Robin Rochon has submitted her nomination for City of Grande Prairie council.
The position opens after the unexpected death of coun. John Lehners on July 17.
“My priorities would be making sure there's no increases on city taxes,” Rochon told Town & Country News.
“Inflation is through the roof, cost of living is rising, Grande Prairie citizens deserve to have a responsible city council to make sure that we're not putting that cost back upon our already. hurting citizens.”
Rochon wants more accountability for the spending done at city hall, noting that citizens cannot afford higher taxes.
She also wants to see more engagement against crime in the city.
“Crime in the city, while on a scale of measurement it doesn't look to be increasing, but we're affected by it, even if it's a petty crime, and I feel like as a community, we need to be empowered, and we also need to be supported to keep our neighbourhoods safe.”
Rochon has lived in the city for over 20 years and has three sons. She has a health and wellness business here.
She said she has lots of experience coming from her faith, community and volunteering, including acting as an executive for the Aboriginal Headstart program with the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre.
She said the past years with COVID have “ignited a fire” inside her to become more involved with local government.
Rochon also sits on the local constituency board in Grande Prairie for Tracy Allard, she said.
“I want to have a deeper impact municipally,” said Rochon.
The new councillor will be elected Oct. 17, and will jump straight in, with a four-year budget meeting less than a month away from being sworn in.
Rochon says she has begun planning on how to address the upcoming budget and will be working on it in the coming weeks.
“I'm unlike any other city councillor in Grande Prairie, and I feel like that's important; we need a very diverse city council,” she said.
“I have so many different life experiences and community involvement in different circles in Grande Prairie, from the indigenous side of my experiences all the way to Christian communities all over the city.”
“Division has weakened our communities all over, and it stalls progress.
“I feel like we do need to unite as a city, as citizens, come together to make our city strong and vibrant.
“We have been in a culture of fear and anger these past two years, and it's time to put those things down, and it's time to rise up and take our seat as one of the most robust cities in Alberta.”
As of Sept. 2, Wade Pilat and Bryan Petryshyn have added their names to the nomination list.
Two advance voting days are set for Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 at the Montrose Cultural Centre.
The estimated cost of the byelection to the city is $129,980, which covers temporary wages, automated voting, ballots, marketing, advertising, facility rentals, and other related expenditures says the city.
Candidate nominations will close on Sept. 19 at noon.
To be eligible to run for council, a resident must be at least 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen, and a resident of Grande Prairie since March 19, 2022.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News