Ben Henderson
Who is Ben Henderson?

• As a three-term City Councillor, Ben is a proven voice for Ward 8 communities


• As a former VP for the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, Ben has a long-standing commitment to the needs of our mature neighbourhoods


• With a 25-year career as a theatre company Director, Ben understands the important roles that culture and community spirit play in enriching our lives.


• As a trained Mediator and Negotiator, Ben knows how to bring people together in addressing complex and challenging issues.


• Ben holds an MFA from the University of Alberta.

 

• With his wife Laurie Blakeman and their two dogs and four cats, Ben has lived in Edmonton for 36 years.  

 

In Past Terms

 

The City has been under huge pressures from growth and change. Our challenge has been to make sure that change happens in a healthy, financially sustainable, and environmentally sustainable way.

 

I am proud of the following achievements:

 

• I pushed for accelerated expansion of the LRT including south to Bonnie Doon and Mill Woods

 

• I spearheaded the implementation of the winter city strategy. Edmonton is now recognized as a world leader in creating a vibrant winter city

 

• I led the initiative that has resulted in the City's commitment to a new public engagement policy

 

• I advocated for the City’s Energy Transition Initiative pledging Edmonton to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement on climate change

 

• I opposed high-rise development on Whyte Avenue

 

• I succeeded in delaying the vote on the Holyrood project proposal allowing for the full impact of the project to be studied

 

• I successfully changed City policy leading to a substantial reduction of the use of pesticides on City lands

 

• I supported high quality pedestrian and bike infrastructure. The 83 Avenue bike route and the 76 Avenue/106 Street pedestrian walkways and bike routes are currently under construction. The downtown core bike grid launched this summer, and we are now working on a similar grid for the southside core

 

• I fought for new standards for pedestrian safety and walkability, resulting in a change in the City’s approach to crosswalk and street design

 

• I championed the neighbourhood renewal fund to rebuild neighbourhood roads, sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. I was recently able to have the program expanded to include back alleys. By 2022 all of Ward 8 should be up to acceptable standards

 

• I successfully pushed to create Fresh, Edmonton’s food security strategy

 

• I championed the passage of a bylaw that bans loud mufflers on motorcycles and I continue to push for full enforcement of that bylaw

 

• I spearheaded the creation of End Poverty Edmonton

 

• I voted against EPCOR’s sale of Capital Power, and against the transfer of the Goldbar wastewater treatment plant and subsequently the rest of our Drainage department to EPCOR


 

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Additional Duties taken on behalf of Council:

·      Edmonton representative on the Board of FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities)

·      Chair FCM Green Municipal Fund

·      Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Economic Development for FCM

·      Chair of the province-wide Inter-City Forum on Social Policy

·      City representative on the Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee

·      FCM representative on the Canadian Reference Group on Social Determinants of Health

·      Chair of the Contaminated Gas Station Task Force

·      Board member Edmonton Public Library

 

Prior to serving on City Council:

Ben working in his community

He served as an organizer of the coalition to Keep Drainage Edmonton, as a board member of the Old Strathcona Foundation, and a member of the Sierra Club Smart Growth Civics Committee, as well as an executive member of his community league.

Ben working for Edmonton

He also served as a VP of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL), Chair of the EFCL Planning and Development Committee, a member of the City of Edmonton's Infrastructure Technical Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee on the Tax Status of Non-Profit Organizations, and the Peer Review Panel for the Tax Status of Non-Profit Organizations, as well as the A Better Edmonton Committee.

Ben working for the arts

He helped to create the Edmonton Arts Council as a member of its original steering committee. He has been an Edmonton Arts Council VP, Chair of the City's Policy Committee for the Community Investment Program, President of the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton, and served as a board member for the Edmonton Street Performers Festival.

Ben's professional career

Ben has also been a theatre professional for over 20 years. He was the founding Artistic Director of Nexus Theatre and the Artistic Director of Theatre Network, both in Edmonton. Ben has also built a career as a trained mediator and negotiator whose practice area focuses largely on resolving family and community conflicts. He is currently mediating largely with the Catholic Social Services Family Mediation Program. He was a member of the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society and the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre. He is also a member in good standing of the Canadian Actors Equity Association.