By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
During the M.D. of Taber Organizational Meeting on Oct. 24, Councillor Tamara Miyanaga was elected Reeve in a 4-3 vote.
“To be Reeve is quite an honour, but I am really thankful that I have such a strong Council that we can continue to work together,” Miyanaga said.
Miyanaga says that in terms of how she plans to serve the M.D. of Taber as the Reeve, the M.D. has a really good plan in place already that they plan to continue with. That plan, Miyanaga says, includes the M.D.’s main objective, which is looking after 2,400 kilometers of road. Miyanaga says that other objectives the M.D. wants to focus on include making sure that the Hamlets of Hays, Enchant, and Grassy Lake are doing well, and access to housing in those hamlets is improving; support for the ongoing twinning of Highway 3; and further economic development for people who already live in the municipality as well as those who will relocate here because of the development of Canada’s premier agri-food corridor.
Miyanaga says she has personally lived in the region for 32 years, first moving to Taber in 1991 to do a municipal internship with the Town of Taber. After completing that program, Miyanaga says she worked for Lantic Sugar, raised children, worked for Horizon School Division for 18 years, and also worked for Horizon Victims Services for six years. In addition to that, Miyanaga says, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Studies with a focus on lab development and environmental resources that she got in Alberta, which is where she moved from her birthplace of Saskatchewan after high school.
Currently, Miyanaga says, she and her husband farm with their cousins for Triple M Farms, which is a potato farm in the M.D of Taber. She’s also served on the M.D. Council for the last six years. During her term, Miyanaga says, she has come to appreciate many people including the volunteer firefighters within the M.D., their families, and their workplace, as the M.D. would not be able to stay safe without their efforts. They all deserve to be recognized, retained, and more need to be recruited, Miyanaga emphasizes.
“I’ve had an opportunity to work with a lot of great people and learning how to optimize skills and relationships so that we can all improve our communities,” Miyanaga said. “I think for those people who know me, know that I would see the role of Reeve just as an opportunity to continue to move the municipality forward and not necessarily an accomplishment personally. The more people who are involved and want to provide input will improve our municipality and to work together, often our differences are highlighted, but in actuality, our end game is the same. So, I want to find success in our community. Small acts of kindness will improve the world.”