Sam Bergeron is hoping she can be a voice for the lower income and homeless Red Deerians who often go unnoticed in election cycles.
“I was a single mother for 13 years and found there was a lack of help for those of us that do struggle and make a little less money,” Bergeron said.
“I want to see services provided more consistently to help those who are not making the upper-crust wages.”
Bergeron feels it is important to her to help provide care for those who want to break out of the cycle of homelessness.
“I feel that I have always had a connection to people all around Red Deer who are not in homes,” she said. “For the people who just need a hand up, I would love to help through being on council—whether its through new legislation or through helping people who are living in low-income housing.”
Bergeron, who moved to Red Deer in 2002, feels her experience as a hairstylist with Chatters Canada gave her a unique insight into the needs and wants of Red Deerians.
“I got a lot of one on one with the people of Red Deer – sometimes for few hours at a time,” she said.
“Being able to hear everybody’s concerns, thoughts and hopes for the City over the course of 15 years really planted in my head that I want to be able to bring that knowledge of the City to council.”
Another crucial issue for Bergeron is the lack of north-end development in the City.
“On the north end, a lot of people are feeling left out,” she said.
“We have had so much development on the south end. The south end of the river is a beautiful place and we should continue to grow it but I find the north end is such a beautiful, older, nostalgic part of Red Deer that I would like to see being taken care of more.
“The citizens on the north end are finding there is not as many schools available and they find they don’t have as many play places to go to.”
Crime is an issue that Bergeron also feels council needs to address.
Bergeron feels the amount of bylaw enforcement is outweighing law enforcement and more resources need to be put into solving crimes, rather then ticketing traffic violations.
“I would like to find a way to connect people so that we can feel not only safe, but also feel the people who are out on the street doing bylaw work are justified in it—not just what people call cash grabs for the City,” she said.
Bergeron, who described herself as a political centrist, feels money should be fairly distributed among taxpayers and not simply to those who pay higher sums.
“Tax dollars should be divvied up so everyone in the City sees benefit,” she said.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games is a time that Bergeron looks forward to in the next term and said Red Deer needs to adequately prepare for. She also sees growth as something that needs to be carefully monitored and managed by City council.
Bergeron feels her life experience allows her to connect to a wide range of Red Deer residents.
“Being someone who has raised children and had them move out of the house at a young age—I have seen a lot of things in a short period of time,” she said. “I feel I can bring a youth voice, as well as be able to connect with people who have lived a full life.”