CANMORE – The first incumbent on Canmore council has come forward for reelection.
Rob Seeley has put in his nomination papers as he runs for a third term on council.
Seeley, the longterm Canmore resident, said there’s numerous important issues in the community. From COVID-19 recovery to biodiversity and tourism, transportation and broadband development, there are several priorities on the next council’s plate.
The biggest priority continues to be housing, he said.
“Affordable housing is critical. … The vital homes are vital to our community," Seeley said. "The last two terms of council, we really brought a lot to the market and we’re continuing to do that. It’s essential for the community.”
Seeley pointed to the additions of 59 affordable units in the Hawks Bend development and 10 affordable homes in the Peaks of Grassi known as Ravens Ridge as recent successes. He also said new developments such as VUE Canmore and Rundle House have added almost 250 needed apartments in the community.
While housing is key, he said maintaining a balance with the biodiversity of the region needs to go hand in hand.
“Our wildlife is something that’s very critical and everyone understands that everyone wants to do the right thing," he said. "We don’t have a choice. It attracts our visitors. They, like our biodiversity and our wildlife, are very important.”
As part of his council role, Seeley serves as a representative with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis and the Canmore Museum Society. He’s also a council representative on the tourism task force.
He noted tourism is among the most important ongoing discussions taking place in the community.
Since first being elected in 2013, Seeley said the most valuable lessons have been understanding the amount of work needed to do the job. Committee appointments, reading through agendas and listening to community members takes a significant amount of time each week.
The end of this term saw council reject the proposed area structure plans at Three Sisters Village and Smith Creek. As one of the six to vote against the plans, he said there’s still potential for the lands, but it needs to respect the balance of wildlife factors.
“That’s going to be an area of focus coming forward and some sort of agreement that allows more land to come to market because the affordable housing initiatives are very important to Canmore, but respecting the wildlife and habitat and managing them is equally important," he said.
Seeley has called Canmore home for more than 30 years. He was born in Saskatchewan, but raised in Calgary before moving to the mountain community in 1990 for his job with Telus.
While there’s plenty of work for the next council to do, Seeley said he’s anxious to be part of those discussions.
“Canmore’s a great place and I’d like to continue represent the community," he said. "I learned a lot in my first two terms. … My experience on council and being in the community for nearly 30 years makes me a strong candidate.”