I was discouraged to learn about Town of Canmore council’s decision to vote against the development of employee housing in industrial areas, especially after such significant support coming from the business community and the community at large. However, it was encouraging to see the support from the mayor.
It was bizarre to see four out of the seven councillors voting against the initiative, even though the motion was only recommending further examination of the idea. These are the same councillors I’ve heard speak about the critical importance of developing affordable housing period.
At a national level, housing affordability has become a major issue and it is clear in trying to find solutions that local councils play an important role. It is, therefore, disappointing that Canmore has decided to not be part of the solution, but rather to perpetuate the status quo. I hope that during the public hearings people come and share their opinions, especially those that would be most greatly impacted.
Some of the best cities and towns in the world have developed a multi-use strategy for living and working spaces. The councillors that voted against it spoke of the long-term future, but this perspective of isolating work and living spaces is actually an out of date concept.
I look forward to a hearty debate during the public hearings, but I hope that Canmore does not add to the problem and drag its feet too long on this obvious quick win for our town and those looking to house themselves affordably.