Social studies teacher Matt Slubik’s focus is squarely on building community and he is hoping he will be elected to City council in the municipal election this fall.
“I have always been passionate about politics through my time in university and also as a social studies teacher,” he said. “Policy has always been a passion of mine and I have always wanted to give back to the community. I want to work with people locally and I have always had a soft spot for Red Deer.”
Slubik feels municipal government will allow him to craft legislation without the burden of party politics, which affects provincial and federal policy.
“As a social studies teacher, we have a working knowledge of government and how politics work,” he said. “One of the reasons that municipal government is attractive is because I can disregard the party politics side of things. I don’t have to worry about Liberals, Conservatives, NDP — I can just worry about the people of Red Deer and what they want, what their needs are and what their government can provide for them.
“I have invested time into studying political science, social studies and history. I look to bring that knowledge forward to bring a new insight to City council.”
Slubik added he wants to give back to community where he grew up.
“I feel like I have good roots in Red Deer,” he said. “I grew up here and live here now. I really love this City and it would be nice to give back.”
Giving back for Slubik means focusing on the one thing he believes makes Red Deer unique.
“I have one focus and that is community,” he said. “Everything stems from that, whether it is safety or different opportunities that Red Deer can provide for people. Engaging yourself in your community; showing appreciation for your community; and giving back to your community is my biggest focus.”
Building community is something on full display in the revitalized portions of the downtown core, according to Slubik.
“I really like how downtown has developed itself into a place for local shops, local restaurants,” he said. “It has become a really nice place to go and it is developing a nice identity as a small town feel within a city. I want to see that through and continue to develop that identity within the community.”
Ensuring that Red Deerians continuously have opportunities is something Slubik hopes to ensure if he were elected to council.
“We have hopefully seen the light after the dark economic times provincially,” he said. “As far as city politics go, it is about providing opportunities as best as we can for people in Red Deer and creating a safe, caring community. No matter who you are, people essentially want to have happy families and happy lives. Whatever we can do as a council and City government, I would like to try to provide that for people.”
Slubik noted, however, that providing opportunities cannot continuously be about raising taxation.
“Economically I am more conservative and socially I am more centre-left, so a little bit more liberal,” he said. “Taxes are a double edged sword. No one wants to pay taxes, but everyone needs services provided for them. I obviously would like to charge people the least and give them the most. There is a fine balance when it comes to navigating through that. I want to provide people with opportunities, but I don’t want to have to increase taxes every year to provide those opportunities.”
Slubik said he hopes to bring his new perspective to council that has been successful in recent years.
“I think they are doing a great job,” he said. “I know there is a lot of long sitting council members. If I were elected I would like to provide a new perspective – not that they are doing a bad job, I would just like to bring my gifts and talents to council. I hope to learn something and they can learn from me as well as we go through the process together.”