by Wes Brodhead, St. Albert city councillor
I love my city.
Strange words, perhaps, to describe an emotional response to an entity as intangible as a “city,” but nonetheless, these words are the best answer to the question that I’ve fielded more often than any other. That question is: “Why on earth would you run for city council?”
St. Albert is a city of incredible beauty. If you walk the Red Willow Trail system, irrespective of the season, the beauty is self-evident. The trails take you from the bustle of traffic and allow you to experience serenity, even in the midst of a busy city. Wander the trails along the Sturgeon River to Big Lake and you will encounter wildlife around the lake and along a unique prairie river. Across the river, you will see the Grey Nuns White Spruce Forest, a stand of trees that represent a view of the land not seen for 150 years.
St. Albert is a city with history. It is the oldest unfortified community in Alberta and a community with a unique and colorful past.
But in St. Albert, we do more than just remember; we seek to honour our history by working to preserve it. Without this commitment, the museum, Founders’ Walk, the St. Albert Grain Elevators, the St. Albert Train station, Chevigny House, and the Banque d’Hochelaga — to name a few — would all be gone, and our city would be a poorer place as a result.
St. Albertans are people with heart. Businesses thriving, young hockey players realizing their National Hockey League dream, track athletes winning national acclaim, thousands of children and adults playing sports while others compete in music festivals and writing competitions — all reveal a community with a heart to succeed.
Volunteers by the thousands enable our social agencies to function and civic events to flourish thereby creating a sense of community that is often compared to a small town.
Finally, St. Albert is a city of peace. Recently, I was honoured to welcome home soldiers from Afghanistan, many of whom called St. Albert home.
It reminded me not only of their personal sacrifice to bring peace to a far away land but also of the privilege of living in our city — a city of peace.
So, in this season when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, stop and enjoy the city we call home; give a gift to someone who has less than you.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year.