When Nigel Kitto and his family emigrated to Kimberley from Australia nine years ago, he immediately began to get involved in the community. And the more he got involved, the more he began to consider a run for City Council.
The only holdup was Canadian citizenship — required for a council run.
Last week, that detail was taken care of as Kitto proudly became a citizen. And he has decided to run for Council.
“My family moved to Kimberley from Australia almost nine years ago, and we have been seeking citizenship for over two years,” Kitto said. “We were almost held up again due to colliding with a deer on the way to the proceedings in Cranbrook, but finally completed the interview, exam and ceremony on September 30th. Poor deer, but that made me feel even more Canadian in some way!”
Kitto has come to appreciate all Kimberley has to offer.
“Kimberley is a welcoming and vibrant community, with so many great amenities and attributes,” he said. “These are the reasons that a two year contract to work in the Cranbrook ER has turned into a permanent move. After almost five years working at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital as a Registered Nurse, I now work in the community setting in Primary Health, Chronic Disease Management and most recently as a Diabetes Educator. Working in Cranbrook and at the Kimberley Health Centre I believe gives me keen insight into the services available in our community and just how important they are.
Despite the closure of our hospital, the Kimberley Health Centre still provides quality and timely care to Kimberley’s residents. It is one of my key concerns that this service continues to meet the needs of our community into the future.”
Kitto is taking full advantage of the many recreational opportunities in Kimberley, and has been active in many different outdoor organizations.
“Kimberley is a healthy community,” he said. “I have been pleasantly surprised over the years at just how many residents are maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, many well into their older years. Certainly the outdoor lifestyle was a major reason to move here from Australia. Skiing, hiking and mountain biking has also helped forge many friendships. My love of our excellent trail network has also compelled me to get involved and volunteer in maintaining, improving and promoting this community asset. I volunteer with the Kimberley Nature Park Society, Kimberley Trails Society and Friends of Lois Creek. I am also president of the Kootenay Freewheelers Cycling Club, member of the Kootenay Orienteering Club and on the organizing committee for the Round the Mountain Festival. Recently we had an event with Get Outside BC, highlighting to me the importance and potential for youth involvement in outdoor activities. I am well aware of the growth of mountain biking and trail use in general since moving here, and believe strongly that trails are a key part of a healthy community, and for attracting new residents or tourists alike.
“Sustainability is a bit of a modern buzzword and has many connotations. Certainly the environmental aspects are important to me to ensure our beautiful surrounds will be there for my son and future generations. Economic and social sustainability are equally important. How as a small city we can continue to maintain services that enhance our quality of life is a significant concern to me, and many of the other candidates. If elected I look forward to working with council and residents to identify these issues and find innovative ways to address the challenges we face.”
Above all, Kitto urges all eligible voters to come out on election day.
“I must admit I have been frustrated since moving here at not being able to participate in the democratic process, not being a citizen. I strongly believe it is a privilege and responsibility of citizenship to vote and ensure good representative governance. It is then the duty of our representatives to maintain good communication with the electorate, and then to collaborate to fulfill the needs of the community. I feel that these ideals along with my proven communication and organizational skills will make me a good councillor. But even if I haven’t got your vote, please come out to vote on November 15th and make certain that we have a council that represents the views and wishes of all of Kimberley’s residents.