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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What can I do as a councillor?

The last few weeks have been some of the most interesting ones that we have had as a family since we moved to Fort McMurray. I knew that when I decided to run for the vacant council seat that it would be intense and that it would be a lot of work. I feel like I am quickly running out of time, so instead of writing much of anything, I have been out every day knocking on as many doors as I physically can before Election Day on Monday. Even after doing it for almost six weeks now, I feel like I have barely made a dent, but I will keep pushing through right until the very last day.

Tomorrow you can go vote at another advance poll at Jubilee Centre(city hall) from 9a.m. until 8p.m. and then on Saturday you can vote at the last advance poll at MacDonald Island during the same times.

And then Monday is Election Day, and you can vote from 9a.m. until 8p.m. but the polls are different on Monday then they usually are, and I am finding a lot of people don't know about this change yet. On Monday you can only vote in four places:

MacDonald Island
Oilsands Discovery Centre
Holy Trinity Highschool(Timberlea)
St. Paul's School(Thickwood)

You can vote at any of the four locations on Monday, just make sure you bring ID. And if you are wondering about what ID is suitable, here is a link that covers the list of IDs you can use.

You must be 18 and a Canadian Citizen.

As we go into this final push before the big day, I cannot stress enough how every single vote is so important. So if you have children or relatives in town who are eligible to vote, please check in with them to make sure they have marked their "X", and encourage all your friends to do the same.

I have not missed watching a rural development, administration, budget and audit committee, or a council meeting in the last two years. I have been writing about Fort McMurray and all the issues for almost nine years now. For the last month or so I have been on leave from the paper while I campaign, and it's the first time in 9 years that I have not written a column every single week. I know the issues, I will be able to jump right into council business and I want the people of Fort McMurray to have a strong voice at the council table. A woman who understands that we have to help our community develop in the next few years, but also a woman who understands all the work that our social profit groups do in town and how we need to appeal to our families to stay and live in Fort McMurray. I will be so honoured to win that place on council, but I will not for one second take one single vote for granted, nor will I take for granted the time I will be able to spend on council. I will work hard every single day of that term to accomplish some positive things for our city.

The KPMG audit was done last year and it cost taxpayers $212,000. Out of that audit, there were 46 recommendations. We lacked policy and procedure on almost everything. We had no policy in place on how we acquire land, how expropriation is handled, how we hire and fire people, and how severance packages were paid out. We have all seen the mess that has been left because of these huge gaps in policy and procedure. One of the first things I want to do is put those recommendations on the agenda so they can be reviewed in public so that we, the taxpayers, know that these mistakes are being fixed. Once the structure of the municipality is dealt with, I truly believe that we will be able to attract developers and business people will feel more comfortable with investing more locally. With more services and infrastructure in place, families will be more attracted in moving their families here and our residential tax base will grow. But if we don't deal with those recommendations, we will keep repeating our past mistakes.

There will be no magic wand to fix everything overnight, it's going to take a lot of hard work, time and commitment on the part of council, administration and the mayor to get Fort McMurray moving forward, and I want to be part of it all. I want to sit at that council table and help with some common sense decisions that have to be made for our residents. Give me two and a half years on council and I will give it my whole heart, soul and mind for that time.

If you want to chat about any of the issues, please call 780-838-1782 or email me at:

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