Verna Murphy is running for a Ward 1 council seat and her platform focuses on improving life in Fort McMurray.
“Of course bill 21 and 8 is at the top of the list because it is going to impact residents. We are going to see a decrease in our budget and people are going to see increases in their taxes and that’s really concerning, the high cost of living in Fort McMurray already affects a lot of people.”
Murphy also hopes that the municipal government will be able to build better relationships with the province and industry.
She believes there has to be a broad approach to lots of issues like the downtown redevelopment and our rebuild.
“I would like to see a streamlined process for getting permits for people who are struggling to get back home,” said Murphy.
As the community continues to recover from the wildfire, an identification from the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee and Slave Lake that Murphy would like to address is child and youth recovery.
“They had said that in the next five years, every single year we are going to see an increase of different issues in our children and that could be anxiety and coping with things,” said Murphy. “I really want to go in there and come up with a strong plan with the province to have great supports in place.”
Murphy wants to keep residents, happy, safe and living in the region and ensure that the services offered through the social profit sector are thriving.
Being on the Advisory Committee on Aging, another goal of hers would be to resolve issues she has seen firsthand.
“I really see the need of creating a seniors department within the municipality; I would like to see more concentrated efforts on things like housing, transportation and communication for our seniors in the whole entire region, both urban and rural,” said Murphy.
Living in Fort McMurray for the past 11 years, she has covered council meetings for the Fort McMurray Today, sat on numerous boards and feels like those experiences will help make her a good councillor.
“On the community advisory board I got to sit down with the RCMP and bylaw every month and I got to know about safety issues and I found sitting down with them really gave me a better knowledge on what people were struggling with,” said Murphy.
After the wildfire, Murphy says she was able to get some “boots on the ground knowledge” as she dealt with numerous organizations and kept active in the school district and claims she was able to getting a good understanding on needs that have yet to be met in the community.
The municipal election is on October 16.