Four candidates are seeking two vacant seats on McLennan town council’s byelection Oct. 26. Terry Calliou, Luc Dubrule, Margaret Jacob and Nathan Wilson are are running in the byelection. A brighter future for McLennan is the main vision for the candidates. The top two candidates in the byelection will fill the seats to complete the term until the next municipal elections Oct. 18, 2021.
Terry Calliou is seeking one of two seats to help revive the community.
“I want to contribute to the growth and revitalizing the Town of McLennan,” says Calliou, a resident of the community for 10 years.
“My three main concerns are the decline in businesses in town, the decline in population and high property taxes in town,” Calliou says.
He also wants to know why people and families move into McLennan and build on that.
Calliou says the town needs to move forward in a planned way.
“I want council to review and examine the Town of McLennan’s economic development vision and long-term goals,” Calliou says.
He says he has the experience and contacts to help the town move forward.
“I bring a vast experience in dealing with industry and corporations by working closely with the community for the best interests of both parties,” says Calliou, an independent First Nation Aboriginal consultant.
A councillor for Sucker Creek First Nation for eight years, Calliou has experience dealing with provincial and federal government and its departments, MLAs and MPs.
Calliou has served locally as the president of the McLennan Regional Golf Society for many years.
He also previously chaired for six years the Grouard Community Education Committee for Northern Lakes College.
Luc Dubrule wants to serve on McLennan council to help build the future of the community.
“I want nothing more than for the town to succeed and thrive and this is an opportunity for me to learn and contribute to the town,” says Dubrule, who was born and raised in McLennan.
He has a vision for growth and to control spending as his top priorities.
“We need growth and to develop opportunities to keep the younger generations from moving away and to draw new people to our town,” says Dubrule, an electrician, who left the community after high school and returned home about four years ago.
“We also need to develop community-based events to draw interest to our town.”
Dubrule joined the McLennan Local Recreation Board after he moved back. He volunteered in Edmonton and Canmore for various groups and events.
“We also need to reduce operating costs and reduce spending, where possible,” Dubrule says.
To attract new businesses to McLennan, he suggests council consider a tax-free period or deferral to help them set up shop.
“I would best serve on council by listening to constituents and trying to find solutions,” Dubrule says.
“I’m taking this opportunity to learn, make a positive impact and contribute to the prosperity of our town that will last for years to come.”
Margaret Jacob wants to return to council to help shape a renewed vision.
“We need a strategic plan developed through involvement of all our citizens, to highlight the vision of what our community could look like,” says Jacob, who served as councillor from 2010-17.
Taxes and funding from the Alberta government barely cover the basic, day-to-day operations, she says.
“Consequently, funding for any improvements for our recreational and social services must come through our volunteers’ fundraising and grant applications.”
The town can thrive, she insists.
“McLennan is a vibrant, active community that is supported by a wide range of organizations of dedicated volunteers who are working diligently to maintain and promote our lifestyle,” Jacob says.
“The potential to grow our town through these is large,” Jacob says.
She suggests town administration could be instrumental to apply for funding for growth.
Recently retired, she can commit more to help the community grow.
“I have more time to devote towards seeing this vision through,” Jacob says.
“Having been on town council for seven years, and involved in many organizations since moving here in 2005, I appreciate the difficulties inherent in trying to accomplish these objectives but they are feasible.”
Nathan Wilson wants to serve on McLennan council to bring new views and ideas.
“I am running for council because I bring a fresh set of eyes and ideas to the community from an outsider’s perspective,” says Wilson, a resident of the community for three years.
“I can test the waters for one year to see if it’s a good fit for me.”
He is committed to control taxes, a safe community and quality of life.
“I want to find out how to generate more working capital for the town of McLennan without raising taxes,” Wilson says.
“Other priorities are street safety and mobility for our elderly on the winter sidewalks, and how council can improve the quality of life for the residents of McLennan.”
The carpenter has several ideas to build McLennan.
To generate winter income from the golf course clubhouse, he suggests a cross-country ski and snowshoe track and offer pub food and spirits a few days a week.
He also wants the town to clear and maintain snow removal on the lakeside walking trails in winter.
To improve recreation, Wilson suggests the town restart a curling club accompanied by basic pub food and spirits for the evening.
“I will best serve the community on council by being respectful, open-minded, honest, ethical and standing-up for what is right and what I believe in,” Wilson says.