Offering everyone a space to belong.

Our city’s success relies on how we support the experiences of our people through community spaces, services, and businesses.

We need to ensure we are offering a space for everyone who lives here to belong and be committed to taking care of everyone who lives here, while finding cost-effective and needs-based ways to do that.

Age Friendly Lethbridge

I’m committed to working on the tasks outlined by Age Friendly Lethbridge, a designation that recognizes age-friendly cities and communities that promote healthy and active aging. That includes helping our city to move forward in the areas of:

  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Communication and information
  • Community support and health services
  • Accessible outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Affordable housing
  • Transportation
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Social participation

What does this mean for you? Don’t let the name fool you. An Age Friendly Lethbridge is about everyone in our community. An age-friendly community is friendly for all its citizens, and addresses many of the concerns we are all voicing about our community, including:

  • Safety
  • Accessibility
  • Employment opportunities
  • Current transit structure
  • Parks and pathways
  • Affordable housing
  • Sharing information about what’s available in our community and how to access it

Our Local Workforce

Offering everyone a space to belong includes creating opportunities for people to find meaningful work and connecting local employers with skilled and qualified employees.

Developing and retaining our local workforce is key to our city’s economic recovery. I’m committed to exploring and supporting ways to develop and retain our local workforce. I want to keep our talent in Lethbridge. This includes:

  • Working with community organizations, educational institutions, and businesses to identify what career opportunities are available in our community and how to access them. This includes an information-sharing strategy about employment and skills-building opportunities.
  • Advocating for and finding creative ways to promote local practicum placements, internships, co-ops, and applied studies in sectors throughout our community.
  • Connecting graduates and job seekers to local opportunities by supporting the organizations that are already making those connections, and working with existing and new businesses that are making commitments to support our post-secondary graduates in Lethbridge.

What does this mean for you? I want to make it easier for job seekers and employers to connect in our city and region. I don’t want you to relocate to advance in your career. I want employers to find the employees they need right here in Lethbridge.

We are well-positioned to get moving on these connections. In a recent Southwest Alberta Regional Skills study:

  • There is a willingness from both businesses and educational institutions to work together to better align training with opportunities.
  • Employers in the region report having trouble finding the right people for the jobs they are providing while many job seekers cannot find employment in the industry they are trained for.

As a result, Economic Development Lethbridge and other regional partner organizations are:

  • Developing labour market information to support decision making.
  • Pursuing programs that attract top talent and increase talent retention.
  • Increasing efforts to align training and skills with demand.
  • Creating expanded work-integrated learning opportunities.

We can support Economic Development Lethbridge and our other regional partner organizations with these initiatives.

Homelessness, Addictions, Community Safety

During this election, most people are wondering what candidates, if elected, will do about:

  • Those experiencing homelessness
  • Those experiencing addictions
  • Community safety

During this campaign, you may hear candidates claim that they have solutions for any or all these. If any one person tells you they have a solution, they don’t. These are bigger than any one person. These will require community solutions and will only be solved when we work on them together, as an entire community.

I’m committed to seeing a coordinated and integrated needs-based social services strategy that involves all sectors and service providers in engagement, land use development, and planning. It means all of us working together, not against each other or in siloed groups. It means municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government working together and holding each other accountable.

This includes determining where to locate services and recommendations on who will be running them. It will mean changing some procedures and ensuring Good Neighbour Plans are submitted with land rezoning or permitting applications. As part of this we may require an applicant to provide signed communications from each area neighbour, proof of engagement sessions and meeting schedules, and other communications with area neighbours.

Some of this work has started with the Community Wellness & Safety Strategy. However, I see gaps in employment skills and workforce development as well as in communication with the community.

Offering everyone a space to belong includes being able to help people find meaningful work, which I address above.

I cannot emphasize enough that meaningful engagement and communication must happen, and I see a huge gap in communication with the residents of our city, which is why I will commit to helping to create a communication strategy around these plans. If we as a city are going to implement plans to provide for the needs of people in our community, no matter the service, communication and engagement are key.

We all need to know and understand what’s going on, so that we can build better services for everyone in our community.

What does this mean for you? You will know what our community is planning to do, and you will have the opportunity for input and feedback.