Commandeur said she has over 20 years of experience working with people, team building and undertaking meaningful consultations, and she would like to bring that knowledge to public office.
“I believe I have a strong and decisive voice and I would like to be able to use it for the people and the community at large,” she said.
Specifically, she said she would like to be a voice for the underserved in the community, particularly persons with disabilities, children with special needs and seniors. She said while it is important to invest to attract new people to live here, council should not forget about the people who already do and their needs.
“I’m not against capital investment and I’m not against industry – that is what’s driving us – but we can’t neglect to take care of the rest of the community, because the health of a community depends upon taking care of everyone.”
Commandeur said affordable housing for low and fixed income individuals and families is an important issue to her, and she would like to see council work with other agencies and organizations – such as Northern Lights College’s residential construction program and the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation, for example – to build new social housing.
“I think the City can play a role in facilitating consultations and partnerships,” she said. “There’s a lot I think we can do to facilitate working together as a community.”
She said she would also like to see more done for residents with disabilities in the community, including continuing the Measuring Up the North initiative, setting goals for hiring persons with disabilities, and organizing more events and activities for those residents.
She said she would like to see a focus on revitalizing the downtown core and supporting the small businesses there by organizing more events and beautification initiatives in that area in the summertime. She said that would help to draw more tourists in and encourage them to stay longer, thereby increasing the traffic through those businesses.
She said her and her family are big supporters and users of the public library, and she would like council to explore whatever can be done to keep the library and the services it offers viable into the future.
Commandeur said she believes the City is going in the right direction in regards to environmental sustainability, and she would like to see the city continue to be a leader in that area.
She added if elected she will look for ways to get residents more involved and connected to their community.
“A good measure of how successful a community is, is the health of its people, and the more connected we are to one another, the healthier a community is. The more we are involved with being a community, the more positive the atmosphere becomes, and people become more willing to stay, to shop locally and to support one another’s initiatives.”
Commandeur’s background includes an education in social work, community sustainability and social trends. She has worked with and helped to plan for children with special needs and adults with disabilities. She was a Girl Guides leader for three years, and is currently a volunteer for Youth Bowling. She is also a volunteer through the Parent Advisory Council at Canalta Elementary School, where her two youngest children attend school. She and her husband have seven children total.
She is also seeking a seat this fall on the board of trustees for School District 59 as a representative for Dawson Creek, and she is allowed to serve both as councillor and school trustee if elected.
Check back with Mile 0 City for more profiles of local candidates.