Tony Head has been representing Prince Albert workers for years.
Now, he wants to use that same experience and knowledge to represent residents of Ward 3.
Head is the second candidate to file nomination papers for the Ward 3 council seat. He’ll face off against incumbent Evert Botha in the Nov. 9 city election.
Head worked for the city for 11 years in the collections and distribution department before becoming a national representative for CUPE. That’s the position he’s held for nine years, representing the needs of city workers.
“I’m running to be a voice and representative for my neighbours, fellow residents and community,” Head said in an interview Friday.
“I’ve been a resident of Prince Albert for 23 years. During this time, I have followed the operations at city hall closely. I’m familiar with the operations and spending of the city and know firsthand that we can do better.”
There are a lot of areas Head believes can be improved upon, from transparency to job creation to caring for the city’s most vulnerable. Head committed to spending taxpayers’ money wisely to better deliver services for residents. He said the city, though, needs to take the lead on addressing social issues and work hard at innovative ideas to tackle community safety, housing and poverty.
“Youth are our future,” Head said. “I want to invest in programs and services for young people. It’s important that we invest in our future and our children’s future and not just focus on the next four years. We need to present alternatives for individuals, for youth. I want to make sure that people are feeling that they have positive alternatives … (by) funding youth programs.”
Care needs to be taken to protect funding that helps the most vulnerable, and services that ensure the health and safety of residents, he said.
As for the economy, Head believes the city has to work to protect and create jobs, including by using Prince Albert companies and workers on Prince Albert projects.
“Keeping a lot of the work in-house is important,” he said.
“You see a lot of our monies going to contractors and other companies outside of Prince Albert. That money is not spent in our community. It’s important that we create these jobs for residents, for our children, people within the community, so they have good sustainable jobs that pay and an ability to provide for their family. Prince Albert should be a leader in that regard.”
A 23-year resident of the city, Head sees the potential it has to offer. He questioned the millions being spent to purchase land for a recreation centre, and whether that’s the best use of funds during efforts to recover from a global pandemic.
Head believes that some of the problems faced by the city are social issues, and can’t be singled out to one subset of the population. He wants to serve as a representative on a council that is as diverse as the city it represents, using skills learned as a representative for CUPE members to represent citizens of Prince Albert.
“Ward 3 deserves accountable, effective representation every day. These are challenging times and we need to demand more from the people we elect,” he said. He wants to bring the skills he’s developed as an advocate for working people and skilled negotiator with a balanced perspective and problem-solving attitude to the city council table.
“I want to be that voice for Ward 3 … want to be a representative and see diversity on our council. If you look around Prince Albert, our council ought to reflect the people it serves, the people they represent. I don’t think that’s been the case over the last election. I want to be that representative, be that voice and show other cities that we are a diverse community and our council should reflect that.
“I would love to be a representative of the wonderful city we live in. I’ve come to raise my children in this community and I think it’s a great place to raise a family (with) a lot of opportunities.”