With many issues to choose from, Ward 3 candidate Conrad J. Burns is narrowing in on community fundamentals during his campaign.
“I’ve lived in Prince Albert pretty much all of my life, and I grew up with this old-school mentality of knowing your neighbours and talk to your neighbours and being comfortable where you live,” he said.
“We don’t have that anymore, so I’d like to see a lot more community-driven events, where you actually get out and meet your neighbours and talk to them.”
The city’s elected officials play an important role on this front, he said, noting that there are many “good-hearted people out there that want to do good things for the community, things for people that are disadvantaged.
“I think we need to do more empowerment and really get behind people and support them.”
Sometimes positive initiatives get caught up in red tape due to city policies, he said, noting that a combination of policy change and financial help can put them on track for success.
Using inspiration from his past few years employed as a youth worker, Burns plans to give special care and attention to youth issues that arise in the community.
“I think it’s a lot of understanding,” he said. “You work in youth care and you realize that a lot of people are at a disadvantage.”
Simple things like making boxing lessons available to all youth make a big difference in their lives, he said.
I’ve lived in Prince Albert pretty much all of my life, and I grew up with this old-school mentality of knowing your neighbours and talk to your neighbours and being comfortable where you live. - Conrad J. Burns, Ward 3 candidate
During his time as a coach at the Prince Albert Boxing Club, he remembers a number of times that youth were unable to afford lessons.
“I don’t care if you can’t afford it, just come,” he remembers telling children. “(It’s) getting kids out and doing something, having a place where they feel comfortable, because the boxing club is like a family.”
The key to Prince Albert’s success is community fundamentals — a city of people who know their neighbours and look out for one another, he said.
“It’s like a ripple in the water,” he said.
“You throw a pebble into the water and it starts as one small ripple and it spreads throughout. It’s the same with our communities — we’ve got to work on our communities and expand out.”
Ward 3, which is made up of the city’s midtown area, is currently served by Coun. Lee Atkinson, who is running for re-election. Atkinson has served the ward since 2000.
“He’s served for a long time and he has a lot of accomplishments, and it’s an honour to run against him,” Burns said. “So, I’m pretty excited about the whole thing and I wish us both luck in the whole process.”