I have been working on your behalf as a Banff Town Councillor since 1994. In that time, I've served on various local, regional, provincial and national committees and boards. I pledge I will use my more than 20 years of council experience to help our community in every possible way.
Thank you so much for the support you have given me that has allowed me to do this interesting, rewarding and sometimes challenging position. With your continued support, I will bring this leadership experience back to the council table.
Other work experience includes: campus life facilitator at the Banff Centre; conducted municipal census for the Town of Canmore; computer programmer/analyst at Canadian Mountain Holidays; various bar and restaurant positons (server, bartender, manager); and, mountain host and snow school desk at Mount Norquay. I have a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in computer science from McMaster University.
Raising 3 children with my husband, Jim, was one of my greatest joys and learning experiences. Skills obtained in these roles and the experience of over two decades of leadership on council will enable me to work hard and effectively on your behalf.
Volunteer, community or committee/board experience:
In my 23 years on Banff Council I have sat on, or been involved with, virtually every municipal committee.
On behalf of council I have been on two commissions: Bow Valley Regional Housing (currently vice-chair) and Bow Valley Waste Management Commission. I am past-president of the YWCA of Banff and Green Communities Canada. Other commitments are as a volunteer Climate Reality Leader with the Climate Reality Project Canada and council appointed member to the board of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley.
With the support of council, I was elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) as an Alberta representative. I concluded my 10 years with FCM as a member of their Executive Committee representing Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and, with responsibility for the financial oversight of the $550 million green municipal funds. I have also served on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association committee for increasing women's participation in municipal government
How long have you lived in the community:
It's been a privilege to call Banff my home for 40 years
Why are you running for public office:
I hope to work for you again and to work with the elected mayor and council to make our town the best place to live, work, play and visit. There is always work to continue and more work to do. It is important to make the best possible decisions because they impact people's lives so directly. A benchmark I use in decision making is "Will this improve the life of our residents?"
I believe in this statement created by Town of Banff employees; "Taking Care of Banff: our People, our Community, our Park." That captures what is important to me. When our daughter was quite young she peered through the window into a council meeting and saw me sitting at the council table. When I got home she asked me, "Mom, are you the boss?" I replied "No, I'm not the boss. I work for every single person who lives here. They are my boss."
What qualities or characteristics would you bring to public office:
Dedication. Vision. Experience.
Banff has been my home for more than 40 years. Jim and I married here. Our children have grown up here. Our roots are deep and my dedication is strong. The Town of Banff mission statement captures how I approach my work as a councillor. "Within our unique mountain environment, we strive to provide optimum quality of life for our residents, and a quality experience for our visitors." I have had the privilege of working with 8 councils, every mayor the Town has had, committed staff and being a councillor for 23 of the 27 years that we have been incorporated as a municipality
What issues are important to you as a candidate:
I will bring a focus on housing, transportation and traffic management, social needs, and environmental and economic sustainability. As vice-chair of Bow Valley Regional Housing I am especially excited about the Level Two assisted living for seniors which will open in a few months. The next phase of development will be Level Four housing which will include housing for those with Alzheimer's.
I also want to focus on some specific issues: expanding involvement in the Fire Smart program into our residential properties, looking at how many parking spots there are for people with disabilities and where they are located, improving walkability (by reducing the snow and ice buildup in our crosswalks, and, removing branches and bushes that overhang the sidewalks). Also, I want to be involved with the review of two governing documents; Banff National Park Management Plan and the Banff Community Plan.
I would like to see us conduct a shopping basket study to demonstrate to the other orders of government the high costs of living and operating a business in Banff in comparison to other communities. We can use this information to help support our arguments for increased funding.
I encourage you to be involved and make your issues known by answering citizen surveys, participating in open houses, by talking to your councillors and following what is happening in our town.
What is the greatest challenge facing elected officials in the community when it comes to planning for the future of the community:
I believe the greatest challenge is balancing the needs and wants of our community with our financial capabilities. Our goals of meeting the housing needs of our residents, managing our transportation and traffic, meeting our social needs, being an environmental role model, and meeting the needs of our businesses and visitors all compete with one another for financial support. I am guided by your input, by best practices of other municipalities, by the strategic plan that each elected council develops and my commitment to making Banff a wonderful place to live.
How can people find out more about you or ask you questions:
I welcome sidewalk conversations, arranged meetings, emails, texts and phone calls. I invite you to visit www.chipolver.ca and my Facebook page Chip Olver for Banff Council.
In the words of Dr. Emmett Brown in the movie Back to the Future 3 – "Our future hasn't been written yet. It is whatever you make it. So make it a good one." Please let me work for you to make our future the best it can be.