Advocacy, efficiency and transparency, that's what Brenda Klassen says the citizens of Morden can expect from her if she is elected to Council. Klassen is one of seven candidates vying for two vacant seats up for grabs in the December 20th by-election.
"I've been around a long time. I've seen a lot of things and I see ways we can make things better. There's lots of good things happening," said Klassen who's lived in Morden for nearly 30 years and raised her family there.
Having worked as a local nurse and volunteering in several capacities, including as a founding member of the Many Hands Resource Centre, Klassen feels her council bid is a natural step forward in advocating for her city. She wants to make a positive contribution and make the city a better, healthier place.
"I think creating a healthy community is really important where everyone feels safe, and residents thrive. I think more parks and paths for outdoor enjoyment and also to increase active transportation in our community are really important," she said. Supporting the expansion of Boundary Trails Health Centre as a provincial hub is included in that. "That's going to require increased staffing," noted Klassen. "There might be ways we can work as a community. I know that there are ways we can work as a community to entice more people our way, including amenities that will attract people long term."
Enabling growth is another priority for Klassen, including wastewater treatment, access to a fresh water supply, business expansion, affordable housing and daycare spaces.
The one thing Klassen says she is perhaps the most passionate about is local continuing education opportunities for trades and other career training.
"If our hospitals need so many more nurses, maybe we need to look at having maybe a permanent site. I did speak with Mark Frisson, the ACC President, just recently about the training that they are doing in our area. And so, I wonder if there are some thoughts and I know that there might be.
He (Frisson) also mentioned that there are other trades that they may be able to consider that often go on rotating sites, but they can look at the needs in our area and provide appropriate training. And I think having the opportunity to do that locally would be so great for our population."
Klassen also feels regional collaboration plays a big role in enabling growth.
"I've met with the RM of Stanley Reeve, Ike Friesen, the mayor of Winkler, Henry Siemens, and Nancy Penner, a candidate for mayor in Morden, and have learned that there actually have been regular meetings being held to discuss joint projects such as the regional airport. So, I wonder if we can look at more ways to collaborate to strengthen our region, especially as we appeal to higher levels of government," explained Klassen.
In the spirit of regional collaboration, Klassen reached out to learn more about Winkler's recent transportation study and the results it yielded. "It will be interesting to see how Winkler moves forward with that, and I'm wondering when the right time might be to look at something regionally. I do hear a lot of people talking about it, so that's something that I think is worth looking at."
~With files from Robyn Wiebe ~
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