Courtney Stewart is sharing a series of ideas to improve the community as part of her campaign for Swift Current City Council.
“I’m running for council because I love Swift Current, I love working here, and I have ideas to make it even better. I think I’m a really good listener so I’m ready to hear ideas that others have, and I’m really good at getting things done,” she said during a recent interview.
Stewart has been an active volunteer over the past number of years and has participated in a number of impactful events. She has volunteered as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current and the Swift Current ACT, plus she serves as the chair of the Swift Current Library Board.
She was the co-founder of the Swift Current Pandemic Support Network Facebook Group which filled a gap in helping the community access COVID-19 supports and information.
“Really just the supportive feeling its brought to the community during the pandemic has been awesome,” she said of support network.
One of the highlights of the support network was the formation of a grocery delivery group, which was a well utilized service during the early portion of the pandemic lockdown.
“At the start of the pandemic, when people were more hesitant to go out, we did quite a few grocery deliveries. And to be able to provide that service to people who were unable to get out was awesome. And just seeing the people interact and look for ways to support each other on the pandemic Facebook group has been really great.”
Stewart was also one of the main organizers of the Take Back The Night March, an event held to support victims of sexual violence in our communities.
She noted that through her work as a CAD Technologist she has become familiar with land development and planning.
Stewart has a series of ideas to improve the community that she would like to advocate for at the council table.
“I think accessible playground equipment, adding more of that, especially to the two playgrounds where they have the resurfacing done, ACT Park and Riverside Park on the Southside. More accessible playground equipment can only be a good thing in our community. Anything that makes the children of Swift Current happier, and especially those of different ability levels who live here, that’s an easy one.”
She would also advocate for the introduction of a city-run after school program.
“A city-run after school program I think would give families flexibility. They would know they have options for childcare, and that their kids can lead active, healthy lives.”
Swift Current already has seen the United Way Active Play Program, Forever in Motion, and Tots Play, so an after school program would just an extension of what is already being offered.
“To have it permanent and reliable every day after school would be a big thing for families in Swift Current and those who want to move here.”
Stewart is also a library enthusiast and she knows there are many people who use and love the library.
“But the people who need the library need it to stay downtown, and I think we have a great opportunity to expand it in it’s current location because of that large, empty lot that’s directly east of the R.C. Dahl Centre. So the library is definitely something I’m passionate about.”
She would also use her voice to make Swift Current more walkable and pedestrian friendly. During COVID there was an obvious increase in people walking, and she would like to make it event easier for those who do not drive to have options to reach services they can’t otherwise.
As part of her platform, she would like to see the City take over the painting of the Rainbow Crosswalk, which could be done at a cost of about $4,000 every five years.
“The Rainbow Crosswalk as a symbol of equality and acceptance in our community is awesome.”
She further suggested to have a security camera placed near the crosswalk, both to discourage vandalism of the crosswalk and potentially serve as a live stream of the downtown core.
“If our goal is to grow our population, doing things like that to increase the city’s visibility will be a great positive and a great way to showcase our historic downtown, on top of providing the security we need on the crosswalk.”
Stewart added that the city can have these additional items while still being financially responsible.
“I think if we can find a balance between keeping our debt at a manageable level but still not being afraid to take on some of these larger projects that will attract people and taxpayers to our community.”
Lastly, she reiterated that every city policy should be examined for accessibility, inclusion and equality.
“The more different perspectives we have on council the easier it is to do that. The easiest way to know what a certain group needs is to ask them. If we have a lot of different voices I think that will be a huge asset.”