Volunteer, supporter of arts and culture community seeking Ward 4 seat

Margaret Duncombe has entered the race for councillor in Ward 4. Facebook photo.

A community volunteer and booster of the arts and culture in Prince Albert is hoping to work for residents as an elected member of councillor.

Margaret Duncombe became the latest person to add her name to the ballot Tuesday, filing her nomination papers for the race for Ward 4.

Duncombe was born and raised in the province and has lived and worked in Battlefords, Buffalo Narrows, La Ronge, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina but has chosen PA. to retire to and call home.

She’s retired, but spent her career in the non-profit, small businesses and municipal government sectors, and has served on the P.A. Tourism committee, as a member of the Aboriginal Arts and music Festival Committee and represented a founding partner of Northern Spirits. She sits on the city’s community services advisory committee and as a member of the municipal cultural action plan while also serving as president of the P.A. Concert Choir.

She cites her daughter as her cheerleaders encouraging her to run for council, something she has always wanted to do.

“I’ve seen the difference councillors can make,” Duncombe said when reached by phone Tuesday.

She cited her work with an inner-city community association and watching what Saskatoon councillors were able to do when they used their political capital to advance the needs of area residents.

“I saw councillors that were very open to listening to community people and finding out what their concerns were. They were able to make some huge inroads and move forward with communities in a very positive way,” she said.

“Seeing how some of those councillors are able to make a difference really helped make me want to become a city councillor.”

Duncombe’s platform includes infrastructure investment; revitalizing downtown and developing the local economy; supporting programs for children, youth and families; supporting the arts and celebrating heritage; protecting and preserving parks and open spaces; moving forward with the new aquatic and recreation complex and the expansion of the regional hospital and working together to address issues such as poverty, homelessness, systemic racism, mental health, addictions and crime.

“My biggest priority is to get to know the people in Ward 4 and find out what their biggest priorities are,” Duncombe said.

“I’m responsible to reach out and to listen to what they have to say and to communicate with them in terms of what’s happening at city council. That’s what I see my biggest role to be.”

Duncombe said the city is moving in a positive direction and has to keep going. She said she “truly believes” in the arts and celebrating the city’s heritage and open spaces.

While she supports the new recreation complex in the city’s southeast, she thinks that the city could have done a better job informing the public about the project.

“I think we need to move ahead and make sure that, in the future, we have more opportunities for the general public to be aware of things that require their input.”

Duncombe went on to say that she thinks her ward was been well-represented by incumbent Don Cody, and that she has the “utmost respect for him.” The time though, was right for her to seek a council seat.

“I have a lot of energy and passions to bring to the table,” she said. “It’s up to the people of Ward 4 to determine who is best suited to speak on their behalf.”

Duncombe said in the coming days she will be blanketing her ward with her brochure which contains her contact information. She is encouraging any ward residents to reach out to her to discuss matters important to them.