In 1997 I chose Medicine Hat as my home due to the low cost of living, an abundance of high paying careers and the small town feel with big city amenities otherwise known as the "Medicine Hat Advantage". After completing Medicine Hat College, I spent 16 years in the oilfield, 4 of which were spent in the international circuit. I know how hard the people of Medicine Hat work for a living because I was there with you.
When I left the oilfield in 2016, it was a decision I needed to make. I chose to change my career path and adapt to a different lifestyle as many of us had to.
My main goal in running for city council is to encourage and promote the city to grow, change and adapt into a better future.
Attract new and different business to our city.
It is often incredibly difficult and sometimes impossible to open a new or different business in the city, especially a small business. The application process is where a lot of entrepreneurs are denied or hit with unrealistic conditions. When a business wishes to operate in our city that has never been here before and has no bylaws governing it, the application should be expedited to council for decision. In the past we have seen such applications being flat out denied, or conditions placed on it based on recommendations from city agencies that have no business weighing in on decision making for economic growth.
Our city needs to divert away from the attitude of "no we don't want that" or "yes, but it will cost you". This starts from the application process, all the way to council. I would encourage that the city, at all levels to adopt the attitude of welcoming all possible businesses and assist in the process to help get them up and running smoothly instead of hindering it.
Retaining existing businesses should be as important as attracting new businesses. We have several large and small companies that supply hundreds of good paying jobs to our city. We need to be diligent and transparent with our existing businesses to ensure we are competitive with other cities. If one of those companies decides it is going to move operations to another community, it is too late to convince them to stay. The key is to ensure they don't have incentive to leave and take a lot of good paying jobs with them.
The City council has already started to take steps in the right direction of reducing capital spending and there is still a long way to go. As the oil and gas industry drastically slowed down, many people and businesses we forced to reduce nonessential spending and retain earnings.
Transparency and Accountability
This is where I believe the city has lacked and partially why people have lost trust. Transparency and accountability are very important in any decision-making process. Together they enable the people to have a say about issues that matter to them and influence decision-making and hold those making decisions accountable for them.