I apologize for not being present during this recent byelection. I am not one to remain on the bench and keep from entering conversation or debate.
Buried in the fine print of my contract with my current employer was a clause requiring permission be obtained before campaigning in any election at any level of government.
Monday (Victoria Day) evening prior to nomination day a conversation with my roommate about the upcoming election evolved into “why not run?”
Tuesday (Nomination Day) morning and five signatures later and I was in the byelection race for a spot as councillor.
Tuesday as well: I filed notice with my employer that I was running. However as a current employee of the federal government with Natural Resources Canada I required permission from my employer to campaign and be a part of this democratic process.
If I wanted to keep my current job during this election and afterwards, win or lose, I was informed that no campaigning is permitted till permission is granted to do so.
This permission process, as I became aware when I informed my employer, can take upwards of 30 days to process.
Needless to say it took until election day to be processed leaving me with four hours to go on Election Day with allowance to campaign finally.
The requirement for permission falls under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) subsection 3(1) of the Political Activities Regulations.
I had hoped to meet and hear first hand from as many of you as possible in Canmore about your hopes and dreams for Canmore.
I had as well hoped to speak and even maybe debate with all the candidates in the forums.
Some of the many points I would have brought up include:
Dismantling of photoradar in our community;
Possibly changing the existing pool area into an atrium/greenhouse with maybe a small stage area for activities such as yoga or small plays or gatherings. This would be an excellent retreat from the cold of winter for all ages maybe to read a book or take in the views;
Look at Fort McMurray’s model for ensuring mortgages and look at applying this here in Canmore as well. Our community is resource based and our current main resource, tourism, could dry up or explode. This insurance model could provide another measure of comfort to people and companies investing in our community and as well keep more money circulating locally;
Regional transit that reflects our community as a tourist destination i.e. a bus that runs to Calgary and back, that runs late at night for bar goers, that travels and stops at trail heads for adventurers;
A regional transit that may also serve our many school districts and maybe relieve some the additional costs facing parents in getting their kids to school by replacing many of the various expensive yellow bus systems;
That we hire a CAO that will live in our community;
That we fund our fire hall correctly for the needs of our community now and in the future;
That we look for funding to expand our hospital to a world class facility that not only benefits our community but becomes a destination in itself for procedures, training and studying;
That we continue planning and negotiating regionally. Exshaw, Deadman’s Flats and many of the communities along the arteries that feed our community may one day be a lot closer then they seem now. Garbage, Infrastructure, and Departments may soon merge under one roof and we should be leaders in ensuring this happens efficiently and cost effectively;
We look at Seattle and see that free wireless throughout our community would greatly benefit
We review many of the bylaws on our books and remove those we are not enforcing such as lengths of stay in the many hotel/suites within our community;
We look at getting a few more community fire pits;
We look at relaxing consumption of alcohol in public and other rules for areas and events in our community;
We look at more affordable camping options for those who would like to live outdoors and not be robbed;
We plan for commuter trains to run regularly to and within our community one day;
We negotiate better utility rates, most of these facilities are in our backyards so why are we paying so much;
We design and work towards a full ribbon of green crisscrossing seamless through our town. This could allow alternate wildlife passage to other planned and implemented wildlife corridors throughout;
Look to install an under or overpass crossing over the rail tracks somewhere feasible along Railway Avenue – this would also benefit emergency services should a train block the tracks;
Look to instill in future dense residential and commercial development to conduct and continue to follow best practice such as Leeds construction and when possible underground parking;
Look to attract and retain more government and commercial office headquarters;
Look to attract more business that operates past 2 a.m.;
Look to make Canmore more then just the town on the way to Banff;
Ensure Town staff receive the best training and upkeep of skills.
I especially like to thank the initial five who signed to place me in this race including my campaign officer Ryan Seads; and the 32 of you who took a moment to vote for me and trust me to sit the position of councillor despite my not being able to articulate a platform to Canmore and you during the 30-day run-up to the byelection.
I know our current council will do an excellent job and I do hope to speak with them on issues now and into the next election in October 2013.
I congratulate our new mayor John Borrowman and our two new councillors Vi Sandford and Sean Krausert. I hope that they live up to the expectations of those who placed their vote for them and that all of Canmore now has for them.