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FMPSD member, Ali Syed runs for a Ward 1 council seat

PHOTO. Supplied. Ali Syed [right] is running for a Ward 1 council seat. He is using candid photography throughout his campaign to show his sincerity.

Director of IT for the Fort McMurray Public School District, Ali Syed is running for a Ward 1 council seat.

During re-entry after the wildfire, Ali Syed, 10-year resident of Fort McMurray, became motivated to run for council.

“It was the experiences that I was hearing from some of my colleagues who had lost their home that kind of got me interested in what do I do to kind of help with this and alleviate some of the grief I am seeing first hand,” said Syed. 

Talking with businesses that were trying to recover from the economic downtown and the wildfire also motivated him, along with the stagnation of the revitalization of downtown.

“The straw that back the camel’s back was all of this about the property taxes and where we are going as a municipality and why we didn’t have open discussion about this.”

If he is elected his goal is to make sure there is continued support for residents as they recovery from the wild fire and return to normalcy. He hopes to reduce red tape and needless expensive and costly projects within the community, get more public input and reduce property taxes in town but also have that genuine discussion on bill 21.

As a councillor, Syed will be “pro business.”

“Let’s be pro oil sands, let’s be unapologetically so about this, we love this area, we love the industries here, we’re here because of the industry and those businesses, but we have to help them, we have to come back and say ‘how do we get you to expand and how do we get small businesses to thrive,’” said Syed. 

When it comes to the downtown revitalization, Syed wants to see what the community wants.  Personally, he would love to see a permanent indoor urban market to help small businesses.

Outside of Ward 1, Syed wants to ensure rural residents are well represented at council.

“Let’s get them active in discussion about what they want to see in their communities as part of the municipality and let’s bring really meaningful dialogue here by saying, ‘we not just value your opinions but we are going to add on your opinions.’”

The election is on October 16.