Photo radar is a hot topic in our community and people have strong opinions on the subject.
I believe Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE), or photo radar, was first implemented in our community for safety and I fully support a safer community. Studies show that for every 5 km/h over 60km/hr, a pedestrian that is struck has an increased risk of becoming a fatality. Photo radar is proven to provide benefits and change driver behaviours, but I think to be truly used for safety the cameras should be located in school and playground zones and other high pedestrian areas. What’s with the half-hidden behind bushes practice that I see so often on Highway 16A and Century Road? To be effective in reducing speeding, photo radar vehicles have to be visible. Drivers have to know it’s there and they will modify their driving and slow down. I’m in favour of keeping ATE for red light and stop sign infractions as this lessens “runners” and decreases intersection collisions.Read more
Have you been to the Spruce Grove Public Library lately? The SGPL is not the quiet, whisper-filled place of the past. It’s become fun and bustling place where anyone can hang out, meet people, play video games, take a course, program robots, do a puzzle with your grandkids… and still take out books and other materials! It's a place to "check-in to life!"Read more
One of the issues I’m very passionate about is accessible transportation in, around, and out of Spruce Grove.
There is a strong connection between transportation and mental health — without access to public transportation, patients have less resources as they are unable to get to the services (medication pickup, doctor visits, therapist appointments) they need. Additionally, everyone’s mental health, not just those in care programs, is improved with a robust transit system. Can you imagine not being able to get to a job you loved because it’s too far to walk and no bus goes to that location? How many gatherings with friends and family would you miss? Not being able to go beyond your neighbourhood — and therefore missing out on parks, festivals, events, attractions, or educational opportunities — can contribute to depression and stress. Public transportation helps everyone — commuters, families, students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities — maintain a high level of transportation independence.Read more
I believe cities thrive because the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and healthy! Supporting our small local business is important because when we buy local, significantly more of our money stays in and benefits the community. Entrepreneurs which include family-owned businesses are the backbone and lifeblood of small and mid-sized cities like ours. Local business owners are more likely to use other local businesses like banks and service providers. They are more often the ones that contribute to local causes, sponsor sports teams, and donate to non-profits. Locally owned businesses create more jobs and in some cases offer better wages and benefits than chain stores do. When you shop at local shops, you are putting money into the pockets of workers who may be your neighbors or family members, and their income in turn is often spent in our city as well. Entrepreneurs pay taxes, fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs, and invest in community projects. This enables further development beyond their own ventures.
There needs to be a balanced approach to our local economy. Right now I think we should be spending our time and efforts not on attracting any more big box stores. Let's focus on creative ideas to enhance and revitalize our downtown core attracting and increasing diversity of retail, services, and residential units. Locally owned and operated businesses are the economic, social, and cultural heart of our community. Unfortunately, this past year has left many struggling and unsure if they can continue. We could better spend our energies on the vital role local business plays in our community's economic health, and the financial pressures they are under, and what we as a municipal government can do to help them survive.