Rocky View County Division 3 voters will have another choice on Election Day, Oct. 18.
Breanna Sikorski, 26, has announced her intention to seek election later this month.
Sikorski, who has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and has studied urban sprawl overseas, has lived on an acreage in lower Springbank for nine years and has recently become a mother.
Sikorski is no stranger to political activism.
She began her political career in 2009 by getting involved with the Springbank Community Planning Association.
She recently spearheaded a petition campaign asking west Rocky View residents if they favoured creating their own municipality.
The petition garnered 2,000 votes, not enough to warrant an investigation by Alberta Municipal Affairs, but sufficient to gain the County’s attention.
“I have done a significant amount of research…and I didn’t realize just how much all the issues had to do with my education,” said Sikorski. “With the amount of knowledge and insight I have gained, I felt I had to run.”
Sikorski is passionate about preserving agricultural land and stopping urban sprawl. She said the Growth Management Strategy (GMS) should be revised, and a moratorium put on development until a comprehensive planning document is put in place.
“Having a long term plan is vital,” said Sikorski. “But I think we need to go back to the original consultants that did the background reports for the GMS and heed some of their warnings.”
Sikorski said that plan should include Rocky View’s municipal neighbours.
“We need to work together instead of fostering conflict with them (our neighbours),” said Sikorski. “I am, to some extent, in favour of the Calgary Regional Partnership. I think negotiations can still go on.”
According to Sikorski, the Province already recognizes there are limits to resources in the area, and has determined a target population for the South Saskatchewan River basin. The Calgary Metropolitan plan has to align with those provincial targets, she added.
Sikorski would like to see innovative ideas put into place to preserve agricultural land, such as transferred development credits given to those farmers who wish to stay on their land.
She says those tools are available under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.
“I feel that sustainability has become a buzz word that has been thrown around, and we don’t understand what it entails,” said Sikorski. “There are areas in the world that have taken sustainability (seriously). Large tracts of land could be preserved.”
If elected, Sikorski said she would work to put a framework in place to examine the cumulative effects of developments.
“That would save a lot of time and money…and would be more fair to the developers,” said Sikorski, adding that secondary impacts such as transportation linkages, water, sewage and soft services should be taken into account when considering the merits of a development.
Sikorski said her willingness to help educate the community, coupled with her grassroots connections, would make her a good councillor.
“It is really staggering how few people really know the issues,” said Sikorsky. “Especially when it comes to bringing in new ideas…you need to educate people so there is not that fear that this is something that could be a downfall to them.”
If elected, Sikorski said she would work to implement more discussion between council and independent community groups, something she says is currently lacking.
“I feel the more communication there is, the more we will be able to explain and understand one another’s points of view,” said Sikorski.