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 out the nomination paperwork to enter the Ward 8 by-election as soon as possible. A by-election date has not been set. – Jason Kerr/Daily Herald
After around 10 years as a district administrator, Doug Erickson plans to make the leap to the city.
Erickson announced Friday that he would file nomination papers for the Ward 8 by-election as soon as possible. Erickson previously served as a councilor in the RM of Lakeland (now the District of Lakeland) from 1989 to 1999 and said his experience will help him if he is elected representative for West Hill.
“Having served there for 10 years, I have a pretty good idea of what the protocols are when it comes to serving on the council, so I’m not getting in quite green,” Erickson said during an interview on Friday. “There’s obviously a slight difference between urban local government and rural local government … but the wheel is still turning in the same direction.”
Erickson is a seasonal resident of Lakeland but a longtime resident of Prince Albert. His father is Orville Erickson, a former councilman and Prince Albert Citizen of the Year.
Erickson said his entire life has been characterized by community involvement. He has volunteered at the Prince Albert Winter Festival, where he currently organizes the annual Beerd Derby, and also helped transform the Prince Albert Wildlife Federation’s banquet facility into a prestigious events centre.
Erickson spent 40 years in the insurance industry along with his community activities. He is confident that his experience of organizing businesses and communities will prove useful on the Council.
“My nomination papers will be submitted as soon as they can be submitted,” he said. “I bring a lot of experience and I think I could be an advantage.”
When asked what challenges he sees facing residents of Prince Albert, Erickson said crime, homelessness and rising costs are the three concerns he hears about the most. He said Prince Albert is not the only city dealing with these challenges and stressed he wants to work with current councilors to find solutions.
“I personally know and consider the majority of current councilors as friends, so I’m confident I can work with them on a professional level,” he said. “I am confident that I can be a useful part of this organization.”
This isn’t the first time Erickson has considered running for city council. He considered having his name included in the last general election, but declined because he supported Coun. Ted Zurakowski, who won Ward 8 through acclimatization.
Erickson said he was satisfied with how Zurakowski represented the community and did not want to challenge him
“I’ve known Ted for years and felt like he was doing a great job, but I’ve always said that if there ever came a day when he decided he didn’t want to do this anymore, then I would make my move. ‘ Erickson explained.
“Now that Ted has made the decision that he needs to move for professional reasons, the timing has been right and with the business and management experience I’ve gained over the years, I think I bring something to the table can.”
Erickson is the first candidate to announce his intention to run for the vacant Ward 8 seat. The city council will discuss nomination deadlines and a by-election date at its meeting on Monday.