Paul McGinnis is running for a seat on Elkford’s council.
A recent addition to the community, McGinnis moved to Elkford in February 2021 from Calgary with his two children and two cats. He’d lived in Calgary since 2007, and is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He works for Black Gold Coach Lines out of Sparwood, taking miners to and from work, and has previously worked as a tour bus driver.
He said Elkford is a great place to raise kids, and has a family-focused platform.
“We’re going to run families first, and how we can make things better for families.”
He said he’s been sitting down with moms and teenagers, asking them to tell him what they want.
“I was asked to run by my kids’ friends’ parents. They said we need somebody that’s going to talk about stuff for families, and they said you’re the one that’s going to do it.”
Some of his ideas include working on a way for people to take driving tests in town, getting better phone and internet service in town, building an ice-skating rink, bringing a music festival to Elkford in the summer, and introducing kids to the workings of town council.
McGinnis also spoke about incentivizing nurses and doctors to come to Elkford for the emergency centre.
“We have no emergency room, and you have two mines, with guys working really hard. You need something, it’s important for this town.”
Speaking to how his past experience makes him suitable for a seat on council, he said he’s worked with the public for 22 years.
“I’ve worked with every facet you could possibly think of, (from) just about every country around the world. And I’ve always been somebody that’s been able to come in, and get people to come together, and make a decision.”
He said he has no affiliations, and that his kids call him a ‘no strings attached’ candidate, which he said is a good thing as it leads to more open-mindedness when making decisions.
“I do realize politicians make a lot of promises, so I can only stick to one promise,” he said.
“When you call me, you’re going to get me on the other end, not somebody with a message and this and that.
“I will come to your door and sit and talk to you. I think that’s the best way, in a small town, to work with people.”
He said he hopes people will vote in the municipal election, which is taking place on October 15.