Platform

If there is one thing that we’ve learned since early 2020, it’s that connections and community are a huge part of our lives. For many of us, it wasn’t until we were unable to gather with our friends and family that we realized how important those connections were. As we begin to come out of this and we start to ease into those gatherings again, we should be looking toward the things that bring us together and strengthen our connectedness.

Community

Spruce Grove has always been a warm and welcoming community, so going into 2022 and beyond, we should be looking at how we can increase our connectedness and provide even more opportunities to congregate and be with one another. The Canada Day celebrations and Central Park Winter Light-Up are perennially popular events where the residents of Spruce Grove gather in numbers to meet with friends and family as well as make new friends. Certainly many of us also gather in houses of worship, which further strengthens the community. As the city grows, and as we look to attract new residents, more of these community events and more diversity in the types of events we hold will help to secure that strong sense of community, raise our reputation as a vibrant place to live, and help our city grow.

We have some fantastic locations and venues in this great city – from Jubilee Park and Central Park to Border Paving Athletic Centre, Fuhr Sports Field, and Tri-Leisure recreational facilities to the public library and Horizon Stage. We also have some great projects underway such as the Columbus Park rejuvenation, incoming baseball park and the new Civic Centre in the Westwind community which will provide a number of different offerings in the near future. We’ve also learned how to utilize non-traditional venues like the City Centre Business Association public markets and our main roadways for events like the Show and Shine parade. Given all these great spots, we can do a lot more to leverage them for a variety of events that can appeal to a larger demographic and give everyone a chance to congregate, converse and connect. I would like to be a catalyst for that growth.

Public Library

Specifically, I am a strong proponent for the public library. Our library is a key element to the community and a great place for not only our children to gather and learn, but also for the rest of us to utilize as a place to get together. Looking at many other public libraries for guidance, we see that a variety of community events can take place there. From public speakers, to story-tellers, to local competitions, the library can be yet another place to help build that strong sense of togetherness and community. The planned growth in the Civic Centre is an exciting first step to growth for our public library.

Local Business

Another key element that builds our municipality is the strength of our business community; the key to a strong community is the strength of our local businesses. Spruce Grove has many success stories of local businesses that have thrived and we need more of that. It’s also true that to be a successful and desired municipality, we need to attract a few of those big name stores – such as Costco – as anchor tenants in our shopping districts. We need to balance our approach to business and ensure that we see the inception and growth of many more local businesses while providing residents access to the key businesses that people expect from a thriving city.

Transportation

Additionally, as someone who grew up taking ETS everywhere, and riding my bike many kilometres  to reach the recreation centre, I know the value that a strong public transit system and comprehensive bike commuter strategy can bring to a city. As Spruce Grove grows and many of us live further and further out from the core, we need to think about how our residents can get around effectively. Our routes into Edmonton have seen excellent ridership, but I’d also like to look at the possibility of extending our role in the Edmonton Municipal Region Transit Commission while understanding how we can better serve the needs of those looking to commute locally as outlined in the Tri-Regional Transit Plan.

Traffic Safety

Lastly, I’m a big proponent for traffic safety, especially in our school and playground zones. Edmonton has just instituted a 40 km/h speed limit that we should evaluate, and we need to review those critical areas where our children learn and play to ensure that we are doing the best we can to protect them from potentially dangerous traffic situations. Traffic measures could include visible crosswalks and enhanced traffic enforcement.

Voice of Integrity

As with any public office, we must be a voice of those that we represent. Your voice is important and I look forward to hearing even more ideas on some of the things that you feel will further improve our great city. I will listen to all opinions with an open mind and will act based on what the community desires and based on facts. I will uphold the highest level of integrity and transparency as I represent you.

Please reach out with any ideas to jeff@jefftokar.ca, call or text me at 587.853.0311, or through my many social media platforms and website at https://www.jefftokar.ca. I look forward to connecting with you!