After learning that local lawyer Don Scott was running for mayor, Anthony Needham, steamfitter and helicopter pilot, decided to join the race.
“I feel like I have the energy, the optimism and the positive attitude to really help the people of Fort McMurray and be the voice for the working people of Fort McMurray,” said Needham.
Needham believes that his career as a steamfitter will make him a more appealing candidate than Scott or Councillor Allan Vinni, who are also running for Mayor.
Needham says he has firsthand knowledge of what it is like to work long hours under rough conditions at site while being away from your family.
“Affordable childcare hasn’t really been mentioned by the other candidates but from the citizens that I have spoken too, that is a really big concern,” said Needham.
Originally from Belle River, Ont. Needham moved to Fort McMurray 11 years ago to finance his commercial helicopter course.
“The whole reason that I want to run is because Fort McMurray has been the reason that I have achieved all my life goals,” said Needham.
“I want to work now for Fort Mac to make sure other people can achieve their goals in Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo.”
He would try to communicate with the residents of Wood Buffalo more and have them more involved in community discussions.
“I’m going to be boots on the ground, speaking with the residents of Lac la Biche*, Fort Chip, Fort McMurray, Conklin and asking what they would see happen with the region,” said Needham.
Needham is the vice president of Construction Maintenance and Allied workers (CMAW) and believes that is where he gained the experience to deal with the bureaucracy of municipal politics
He is passionate about subsiding costs for recreational activities for youth, accommodating local workers and care for senior citizens.
He would like to make commuting easier with less penalties if workers are late due to travel and ensure there are adequate accommodations for seniors.
Working with the provincial government Needham will also be supporting the energy east pipeline.
He also plans to make Fort McMurray more wireless friendly and have internet access at parks and in the city centre.
*Lac la Biche is not in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo