Serge Gingras enters City council race

  • Sep. 18, 2013 4:25 p.m.

A longtime community member and Red Deer College instructor has announced his candidacy for Red Deer’s City council.

Serge Gingras has been a resident of the City since 1985.

“Along with my 28 years of dedicated service at Red Deer College, my involvement in the community, passion for community service and a strong desire to genuinely represent our community’s needs and values at City council motivate me to seek this exciting opportunity.”

Gingras said experiences ranging from professional development activities, presentations at conferences and volunteering to networking with local, provincial and national agencies, organizations and governments have enabled him to further his knowledge, skills and expertise in the areas of teaching and learning, sports, health and wellness, arts and culture, leadership, and community service.

“I think I can bring a lot to the table in terms of my background and my experience.”

In making his decision to run, Gingras pointed out that he believes the City is at something of a crossroads and a fresh, new vision is needed, and that people in general are ready for a change.

“People want to hear what the vision is for Red Deer,” he said. “Where do we go from here, particularly when someone new will be in the mayor’s seat.

“It will be interesting and exciting.”

Meanwhile, he’s been enjoying getting out into the community – including attending events such as the Farmers’ Market – to hear what residents have to say.

“The last two weeks have been incredible in terms of people I’ve meeting – they are becoming more and more interested in the election. Probably in part because of the number of candidates that are running. They want to cast their votes in an educated way.”

To date, more than 20 candidates have entered the race.

For Gingras, 55, who ran in the last provincial election under the Alberta Party banner, said the time is right to try for a seat on City council. He said he is on the threshold of retiring from RDC so he would have the time to devote to council.

“My heart is in this community, so this is where I want to go next and work to make a difference.”

Gingras said in his conversations with members of the public, he’s hearing concern over the concept of a vision for the City.

“Where do we see the City going in the future, and what are our plans for the community?” He said fiscal responsibility is also a common topic of discussion.

“I can’t imagine anybody running for office without being fiscally responsible,” he said, adding that some of his duties at RDC have given him experience in that particular area.

“But there is more to governance than fiscal responsibility. You also have to look at the needs of the community. And because of decisions that have been made at higher levels of government – provincial and federal – I find there are more and more people in the community that tend to fall through the cracks.

“We have to make sure that we have the safety nets to help those in need, and prevent people from falling through the cracks.”

Aging infrastructure is also a concern in the City, which has experienced a period of rapid growth over the past several years, he said. He also added that a conversation around a new aquatic centre, concert hall and museum should start, although the establishment of those facilities may be years in the future.

“We have to start the conversation about making those happen down the road.”