Community priorities: Open letter to Pincher Creek council
Dear Mayor Anderberg and Council Members,
Thank you for all the time and care you give the community of Pincher Creek and for taking the time to consider my concerns.
Coming from 35 years in Calgary to this community 33 years ago, initially part time and then full time, I have come to appreciate the immense value of living in a small town. Yes, sometimes it’s a little bit intimidating that pretty much everyone knows your business and you may know your doctor and your lawyer in various contexts.
That said, this is more importantly a community in which we care for each other, look out for each other, keep each other and our children safe because we know each other and we sense when something isn’t right. Yes, I will call your parents. If I don’t know them in person, I can surely find someone who does.
I wish to speak out about what I believe to be a potential disordering of our community priorities if we proceed with the $4-million investment in a new curling rink under consideration.
I can appreciate the social and physical benefits of curling; the richness of the camaraderie and subsequent enrichment of our community that would come with this initiative. I applaud those who care deeply about this and appreciate their efforts, and I hope that the day will come when this can happen.
It is my understanding that Pincher Creek has engaged in four publicly paid-for social needs assessments over the last 15 years or so. As a past Family and Community Services co-ordinator with the town, I was part of the assessment that followed the initial one spearheaded by the Associate Clinic. All of them pinpointed affordable housing as the greatest unaddressed need in our community. The Pincher Creek Foundation has done and is doing their best to provide this housing as they can. It is not enough. Their waiting list is long.
We see it again and again; a chronic shortage of affordable housing that means an inadequate supplement of front-line workers in:
—Pincher Creek Women’s Shelter
—Potential new businesses that might be attracted to Pincher Creek if this were not such an issue.
As president of the Pincher Creek Women’s Shelter board of directors, I am acutely aware that women and children fleeing violence have nowhere to go other than back to their abusive situations after they leave the women’s shelter. Many of these women return to the shelter several times.
Restaurants have frequently reduced their hours for lack of staff.
Extended families are crowded in their homes.
People are living in mobile homes that are in very substandard conditions.
For all of the above reasons, we must address this urgent issue. We all care about the social and economic health of this community!
Let us not be adversaries. Let’s work together to ensure that the greatest needs of our community are met in the order of urgency. Let’s work together to have the best recreational opportunities we can afford once our primary, most urgent needs are met.
Shootin’ the Breeze welcomes submissions about local issues and activities. Personal views expressed in Mailbox articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect views of Shootin’ the Breeze management and staff.
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