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Marra to run for Canmore council re-election

“I love our town and I love our community. It's a great place. I've enjoyed my first time on council and it's allowed me to represent the voices of the community. I'd like to be involved in the decision making process that will obviously guide the direction of our town now and in the future.”
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Karen Marra, a longtime Bow Valley resident having been in the community for more than 50 years, including 45 in Canmore, decided to run again as a councillor as a way to continue to give back to her longtime home. Handout

CANMORE – It was a love of community that led to Karen Marra to put forth her nomination papers for a re-election campaign.

Marra, a longtime Bow Valley resident having been in the community for more than 50 years, including 45 in Canmore, decided to run again as a way to continue to give back to her longtime home.

“I love our town and I love our community. It's a great place,” she said. “I've enjoyed my first time on council and it's allowed me to represent the voices of the community. I'd like to be involved in the decision making process that will obviously guide the direction of our town now and in the future.”

Marra was first elected in 2017 and was one of two new councillors to sit at the council horseshoe for the past term.

She said there was a learning curve as a first-term councillor, particularly how complex the decision making can be, the legalities of situations, bylaws and policies to follow, and is hopeful to use the lessons learned in a potential second term.

“Being on council for the first time, the whole term was a highlight,” she said, adding highlights were seeing the organics program implemented as well as canmore.ca to allow community members to ask questions and find answers.

Marra works at a small family business and held several positions in Canmore Minor Hockey and the Canmore Folk Festival before being elected to council.

During her first council term, she has sat on the Bow Valley Waste Management and Bow Valley Regional Housing committees in addition to the Canmore Library Board and the Canmore Downtown BIA.

“I enjoyed my committee work that I’m involved in and I'm dedicated to the community and I take pride in meeting with community members.”

Marra is the second councillor to announce their intent for re-election. Rob Seeley was the first, while Vi Sandford has also thrown her hat in the ring for the mayor’s chair.

She said many of the issues faced in the current council term will continue to be priorities for the Town’s next council. The need for affordable housing, sustainable tourism and managing the growth of Canmore will continue to face residents for years to come.

The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining a balance between growth and wildlife are also concerns of community members. During the lengthy public hearings on the Three Sisters Mountain Village area structure plans, Marra was the first councillor to vote against the plans at second reading.

“Affordable housing will continue to be the at the forefront of council priorities. I think it's essential for the sustainability of the community to have a variety of housing options that support young families, seniors and employees,” she said. "Tourism will be another area of focus. … I think council should continue to lobby the provincial government to provide tourist based economies like ours with revenue tools that are similar to those used in some tourist bases such as in B.C., like Whistler.

“Community and economic recovery from COVID-19 should be on the horizon, the completion of the new fire hall and our planning on how we manage the growth of the town to coexist with wildlife are high priorities.”