Red Deer has been my home for most of my life. I moved here in 1979. I moved away to attend university but chose to come back in 1991. My late husband Dan and I thought it would be a great place to build our careers and raise a family. It proved to be true. High school sweethearts, we were married for 32 years and have three sons, Stephen, Collin, and Neil. Red Deer provided our family with good schools, sport and recreation choices, first jobs for the kids, and business and career opportunities for Dan and me. Most importantly, along the way we developed lifelong friendships.
I had the honour of serving our city as a trustee for Red Deer Public Schools from 1995-2004, six years as board chair. I also served as a member of Red Deer City Council from 2004-2013. In 2010, I was elected, for a two-year term, to the board of Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA). I am proud of my record of fiscal responsibility, building strong relationships and advocating for a vibrant and caring community. I have volunteered for several organizations including Tools for Schools Africa Foundation, Safe Harbour Society, 2019 Canada Winter Games, the Jubilee Auditoria Society, Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club, Freestyle Skiing Canada, and the United Way. In 2015, my friend and I co-founded 100+ Women Who Care – Red Deer that has raised almost $500,000 to date for local charities.
Energize and revitalize our downtown: Our downtown needs a boost. Our approach cannot remain the same if we expect change. As a community we need to define what we want it to be and then focus on doing what it takes to bring about change. We have been quick to identify the challenges and slow to act on the solutions. Property owners, businesses, the DBA, social agencies, and citizens will be important participants in this work.
Economic development: Throw open the doors and welcome people and businesses into Red Deer! Economic development is successful when we are strategic. We must reach out, build relationships, and invite innovation. We can help people see the possibilities here. We can help make things happen. Let’s try something new!
Caring about people: People in our community are struggling. The opioid epidemic and COVID-19 have made the situation much worse. The pain and suffering are real. Mental health, alcohol and drug addiction, homelessness, prostitution, drug dealing, and crime take their toll on our citizens and on our community. There is judgement and shame. Caring about and for one another is the only way through.
We are on Treaty 6 & Treaty 7 Land: For decades Indigenous people have tried to tell their stories. For decades their message has gone unheard, but change is happening. As a society we are only beginning to see and understand Canada’s history from an Indigenous perspective. Each one of us has a role to play in acknowledging the atrocities and injustice that took place. Each one of us has a role to play in healing and reconciliation. It will make our community stronger.
Good relationships make a difference: Being transparent, having difficult conversations, and focusing on what is best for Red Deer will help guide us. We make better decisions when we welcome and include diverse perspectives. City council represents all Red Deerians. A city where people can rise to their potential, a city that holds space for everyone to belong, will thrive. Diversity enriches our lives and makes our city more dynamic. Everyone should feel welcome here.