According to the City of Airdrie’s 2012 municipal census, the city grew by 5.92 per cent from the previous year to 45,711.
The City can add me to the total when it completes the 2013 municipal census this spring.
Last week, I moved from Lloydminster, Sask., where I worked for an independent newspaper, to Airdrie to take on a similar role as a reporter.
A move closer to the mountains and a major centre was intriguing to me and so when offered the position, I jumped at the opportunity to join Rocky View Publishing.
Originally I’m from Vancouver, B.C., and I spent time living and studying in Vienna, Austria, to experience my family’s heritage first hand.
I loved Lloydminster for its small-town charm, kept intact even though it is quickly becoming a thriving business area as the middle point from Edmonton to Saskatoon.
The small city is even getting into social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for breaking news (you can find me @tmiller19).
I’ll miss spending nights at the rink watching AJHL hockey and spending afternoons on the football field watching high school ball, but more importantly, the people I met there.
Much like Airdrie, Lloydminster is growing at a rapid pace, but for different reasons – it lies in the oil patch.
With growth, of course, comes pain, and there are certain to be organizations that need more help or funding, and people who can’t keep up with rising costs. I hope to learn about those issues and impart them on the community during my time writing for the Airdrie City View and the Rocky View Weekly.
I saw one of those problems first hand when looking for a place to live. The population of Airdrie is growing so quickly that it has been difficult for adequate housing to keep up with the population. Thankfully, I found a great place that fell within my price range, but I’m just one person. What about families on fixed incomes? How do they find suitable housing in this city?
Hopefully, the city can work with industry to find solutions sooner rather than later. We can’t leave people behind simply because we live in one of the fastest growing communities in the country.
Business drives our economy, and ultimately the well-being of our people, for better or worse.
But a city’s growth and success shouldn’t only be based on the success of those who thrive most, rather on all residents as a whole.
If government makes it easier for businesses to operate here, then those businesses should do their part to make life easier on their employees and their families, possibly by helping with housing.
If government receives increased tax revenues from increased assessment, some of that money should go back into the community to help those newcomers adjust through programs and services.
Some of programs are already in place, such as with Airdrie Housing Limited, but with such rapid growth they need to continue and expand.
New immigrants could use a helping hand in particular.
Don’t leave them behind.