I think that you will agree that we are fortunate to live in this spectacular place … and in a community that has so much going for it. But the downside is that it IS such a spectacular place, and HAS so much going for it - and for these reasons many others want to join us here. Our community is changing, and has been for the 40 years that my wife and I have lived in Canmore.
Much of this change is a result of the continuing influx of interesting and active people -
people who add so much to the vibrancy of our community. By and large, our
neighbours are people who are active in every facet of life, and often leaders in their
fields - athletes, adventurers, artists, musicians, innovators, climbers, researchers,
professionals, and entrepreneurs of every stripe. The fabric of our town continues to
become both more interesting and stronger.
At times though, this can lead to a feeling that the community is changing too much, or too quickly, and we may feel that we are ‘losing’ our community. I have certainly felt that way over the years. However, when I think about community in this context I reflect on all that has happened in Canmore since I first moved here. I reflect on what Canmore has become - with countless opportunities for involvement, so many interesting and involved people living here, and such great facilities that add immeasurably to our community. Through this reflection, I know with absolute certainty that this continues to be the community in which I want to live my life. I haven’t lost my community - it’s changed and become stronger, and to some extent I’ve changed along with it.
However, growth and change in Canmore is challenging, as the valley is divided by a river, a railway, and the Trans-Canada Highway - and we are pretty much in the middle of a continental wildlife movement corridor. As well, our growth boundary is constrained in that we are surrounded by federal and provincial parks, and wildland conservation areas.
While I understand that, for some, no growth is the preferred future for Canmore; if history is our guide it’s clear that some development and growth is inevitable – and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Change at times can be poorly managed or not responsive to a better good; however, if growth and change is well planned, sensitive to community input – and reflects what we could be in the future rather than what we have been in the past - growth can bring opportunities that benefit our community. This is clearly evident when one considers the changes that we have seen over the past decades. Many Canmore residents are able to live here and enjoy our vibrant community only because of the changes that have occurred over the past 40 years.
Of course the effect of change has to be monitored, and managed through experience.The challenge has been, and continues to be, to find and maintain a balance between
- a healthy environment for ourselves and the wildlife that share the valley – with functional wildlife corridors and great recreational opportunities; and
- social inclusivity - with housing, services, and facilities that we can afford; and
- a strong and diverse economy that is not entirely dependent on our tourism based economy, but offers opportunity across other sectors.
Of course, it is equally important that the Town maintains the currently healthy financial situation that we have - as is reflected within the annual independent Auditors Reports and as directed within our Long Term Financial Strategy.
As the key element in my previous campaigns for Town Council, I have spoken directly to this vision of achieving a healthy balance within our community. As the Mayor I have provided strong leadership towards achieving this balance – working with my fellow members of Council, with Town Administration, with other stakeholders in the valley, and with many individuals who have offered their expertise and perspective on the issues in a constructive and selfless manner.
This same overarching principle has informed my decision to run for another term of office as the Mayor. This decision reflects my commitment to being involved in a meaningful and positive way in helping to manage change within our community.
Over the coming weeks I will post regular pieces to my campaign Facebook page and this website that will:
- review what has been accomplished through this past term of Council;
- address various community issues that are top of mind for many; and
- speak to what are the immediate challenges and initiatives that I will place as my highest priorities leading into the next term of Council.
If you have questions about certain issues, or would like more detail about various aspects of Council planning, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage you to be engaged in this election, become informed, and vote on October 16th.