By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Representation in politics will always be an extremely important topic to discuss. It’s imperative to have representation from all backgrounds and with all kinds of ideas to have not only a well-rounded community, but also a well-rounded council.
“I think it’s hugely important to have diversity and representation in politics,” commented Coun. Carly Firth, currently the only woman on Taber town council. “You do always want the best candidate for the job, but everybody does bring something different to the table and whether it’s municipal council or federal or provincial politics, it’s always good to have a variety of ages and genders and backgrounds because everybody’s experience lends something else. Especially with municipal politics, it’s great if your council can reflect your community.”
As of the end of Nomination Day, Taber as a community now has 17 councillor candidates and three mayoral candidates to choose from. A ballot that potentially could be one of the largest in Taber’s history, which also includes six women.
“I believe that running for council is a very individual decision that everybody has to come to. But, I am really glad that so many women and so many people in general in our community think they have something to lend to council and that we have so many running this time. If someone has something important to say, they should absolutely say it.”
With so much diversity and backgrounds on the ballot, there’s a hope that most people in Taber will feel duly represented by who sits on council for them. Firth also mentioned a piece of advice that she would give to anyone running for council.
“If there was any piece of advice I could give to a candidate — it would be to not make up your mind before you get to the meeting. There’s always different perspectives or more information and that’s something I’ve learned from my colleagues this term. You can see a certain issue or decision a certain way and then you get to the meeting and somebody brings up a certain question or says something you never thought of before; and you can see something in a totally different way. So, always stay open-minded and always be willing to learn.”
It is also important to note there is a large variety of resources available on the Town of Taber website for any nominees to utilize at any time. They may prove a valuable boon as candidates hit the campgain trail.
“Our administration has done a fantastic job this time around at making sure all these resources are easy to find and accessible. You don’t have to go hunting for anything — all of these links and everything you need is all in one place,” added Firth.
“I think that probably does have something to do with the fact that we have such a large slate of candidates this time around,” continued Firth.
Firth also commented on her experience as a first time councillor.
“Council was extremely daunting the first time around, as it’s impossible to know what to expect — whether it’s good or bad and like I said before, keeping an open mind is important.”
With the federal election in the rearview now, and the municipal election is next on the list and is just around the corner on Oct. 18.
With Nomination Day now over, a full list of candidates is available to view on taber.ca.