After the 2021 municipal election, Andrew Knack found himself in an unusual position.
He was under 40 and entering his third term on Edmonton City Council. That’s young when you think of the incumbents who win over and over again in municipal elections.
But, after voters elected eight rookies to council, Knack became the veteran. Within a day of the election, he had contacted all of the councillors-in-waiting, telling them his door was open and he’d be available to answer questions to help them get acclimated to their new jobs.
When it comes to municipal governments, no matter where you go in Canada, incumbents often get re-elected. City councils, county councils, town councils — they are filled with veterans. It’s not unusual to see elected officials who have been on their councils for 15 years or more. So this Edmonton City Council is unusual, with so many new faces and no long-standing veteran.
“When I saw the results come in, I realized this term was going to be far different than I was expecting,” says Knack, who represents Ward Nakota Isga, which includes established neighbourhoods like Glenora and Crestwood, but stretches all the way to the western border of the city.
“This has been an incredible opportunity for me, I’ve really cherished it,” says Knack of his role as the “old man” of council. “I cherish the opportunity to answer questions and provide advice, but not in a ‘do it this way, because this is what Old Man Andrew says’ kind of way. I’m not shaking my fist at clouds, I just want to help.”