After 20 years of thinking about taking the plunge, Michael O’Connor has decided now is the time to throw his hat into the political ring as a candidate for Grande Prairie city council. O’Connor has worked in volunteer roles with organizations like the Grande Prairie Live Theatre and Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce, which he believes set him up well to take on the role.

On why he finally decided to run for council in 2021, the former construction company owner says after talking to councillors over the years, his interpretation was that it is very much is a full-time job. He says now that he has the time after retirement to take on the task, he couldn’t think of a good reason not to run.

“I got a desire to help out, and the only way you can help out in your community is by being involved.”

He says the bounceback needed from the COVID-19 pandemic must be the first order of business.

“We need to come up with a plan going into the future on how to get businesses back on track. Find the support that these companies need to have, and, in particular, taking a future focus and making sure we are attracting businesses to come to Grande Prairie.”

O’Connor adds when the business community is set up to succeed, the tumble-on effect could see the city expand its potential even more.

“If we can attract those businesses, then we can create more jobs, then we have a good tax base, then we will have an opportunity for our youth not to leave the community, but to grow up and stay here,” he adds.

The 2021 municipal election is set for October 18th.