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Town administration hoping for plenty of diverse council representation

Posted on September 15, 2021 by Taber Times

By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

As we are now less than a week from the federal election on Sept. 20, it is important to remember there is still a municipal election coming in October.

Nomination Day is set for Sept. 20 at noon, and all papers have to be submitted before that time.

The town has been communicating various amounts of resources for people who are thinking of putting their name into the election ring. These resources are public and available to anyone who may need some help or is on the fence.

“The Town of Taber looked at it a certain way when planning the communications for the election and we just want to give voters the choice. Ultimately, we wanted to make sure all the resources were available for every one of diverse backgrounds and all candidates that considered running to make sure that they realize that these resources are available. Get their names out there that way the people have a choice as to who leads their community, and that’s why it’s important. If the voters have the choice then they can pick the people they believe in to lead them for the next four years,” commented Communications and Projects Co-ordinator Meghan Brennan.

She also noted becoming a candidate isn’t something that should be entered into lightly, but for the people that do put their names forward; that’s the importance of having these resources and making them visible to everyone.

“It’s not about just promoting women over men, but it’s about making sure that there are things for everyone. The resources are all written with diverse groups in mind but they really are for everyone. That’s what’s important, the resources are publicly available and we want to help everyone.”

There are currently four women on the ballot for this year, and in the 116-year history of Taber, there has only ever been one female mayor.

“I think that when we’ve had past women councillors, that it really does serve as almost of a role model for those that are on the fence,” noted Jeanne Rudolf, returning officer. “I don’t know if there’s a particular reason why we have so many women on the ballot this term, but I do support it and it’s nice when women do feel they have something important to say and to offer their community. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl or what colour you are — you have the right and everyone needs you and your voice. We all need different perspectives throughout our life. Everyone brings something different to the table regardless of who they are. I think these differing perspectives are necessary.”

According to a federal study, currently, 28 per cent of council seats in Canada are occupied by females, while only 18 per cent of mayoral seats are occupied by females.

If you are looking to put your name in for the municipal election, or are just curious about the resources you can go to for more information.

“We’ve linked many things and anyone who is thinking of putting their name in should go and look at that. Look at every single resource whoever they are written for, look at all of them,” added Brennan.

“Just because the resources are written for certain groups doesn’t mean that valuable information isn’t in there somewhere. They are all publicly available and more information is always better,” continued Brennan.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a man, women, non-binary or part of any culture. What matters is what you stand for,” added Rudolf.

Everyone is encouraged to vote for both the federal and municipal elections, and it will be made as safe as possible.

“This year will be a challenge,” mentioned Rudolf. “But we are prepared and want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible.”

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