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Canmore sees first councillor nomination for 2021 election

“My No. 1 priority in the decision was the community has been great to us. The people are awesome and when we moved here 11 years ago, they helped a lot and I’m wanting to give something back.”
20210615 Christoph Braier 0004
Christoph Braier has announced his bid to run for Town of Canmore council. EVAN BUHLER RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – Canmore officially has its first council candidate for the upcoming municipal election.

Longtime resident Christoph Braier was the first to throw his hat in the ring for the Oct. 18 election.

Braier, 55, works in real estate marketing and is the franchise owner with the Property Guys along with his wife.

After looking at running for council in the 2018 election, he said with his business secure and his children having moved out, he was in a position to dedicate the amount of time for a possible spot on council.

“It’s not a part-time job. If you look at the agenda from the June 1 meeting, it’s 590 pages. That’s a lot of reading to make decisions. …. It’s more than a couple of meetings on a Tuesday,” Braier said. “If I do something, I do it right. If I make a commitment, I make a commitment.”

Braier came from Hanover, Germany with his family 11 years ago. He said they decided on this country after looking at the United States, Australia and New Zealand and ultimately found Canada suited their lifestyle best and offered the best opportunity for the family.

They travelled parts of the country to make home and after staying in a Canmore hotel for a few nights, rented a house in the Peaks of Grassi and started their lives in Canada.

“We stayed in Banff and went to the airport and saw Canmore. The next time we came and we stopped [in Canmore] and we liked it and came back again and again and again. Here we are 11 years later and we never left,” he said.

The final decision, though, was an opportunity to give back to the community that helped make Canmore home for his family.

“My No. 1 priority in the decision was the community has been great to us. The people are awesome and when we moved here 11 years ago, they helped a lot and I’m wanting to give something back.”

Braier, an architect by trade and longtime developer, highlighted issues of construction projects, housing and development will continue to be at the forefront for residents.

“I believe Three Sisters Mountain Village will come back,” said Braier, who spoke against the scope of the proposed development at the public hearings. “It’s off the table for now, but it’s not off the table. We will need to deal with that in some way or the other.”

He expressed a wish to reference more of the town’s coal mining history and the importance of communicating with the public.

“My idea would be to make myself available to residents a specific day and time where I can go, sit in a coffee shop and have an open session to hear if people have any issues or concerns. … Communication and listening are important between residents and town council.”

Since filing his nomination papers, Braier said he’s received positive feedback from community members and friends.

“It’s been surprising to have people I’ve never met reach out to me. I know a lot of people because of my business, so it’s nice," he said. "I’ve done almost 600 real estate deals in the last seven years, so a lot of people know me, what we do and how and why we do it. It’s a personal business, so we live and work in the community and we love it here.”