Chris Carnell has decided to run as a city councillor in what he calls ” the most important municipal election of our lifetime”.
“Considering everything that’s happened to the economy with COVID-19. This is a very important election. We need to be talking and heading possibly in a different direction, and focus things a little bit differently,” said Carnell.
After eight years as a Lloydminster Catholic School Board trustee, Carnell believes he has enough bi-provincial experience to be ready if elected.
The City’s annexation of land from the County of Vermilion River is a project Carnell would like to see slow down.
This is due to vacant land already available in the City that he said should be developed first.
“I think we need to take that money, we can meet our budget deficit that we’re going to be having if we were to slow that process down. In fact, we’d probably be in a surplus position.”
To get through the other side of the pandemic, he thinks money should be spent to make the City more attractive for businesses. He believes fibre optics could be a way to do so.
“I’d like to see fibre optics in every neighbourhood. Sometimes it can be, like, cost-prohibitive for businesses to get access to fibre. We really need good internet, if we want to be competitive in terms of the business and going forward.”
Win or lose, he wants to spark a conversation on if Lloydminster is moving in the right direction.
“My number one thing is going to be looking at where we’re spending our money, and deciding whether it’s still in the best interest of the community to be doing that.”
As an example, Carnell mentioned his trouble with the E-Commerce Support Grant that council implemented a few weeks ago. The funding aims to help small businesses that moved to an online format in March.
“That was very targeted, it excluded home-based businesses. I think there are lots of people who are running businesses out of their homes. It wasn’t fair in how it was administered.”
With experience in I-T, $500 isn’t enough and the process is too extensive to receive funds.
He would have rather seen the money go back into the business community such as a small cut in taxes.
” It would be a really small cutting taxes but if you continue to look at programs such as that, that is trying to dictate where we spend our money, I think what we need to do is we need to trust our businesses in Lloydminster, that they know what’s best to do with their money.”
He believes his experiences in the workforce, fighting through two downturns, benefit cuts, wage cuts, etc. would make him a positive choice for council.
“We’re at a point right now, where we got to start thinking that way, with the government as well. It needs to kind of reflect what’s happening in our community, and we need to be investing in the right places. We might not have the right vision right now with the way the economy is going. I think just even having that experience, I can definitely add that sort new vision to the council.”
Carnell can be reached through social media, email and will be present at events in order to engage with residents ahead of the election.