Social hubs are an important source of community

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I am disheartened by the nature of debate in this city and frankly globally as of the past few years. The vitriol around debate is upsetting. Debate should be about groups of people actually listening and influencing each other’s point of view. It shouldn’t be about who yells the loudest or manipulates the conversation. Debate is about educating ourselves and being open to change our stance if presented with a persuasive argument. So, while I lend my voice to the debate, I urge you not just to trust me but also to do your research.

This election voters are faced with plebiscite questions about how we want to develop our community. I believe that building our community with infrastructure and capital projects is a critical step in our growth. I also believe that the city has a plan on how to develop these projects in responsible ways. Now is the time to move forward with these plans. I believe we have polled, researched and analyzed these questions repeatedly and it has always lead to the same answer. We need a library.

As a social worker and a therapist in our community I can tell you first-hand about how important connection and community buildings are as social hubs. People often feel isolated, overwhelmed and uninformed in our modern-day society. Social media, tablets and television do not fight social isolation nor are they reliable sources of information. They merely numb and distract our need to feel connected to each other.

Our library has done an amazing job of connecting people with similar hobbies, talents and interests together. Connecting with others in the community is a powerful way to fight anxiety and depression. In fact, I believe a sense of community is really the only way to effectively treat these illnesses. Even in extreme cases medication will not work in isolation. The long-term emotional, financial and social benefits of community centres such as a library are invaluable. You don’t have to look hard at the research to find support for these claims. The library is a good place to start.

This election is not just about a library, hockey rink and/or a swimming pool. This election is about how we want to see our city and how we want our politicians to represent us. Vote for people who will represent us all well on all the issues. So regardless of your view on the plebiscite. Vote for people who value respectful debate not fear and posturing. For these reasons, Cathy has my support.

Krista Osborne, St. Albert

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