Comments to the Chamber of Commerce Election Forum

Last evening, I had the privilege to speak at the Chamber of Commerce’s All Candidate Election Forum.

The format provided each candidate for Council with three minutes to state their message.  For those of you who were unable to attend, my comments are noted below.

If past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance, let me review just a few of the accomplishments of the last council on which I had the privilege to serve.

  • The lowest average annual tax increase in the capital region – 2. 94%
  • The designation of approximately 700 acres of employment land
  • A retooled civic administration focused on economic development
  • New commercial development, including COSTCO on St. Albert Trail
  • The best solid waste management process in the capital region
  • The complete remediation of the Riel Dump Site
  • The completion of Big Lake Point and other affordable housing initiatives

However, this election is about each candidate’s vision of the future of our community. 

I believe our city should continue to grow in a way that is community centred and consistent with the model that has made St. Albert the best city in Canada to live and raise a family.  That means: green spaces, parks, trails, trees and services that meet our needs.  It is this commitment when fulfilled collectively that transforms a city into a community like ours.

Next, we need to cultivate our business sector.  We do this by marketing the strengths of our city and by embracing a “smart city” approach to business growth. Working with Cisco, IBM and other technology innovators we can make St. Albert the destination of choice for high technology companies coming to serve the business expansion in the north and in the Industrial Heartland.

We also need to find “efficiencies” in civic service provision.  Working with the Capital Region to provide transit services is one example of lowered costs through regional service cooperation.

Further, we need to continue to be environmentally conscious, never wavering in our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Finally, we need to create ways to meet the needs of seniors and youth.  Reaching out to youth and supporting them in a variety of ways will provide the context in which they can succeed. For seniors we need to create an age friendly community.  We need to build the next phase of Northridge Lodge, find a location for the next Chateau Mission Court and provide affordable housing and transportation alternatives to those, who over the years built our city.  They deserve no less.

Ladies and Gentlemen, new families and new innovative businesses are looking to locate in a city that is aesthetically pleasing, technologically innovative, environmentally progressive, that celebrates the arts, honors its culture and heritage and is a great place to raise a family.  Anyone know a city like that?  I do!  Its name is St. Albert!

On October 21, vote BRODHEAD and join with me as we continue to build the best city in Canada!