Avid volunteer, entrepreneur, and publisher Krista Balsom is running for a Ward 1 council seat.
She announced her campaign on Tuesday in front of a big crowd at the Heritage Shipyard.
Her main priorities are better communication with stakeholders, fiscal responsibility, being a vibrant community, and becoming a more inclusive region.
However, she says her main task will be revitalizing the downtown core.
“I really think we need some urban park space, I think there is a beautiful spot next to Jubilee Plaza, I really want to see our river system developed more with walkways and gravel paths, things that would be flood sustainable, that would really have a big impact on regular families – just utilizing downtown as a destination.”
Balsom notes she also wants to add a permanent small business incubator much like the “Back to Business Resource Centre.”
“Really an opportunity for shared resources to be utilized, to having a great office space with boardrooms and shared admin staffs between small businesses such as my own.”
Balsom has lived in Fort McMurray on and off for the past 15 years, leaving for a few years to attend the University of Ottawa. Since she’s comeback, she’s volunteered her time with many non-profits, while also starting up her business “Balsom Communications” which publishes the “YMM Magazine.”
Balsom says she wants to help the region change but not at the expense of losing her day to day life.
“I think this is a great place for me to start and it sill allows me to support my own business at the same time and work to support organizations I’m still involved with so this allows me to do both.”
Meanwhile, this isn’t Balsom’s first attempt at jumping into politics. Back in 2009, she was the president-elect for the Ontario Young Liberals, however, a couple members of her campaign office were involved in a voter scam.
“I did not condone their behavior and as soon as I found out about it I resigned immediately and took responsibility.”
Balsom, who’s only 31-years-old, believes her age could help encourage the younger generation to vote.
Residents will go to the polls on October 16.