- Why are you running for office?
I love Airdrie fiercely, and as a wife, and mother of three, I’ve grown to see a lot of areas for opportunity here. We deserve not only a thriving economy, but resources, infrastructure, and programming for families and youth that will truly let them shine. Families have struggled more than ever these last few years between the recession and the pandemic, and as a City, it’s time we create urgency and accountability around the policies that shape our day-to-day quality of life. I’m running because I understand where we’ve come from and where we are going, and have the passion, energy, and knowledge to drive it forward.
- How will you help to make Airdrie a better place to live, work and play?
Live – Let’s make the day-to-day easy for residents. Snow removal, waste management, and other city services shouldn’t be complicated. Let’s get people better returns for their tax dollars by creating valuable services that actually lower the overall costs in the long-term and increase quality of life.
Work – The City of Airdrie staff have put together excellent strategies between their Economic Strategy and Downtown Revitalization Plan. As a councillor, I will work to support policies that expedite these strategies because the world of work has changed significantly in the last couple of years and we need to pivot to embrace it. The strongest economies are the ones that encourage spending within their own city limits.
Play – Over and over again, it is proven that investing in cultural groups, the arts, sports, and tourism has proven to draw in incredible returns on investment. We need to be willing to look into ways to creatively fund all of these things to encourage local economic growth.
- What is the most important issue in this election and how do you plan to address it?
Ultimately, it boils down to the mental, physical, and financial health of all of our citizens. If we can attract jobs to Airdrie, we attract dollars, which in turn go to all of our local businesses to help them thrive, creating happier and healthier families. By working with the council to encourage policies that help stimulate our local economy, grow programs that support healthy and happy families, and make sure we have local resources to support our citizens and businesses when times are tough, we will create a strong city that can survive any challenge that comes our way.
- How do you plan to be transparent and accountable to your constituents?
Instead of talking about transparency and accountability, let’s talk about why people should care. Let’s talk about how City council can talk “real” talk and communicate with people without a perceived veil of secrecy or complicated language around issues. Let’s bring it back to the people we work for and engage them and teach them why it matters. You’ll see in my campaign that I’m working hard to share the “basics” of politics and taking the shame out of not understanding what’s going on in our city.
- Why should residents vote for you?
The role of a councillor is to make decisions on policies and practices that are for the greater good. If you have ever felt confused or surprised by decisions made by the city, if you’ve ever felt frustrated trying to register your child for a program only to find it full, if you’ve ever been left stuck in your driveway because the snow isn’t cleared for days, if you or your organization have closed their doors because of financial woes or cut funding, I am your voice. I will advocate for all those who have felt unheard or underserved to achieve the best outcomes for all.
We asked our readers/followers on social media what they wanted to know from City of Airdrie candidates and came up with three questions.
The answers for each candidate will be listed here and posted to airdrielife‘s social media channels on Sept 22 (question 1), Sept 29 (question 2) and Oct 6 (question 3).
Editor’s Note: The answers below are completely unedited and appear here exactly as they were sent to airdrielife via email.
1. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action published 94 “calls to action” urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. Which of the Calls to Action do you believe the City of Airdrie council should focus on?
Grateful for this question. I would never want to speak for any Indigenous People, but I would work actively to elevate their voices and consult with them to do what is right. As far as the TRC is concerned, here is where I stand, though I am not limited to these…
Points that I feel I could support and see change in quickly:
#57: support awareness training to public sector staff
#69.iii: support public awareness programming in libraries, museums and archives
#79.i,iii: create school site commemoration and framework (to clarify, I don’t believe Airdrie has any residential schools within our limits but I support the renaming of George MacDougall High School, for example).
#83: create collaborative art that contributes to reconciliation
#92: apply reconciliation in corporate sector policy and core operational activities
Points I believe are important but require longer consultation:
#21: fund new healing centres & #22: recognize value of healing practices
#48.ii: enhance self-determination in spiritual matters (practice, develop, teach and hold ceremony)
#45.iii: reaffirm and renew Treaty relationships, and maintain them for the future
#34: enhance community supports for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
#38: address over- representation of youth in custody
#87: celebrate Indigenous athletics history
#88: enhance athletic development
#89: deepen policies to promote physical activity
#90: establish stable funding, programs for coaches, anti-racism awareness
#91: include Indigenous participation in international gaming bids (I feel like this is more for games like Alberta summer/winter Games, etc and rarely International, but yes, still applies).
2. How would you work to improve arts and culture infrastructure and opportunities in the city if you were elected?
Arts and Culture have always been severely underfunded in our City. Artists and organizations have been accused of not having passion or drive to create art here, but truly they are burnt out from working so hard to do it alone for so long. I would immediately push for an active Arts and Culture consulting committee, re-assess how our City is engaging in alternative funding by other levels of government and private sector grants and programs, and ensure that we are actively pursuing programs and ventures that create strong return on investment. In 2021 Airdrie missed out on multiple funding opportunities for the Arts that other communities did take advantage of, which in turn created many immediate economic benefits within those cities. Calgary has aggressive arts funding which costs each tax payer roughly 11 dollars per year. There are commitments of accountability for outside infrastructure bids which include arts & culture funding as well. As a city we can begin holding stakeholders accountable to our citizens and grow a thriving arts scene that attracts further business and investment. I plan to educate on the dollar value an active arts & culture scene means to a city, and create incredible opportunities for the people and families who work and play here.
3. What is your vision to help progress Airdrie’s economic growth over the next 10 years?
Airdrie has long been a community heavily reliant on developers to help subsidize our economic health. While we will still need that growth, ensuring we are building diverse neighbourhoods and a strong downtown core means we can attract working people and families who are willing to live and play here, and thus, invest here. By following the recommendations laid out in both the Economic Development Strategy and Downtown Revitalization Plans laid out by the city, we truly can reduce our reliance on services from other cities and begin keeping our dollars local more often. When we attract work opportunities and employers to Airdrie, we create work for its citizens and encourage great cycles of local spending. By supporting policies that encourage this kind of growth and work diversity, it lays a strong foundation that helps us to be recession proof now, and in the future. We need to focus on transit alternatives, unique hiring experiences, family-focused infrastructure and amenities, and creative housing strategies. We need a strong community ready to grow up and shine for all that it truly is.