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Friday, March 27, 2015

Last push to Election Day.

It's the Friday before Election Day, I can't believe we are down to the last couple of days of the campaign already. Business first, you can vote at MacDonald Island tomorrow from 9a.m. until 8p.m. So if you are down there for hockey or the gym, please drop in and vote. Monday is the big day, you can vote at MacDonald Island, the Oilsands Discovery Centre, Holy Trinity(Timberlea) and Ecole St. Paul(Thickwood).  And Monday is the same time as tomorrow's poll.

It has been an intense few weeks, I never really felt like it was enough time, I wish I could have been able to knock on some more doors and meet some more residents of Fort McMurray. But it is what it is, and hopefully people will look at my work of the last eight years. I have written about almost any issue you can think of, and talked to more residents in those years than I ever thought possible. In doing all that work, and watching and studying council I have gained a huge amount of knowledge about how council works and what the residents that live here want from their council.

And now, it's up to the voters, and it will be all about who can inspire the most people to actually go vote. I would ask you to share this and encourage your friends and family to also get out and vote.

In the last few years I have become increasingly frustrated with the fact that council seemed to not be listening to the residents. It has gotten better in the last 18 months or so, but I think we should be even more open and accessible. I want people to really feel connected with their representatives, and therefore their local government. I would like to join the other councillors who have started the meet and greets every quarter, and I will of course continue to use this blog and all my social media to keep residents informed of what is going on with council. Just as I did before the election for years, I will continue the same after Monday.

During this campaign I have had some support that has meant a great deal to me. I have had strong support from family and friends, and I have had support from people that I never would have dreamed would support me in my run for this council seat. I am proud that I have remained true to my word and my values, and I did the best I could with the resources I had. I wanted to share some of the emails that friends have sent out on my behalf, and please feel free to post your comments on why you will be supporting me at the polls on Saturday and Monday. Please drag your family and friends out to vote, as every single vote will help me win and put me in the position to be a strong voice in Ward 1.

Jon Tupper wrote the following email and sent it out to support me, he has been so generous as a friend, but also as a resource of information for me about everything during this campaign.

As I'm sure you know, there is a by-election for Municipal Council Ward One this coming Monday, March 30.  And as you know me, you know I'm a fierce advocate of democracy; it is the most important freedom we have.  Our voter turnout in Fort McMurray is always very low, especially in by-elections.  I just wanted to send a personal note encouraging you to cast a ballot this Monday so that your voice can be heard.  You can find the correct polling station by following this link:

Personally, I am supporting Verna Murphy for council.  I've known Verna for years as a friend and she is a strong advocate for our city.  She follows council closely and is passionate about municipal affairs; I don't think she's missed watching a council meeting in half a decade.  Verna also has the wisdom to pick up the phone and talk to people about issues, she is not a politician that wishes to be elected, she is a resident who wants to make sure our voices are heard.  Verna is also a very kind woman who has helped my wife and I out on numerous occasions.  She and her family are always willing to extend kindness to those around them and she is dedicated to our community.  Kindness and dedication are two traits which I admire most.

I sincerely hope to see you out at the polls on Monday if you have not already voted.

Yours very sincerely,

Jon Tupper

Vaughn Jessome and I have not always hit it off. At times over the years I thought he hated me, as he seemed to be so bossy and we fought often about my political comments. I am sure friends and family are laughing, imagine, Vaughn and I fighting.  But through our interactions, I gained so much knowledge about governance and the various responsibilities of the various levels of government. During this campaign, he has continued to push me, and I honestly doubt I would even be running if it wasn't for him. He has been an unbelievable support for me, and I can't thank him enough. He wrote the following post on Facebook: 

Good Day to All
You are receiving this message because you either live in Fort McMurray or know friends and/or family who live there and enjoy the community. Many second and third generation youth are now entrenched in Fort McMurray and doing their best to make it the best place to live, raise children and feel safe. Everyone who lives in this community plays a crucial role in its development and future planning.
I am asking you for your support in ensuring that the voices of those who care the most about our community be adequately represented on council which our community’s future is most often decided. How can you support me? By supporting VERNA MURPHY in the upcoming by-election which was required due to the resignation of a good friend of mine and yours, Guy Boutilier. Verna has called Fort McMurray home for more than 8 years and has been actively involved in community through organizations such as the Foster Parent Association, Sustainable Housing Transition Team, Community Advisory Committee (of which I was the Chairperson for 10 years) responsible for setting Yearly Policing Priorities as well as being the voice of the community relating to safety issues and working with the R.C.M.P. just to name just a few organizations she is involved with.
Verna is an award winning blogger who also wrote a column for the Fort McMurray Today, The Cape Breton Post as well as many other periodicals. Verna Murphy was also selected as a Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta’s Women of Inspiration in which they said (regarding Verna’s writings) “In (Murphy’s) articles, she is relentless in holding those accountable on the political stage,”.... “She has the ability to take a topic, investigate and put to words the thoughts that are far reaching.”
A vote for Verna is a vote for the community at large. A vote for Verna will yield you representation that has a knack for being persistent, knowledgeable and tenacious. Verna is someone who cares as much if not more than anyone else in our community.
For those who live in Fort McMurray:
Send words of encouragement/support for Verna
Get out to vote and vote for Verna Murphy
“Like” and “share” Verna’s political page continuously (every time your share it translates in more votes as your friends will support your choices)
Speak to your friends and encourage them to do the same
For those who do not live in Fort McMurray:
Please “like” and “share” Verna’s page and content as much as possible. Encourage your friends, children and family living in Fort McMurray to do the same.
Every Vote Counts!! Every Shared post Counts!! Every conversation with your friends and family Counts!! Selecting Verna to represent us on council Counts!!
Verna Murphy Contact information:
Cell Phone: 780-838-1782

I will continue to work through this weekend and come Monday, please remember to vote, your vote will help make a difference. I would also like to say a special thank you to Tim, Mitchell, Nathanial and Shayleen before this weekend goes into overdrive. Your support, and your belief in me has given me the confidence to attempt to win this seat. Tim, as usual, you are right in there with me, I really couldn't have tackled this without your support and help at home. Love you all so much, thank you. 

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