St. Albert resident Gilbert Cantin is making his second bid for St. Albert city council.
Cantin, a civil engineer who now works as a consultant, previously ran for council in 2017. Cantin said issues he vocalized in that election remain relevant today, specifically in relation to traffic.
“The lights on St. Albert Trail are still not synchronized,” Cantin said. “As an engineer, I find it pretty comical that we can go to the moon, but we can’t synchronize these lights.”
In addition to leading to longer commutes for those in St. Albert, Cantin said the issue matters to him because of the toll it takes on the environment.
“You have to look at all aspects,” Cantin said. “The more you idle, the worse it is for the air. We’re wasting fuel and energy that we don’t need to.”
Another issue Cantin said he would like to address if elected to council is spending.
“Council seems to have been spending money quite easily,” Cantin said. “I’d often say spending is going to things that are nice, but not necessarily needed for the citizens of St. Albert.”
In addition to working as a consultant, the 51-year-old said he is also a real-estate investor, and argued this experience will lend well to being scrupulous as a councillor.
“I can bring a lot to the city in terms of cutting back on spending,” Cantin said. “I’m used to thinking outside the box to save money, especially on larger projects.”
Cantin said if elected, he plans to be particularly attentive to the city’s proposed solar-farm project.
“I’m ready to examine all the details closely, and make sure citizens will not be losing money there,” Cantin said.
He said he thinks the most recent council has often been inattentive to what ratepayers want most.
“People wanted a skating rink, they didn’t get it,” Cantin said. “They wanted a pool, same thing … as a councillor, you’re not there just to be an authority, but you’re there to listen.”
A native French speaker, Cantin is also fluent in English and Spanish. With a father who served four terms as a city councillor in Quebec district Saint-Romuald, now called Lévis, Cantin said civic service always seemed like an apt calling.
“It’s in my blood,” Cantin said. “I want to get involved as a decision maker. I like the community in St. Albert and if I can help in making it better then that’s what I’d like to do.”