Council Candidacy Question and Answer Part 1
Hello readers, I have been receiving inquiries from many people these days as they wanted to get to know what are my values and intention for the community. If you have questions, please feel free to message them to me through the chat button or email it to me at email@example.com.
THE THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Question: What are your primary goals to help Canmore grow into a more sustainable community that is faced with the threat of climate change? (asked by Jonah and Kael, Grade 11 students from Canmore Collegiate)
Answer: That's an excellent question! Coming from the Philippines, I have experienced the effects of climate change. We get extreme climates there, and the number of typhoons we get increases and becomes more robust every year. When my little brother was only three days old, our roof was blown away by the storm, and we were there in the corner of the destroyed house, waiting for the storm to end. We were blessed to survive that disaster. Also, I have lost count of how many times school got cancelled because of floodings. To add, people there has a shorter life expectancy because of pollution. Now I think my grandparents could still be alive and be proud of my current achievements if they had a healthier environment. My family is fortunate to move to Canada for a better life. We are also lucky in Canada because we haven't experienced the wrath of climate change the way I experienced it. We all must understand that we face a threat of climate change, and we are all accountable. Every day, we hear different ways that we can act against climate change. We all know that every small action and choice collectively makes a massive impact on the health of our planet. We could ban single-use plastics, encourage everyone to find alternatives than using their cars, educate each other to conserve energy, and many more. We all know what to do but putting it into action is the real deal. But on top of all, we need to spread kindness to one another, our environment, and our planet. There may be times we do not know what to do, but the spirit of compassion will guide us.
THREE SISTERS MOUNTAIN VILLAGE (TSMV)
Question: Could you give a brief summary of your views and plans surrounding the Three Sister Mountain Village Area Plan? (asked by Jonah and Kael, Grade 11 students from Canmore Collegiate)
Answer: Because our community sits in the wildlife corridor, we all have obligations to protect the environment. The wildlife came here before us, so we have to respect their land. We did a cultural learning circle at artsPlace with some indigenous elders and learned the phrase "Wazin Ichinabi," meaning "we are one" or "I am one with you." We human beings are united not just with one another but also with the environment. Expanding Canmore as offered by the Three Sisters Mountain Village would not be suitable for the environment. The grizzly bears need large territories to move around. Their genes need to mix up for their generations to survive. If we obstruct their movements, it is only a matter of time until they become extinct. Also, miners used the underground of this area, meaning the land became unstable. If we develop it into a village, we are putting the people living there in danger because there is a risk of it collapsing. We should never gamble with people's life. Instead, I invited everyone from youth to adults to participate in initiatives protecting our environment. I challenge you to go out on your own time and pick up garbage scattered in your area. You do not need to announce your kind deeds, it is best to do good works when done without the intention of getting attention from others.
MUNICIPAL RESORT STATUS
Question: Given the unsuccessful attempts for two decades to lobby the province to achieve resort municipality status, how would candidates go about advocating the province in the short- and long-term to potentially achieve resort municipality status? Short of achieving the status, are there other potential ideas within the legal confines of a municipality that could help the Town of Canmore when it comes to raising increased revenue from visitation to help with increased infrastructure costs? (Question by RMO with 250-word limit on answer) Answer: Thank you for the excellent question because it raises awareness regarding the resort municipality's status. Our taxpayers need to understand why this is a crucial topic. Despite the number of tourists we welcome in Canmore, our town is not considered a tourist municipality, meaning we cannot collect levy from tourists dedicated to helping our municipal expenses. Our residents and businesses pay for the infrastructures and provisions that tourists enjoy during their visit to Canmore. An extra fund collected from visitors is added to their hotel fees, but it goes to the province, not to our municipality. If we collect dedicated tax from tourists, the residents would be less burdened with a significant increase in annual tax. It can collectively result in more affordable housing.
We are not the only municipality that faces this issue. Jasper and Banff also struggle with the same situation. The CAO of the town of Canmore reported that we were close to achieving this status during the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Unfortunately, the bid did not happen; the 2019 Alberta elections and the pandemic postponed the issue. With the new Council, we must add this to priority while helping residents with affordability. The new Council must also network with Banff and Jasper and the provincial government. If the province of BC has this initiative, Alberta can also implement the municipal tourist status program. In the meantime, our town could write a request for a provincial grant to aid our municipal expenses as a temporary resolution.
Love Your Lake - Community cleanup drive on Sept 26 2021 initiated by Town of Canmore, Bow Valley SPCA, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and WildSmart.