Have you ever wondered what Wetaskiwin would look like if we extinguished antique notions and tore down imaginary walls? If we forged stronger trust in one another and had greater faith in our shared potential to create – and celebrate – common ground?
The recently-released 50-Year Community Vision gives us a glimpse of that future. A future of shared prosperity, unquestioned safety, and comprehensive inclusivity. Making the leap from vision to reality will take the effort of all Wetaskiwinites over the next five decades. The journey will be long, and the only way to make it is together.
“I am so encouraged to see the number of people in our community who took part in helping shape our future,” stated Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Without this vision of where we would like to be in 50 years, it’s hard to know what we need to do today to get us there. As we work together in our City, we will build a community we’re proud to call home.”
- Make safety a priority
Wetaskiwinites rate crime as the most important issue we need to address. Additionally, isolated, media-hyped events in recent years have also skewed external notions of our city as a dangerous place to visit.
- Ensure financial stability
From provincial funding caps and regulatory changes to home-grown issues like low growth and high tax rates, financial challenges abound. We need to be increasingly resourceful in stewarding our fiscal policies while pursuing new opportunities.
- Support business growth
The Vision acknowledges that there are abundant opportunities for development, employment, open spaces, cultural attractions, and vibrant streets in the heart of our community. It is also apparent that we have some work to do.
- Unite the community
Generational bias and ingrained fear of those who are different continue to create lines of division across the community at large. For us to move forward in a meaningful way, we must do so together—and divisive mindsets must be left behind.
- Commit to the Vision
With the City’s pervasive social issues and lack of growth, the community feels discouraged. It will take time and effort to regain the trust of the community and work together to implement vision-aligned initiatives. An unwavering commitment to the Vision is essential to this effort.
Community values are an important component of achieving this vision. The visioning results show that, as a community, we value:
- Respect for all our neighbours
- Relationship with the land
- Diversity and inclusivity
- Connecting through arts and culture
- Many generations of history
“Your values and priorities for a better future were foundational in creating this 50-Year Vision,” said City Manager Sue Howard. “The City of Wetaskiwin is committing to using this community-built Vision to guide strategic planning and decision making.”
Get Involved in the Vision
Two-way dialogue is at the heart of the Vision, and the tools of engagement belong to everyone. There are a variety of ways to participate on the [what if wetaskiwin] portal—from taking part in simple polls and surveys to playing a larger role as a portal moderator.
Participants can be City staff, community members, or even those outside the City of Wetaskiwin who care about what’s going on. No matter who you are or why you’re here, you’re welcome to use any of the engagement tools to share your perspectives. The only requirement is that you uphold the [what if wetaskiwin] community guidelines. You can find out more here.