businessman Doug Erickson poses for a photo in front of Prince Albert City Hall. Erickson said he will fill nomination papers to run in the Ward 8 by-election as soon as possible. A by-election date has not been set. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

After roughly 10 years as a rural councillor, Doug Erickson plans to make the jump to the city.

Erickson announced on Friday that he will file nomination papers for the Ward 8 by-election as soon as possible. Erickson previously served as a councillor in the RM of Lakeland (now the District of Lakeland) from 1989 to 1999, and said that experience will help him if elected to represent the West Hill.

“Serving for 10 years there gives me a pretty good idea of what the protocols are when it comes to serving on council, so I’m not coming in totally green,” Erickson said during an interview on Friday. “There’s obviously a bit of a difference between urban municipal politics and rural municipal politics … but the wheel still turns the same direction.”

Erickson is a seasonal resident of Lakeland, but a longtime resident of Prince Albert. His father is Orville Erickson, a former city councillor and Prince Albert Citizen of the Year.

Erickson said his whole life has been driven by community involvement. He’s served in volunteer roles with the Prince Albert Winter Festival, where he currently organizes the annual Beerd Derby, and also helped turn the Prince Albert Wildlife Federation banquet facility into a respected event centre.

Erickson spent 40 years in the insurance industry along with his community pursuits. He’s confident his business and community organizing experience will come in handy on council.

“My nomination papers will be turned in as soon as they can be turned in,” he said. “I bring a lot of experience to the table, and I think that I could be beneficial.”

When asked what challenges he sees Prince Albert residents facing, Erickson said crime, homelessness and rising costs are the three concerns he’s hearing about the most. He said Prince Albert isn’t the only city dealing with those challenges, and emphasized that he wants to work together with current council members on finding solutions.

“I actually know, personally, and consider the majority of the current city council as friends, so I’m confident in my ability to work with them on a professional stage,” he said. “I have confidence that I can be a beneficial part of that organization.”

This isn’t the first time Erickson has considered running for city council. He thought about letting his name stand in the last civic election, but declined because he supported Coun. Ted Zurakowski, who won Ward 8 by acclimation.

Erickson said he was happy with how Zurakowski represented the ward and didn’t want to challenge him

“I’ve known Ted for years and felt that he was doing a great job, but I always said, if the day ever comes where he decides that he doesn’t want to do this anymore, that’s when I would make my move,” Erickson explained.

“Now that Ted has made the decision that he has to move on for career reasons, the timing was right, and with the business and management experience that I’ve had over the years, I think I can bring something to the table.”

Erickson is the first candidate to announce his intention to run for the vacant Ward 8 seat. City council will discuss nomination deadlines and a by-election date at their meeting on Monday.