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Friday, March 6, 2015

Let's get personal.

I was debating what to write about this morning, I have been talking non-stop the last few days about my position on one issue or another, and getting questions that can catch me off guard at how personal they can be at times. So since it is Friday, and I promised a more personal blog earlier this week, I thought I would have some fun with some crazy facts that people seem surprised to know about me, mixed in with some of the reasons I am qualified to sit on council and help move our city forward in the next three years.

-I sit on the Community Advisory Board for the RCMP

-I have done recruitment for foster care in Fort McMurray for almost two years, and we still need more foster parents.

-We always had ski-doos and quads growing up, and I still miss not having one out here in Fort McMurray.

-Tim and I plan to buy Harleys when we retire and hit the highways.

-My dad always had bigger cars, and that's what I always drove, so I feel claustrophobic in tiny cars, especially in Fort McMurray.

-Through working with fostering, and volunteering for social profit groups in town, I have learned how to build, work and rework budgets confidently. But when Tim(hubby) was in a terrible accident two and a half years ago, and was off work for 10 months, one of the best lessons we learned was that we know the value of the dollar, and how to not just survive, but thrive in hard times. It might have been a very personal lesson for us, but it is something that I would take to council and remember when making hard decisions with the money of the taxpayers of Fort McMurray.

-Everyone loves asking about our little girl. Shayleen is Aboriginal, and she came to us the day after she was born. We love her biological mother, and she knows everything that goes on with us and Shayleen. I will be forever grateful that we were lucky enough to have this little girl in our lives, and she has touched so many people.

-I sit on the board for STHT, and it is one of the proudest things that I am part of in town. You can learn more about all the work they do on their website, but their workers are completely behind the scenes, and helping so many in our community. The board isn't out there doing all the work like the workers, but I am proud to say that I know all that they do, and they are angels here on earth.

-My father is a fisherman, who worked hard from sun up to sun down my whole life, and he instilled that work ethic into all of his children. If I had one day left on this earth, I would spend it on a boat, and I still miss the water.

-When I asked my two older boys to give me one line to describe me, they both said almost the same thing. They said their mother goes after what she wants and if it's something she believes in, she doesn't take no for an answer. She loves her children, and everybody else's kids. I had to laugh at that point, as I love having my house full of my kids and their friends, and I honestly cannot remember the last day that we did not have at least one extra child in our house for any length of time.

-One of the first things I will do on council is to start helping administration and council to implement some of the recommendations of the KPMG audit. It's not a glamorous topic, but it is absolutely imperative for those policies and procedures to be put into place so that we do not keep making the same mistakes over and over. There is still a shadow hanging over our city after all the resignations and pay outs were revealed, and we need to move forward, and start rebuilding relationships with businesses and the other levels of government. In my opinion, we need to work strongly and closely with our provincial representatives so that our voice is heard in Edmonton when decisions are being made for and about our community.

-I did palliative care work for 7 years in Nova Scotia as a volunteer. Sitting with those families and patients and helping with their care are memories that I still treasure more than any other. I really don't think I have done anything else in my life that was as powerful and humbling, and I am still honoured that those families shared those experiences with me.

-There is nothing I hate more than getting my picture taken or doing a camera interview.

-I am not always politically correct(especially when our foster kids are involved), I am not suave and polished, I'm just myself, and I think I am one of the most approachable people you will ever meet.

-I would rather volunteer in the kitchen in the back then be at a table at a gala, it's just where I'm my most comfortable.

-I am absolutely wrong sometimes, and will admit when I am, and when making decisions I don't think anyone on council should allow their ego to help guide their decisions. And I feel the same way about anyone who is in a position of affecting community members, or general public, your ego should not be at play in that process.

-I never make any list without including Matt Minglewood. I love him, I have since I was 7, he is an amazing musician, but over the years I have realized he is an even more wonderful human being. His wife, Babs, is probably one of the best managers in Canada, and I have been lucky enough to call them friends for years now. And a list is never complete without Matt.

-People keep saying I am nice, like it's a bad thing. I believe politicians can be nice, and be effective in their jobs. I have met many in the last few years. But don't confuse being nice with a lack of drive or bite. I will not back down on issues I believe in, I will work for solutions that will work for the community, and I am never afraid of asking anything. I will ask if it is uncomfortable, or just to clarify information. And we have seen that we need to continue to do that on council as well.

-I love monster trucks, like the real monster trucks, stock cars, demolition derbys, and all that kind of stuff, and would love to see more of those events come to our region.

-I love driving down the hill to concerts at MacIsland, and I can't wait for Shell Place to open and see some bigger acts come to town. My favourite so far was Great Big Sea years ago, and of course, KISS was a once in a lifetime kind of thing, as it was the first rock concert we took the boys to.

-Life is serious, and council is serious, be we can't always take ourselves too seriously. So that's why I wanted to have a little fun with this today. I may do it every Friday until the election.

-I grew up in Mabou Harbour, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. And yes, there is a huge difference between the Harbour and West Mabou, and Northeast Mabou, and the village. It's stunning there, and everyone should visit Cape Breton to have a complete life.

-Oh, yeah, and I love red wine and Elvis, but those are totally out there for anyone to see on my FB.

 -This is where I grew up.

And I love to talk, so call me! My cell is 780-838-1782. And please vote, it's so important. I will keep reminding everyone of the days, the first Advance Poll is at City Hall on March 18th. Just bring your ID.

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