October 12, 2021, Vulcan Advocate Column

I am running to be your Division 6 County councillor. My motivation for running is my determination to see economic development and community growth keep Vulcan County a vibrant place to live, to raise a family, and to realize economic opportunity.

This determination is born over the last 10 years. It is a journey that began as a volunteer in the Milo and District Agricultural Society and a life-long member of the Milo community. For nine years I have served in local government, working first for the Village of Milo, then the Villages of Arrowwood and Milo, and now the Village of Arrowwood. I also live on and help operate our family farm 11 kilometres southwest of Milo, where my great-grandfather homesteaded in 1906.

I love my community and this region we call home. Volunteering in the community has been a privilege, and I appreciate the friendships that come with it. I also have had the good fortune of serving three years on the Vulcan County Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, being a great education on the appeal process.

I respect my opponent in this election. Ryan Fleetwood is a good and honourable guy. He has served us well, and I can tell you that he is a considerate and respected voice at the table. He loves Alberta. He loves this county where we both share deep roots. I wish him well on his campaign.

I am running on my experience in local government. I believe I have something to offer over the next four years that will help move the ball forward for future generations. I believe in the importance of inter-municipal collaboration and “limited local” government.

With the province mandating inter-municipal collaboration in 2017, along with the completion of Intermunicipal Development Plans and Collaborative Frameworks with adjacent municipalities, it is my belief that we need to forge meaningful collaborative partnerships between our municipalities.

I believe our priorities should be:

1.) Establishing Vulcan County as an attractive place to invest so we can continue to grow our tax base.

2.) Strategic land-use planning that minimizes conflict between competing land uses and adjacent land owners while maximizing mutually beneficial investment opportunities.

3.) See fair and reasonable cost sharing for joint services that includes municipal partners in the long term capital planning process.

4.) Lobby with municipal partners for responsive action from the RCMP on rural crime and public education in crime prevention strategies.

5.) Build political consensus for an emergency response to the COVID 19 pandemic that respects the central role of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

Big government and regionalization are not the answer. Intermunicipal collaboration and limited local government is a critical piece going forward, keeping our communities viable and thriving.

For right now, I hope to get people thinking about the strategic direction of our county and where we need to go as a region.

To have a conversation, feel free to call me at 403-990-0720. For more information, check out my website, christophernorthcott.com.

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