The Fernie polling station was bustling with voters this morning. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

2018 Municipal Election

Word on the street – biggest issues for Fernie voters

We asked five voters what they believe are the biggest issues in Fernie that need to be addressed

Housing affordability was at the forefront of Fernie voters’ minds on Election Day.

The Free Press asked several individuals leaving the polling station, at random, what they thought were the biggest issues in Fernie that need to be addressed following this year’s election.

Twenty eight year old Patti Cooke believes that a large issue that needs to be addressed is housing affordability.

“Probably one of the biggest ones we’re talking about is the housing affordability issue,” she said. “We have such an influx of people coming in every year, not just the transients.”

Forty two year old Sarah-Jane Nelson has been following the legalization of cannabis in Canada for the past two years in Fernie, hoping the focus would switch from a criminal approach to a public health approach. She hopes it can continue to receive attention and that members of the community can continue to receive education on this matter.

“… the switch from a criminal approach to a public health approach – I’m really for, and agree with,” she said.

“I think it’s time that youth are empowered to make their own decisions, with education.”

Twenty five year old Abigail Young said that affordable housing is a big issue facing many in Fernie.

“Definitely affordable housing for low-income Canadians and people who are visiting, because tourism is a huge part of our economy,” she said.

Thirty nine year old Matt Noseworthy mentioned several issues he believes should be addressed in Fernie.

“Affordable housing … environmental issues are a big issue that should be there, but maybe aren’t (being addressed) as much,” he said.

Aside from these, Noseworthy said that accountability, as well as infrastructure, are very important.

Sixty five year old Allyster Norman pointed at City Hall and said, “We need people up there who aren’t building empires.” Adding to this, he said Fernie needs a government that listens to every individual that needs help.

Asked what issues he believes should be addressed by local government, Norman said, “I think a lot of it is going to have to do with infrastructure here.

Norman talked about the importance of controlled growth; the right growth for the right reasons, and in the right areas. He also mentioned that, “Everybody always complains about snow removal, but hey, that’s why we live here.”

What are your thoughts? What do you think are the most important issues that local government should be addressing in Fernie?

Stay tuned for more voter profiles from Sparwood, and Elkford, coming soon.

The polls close at 8 p.m. tonight. Click here for more information

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