Tish Prouse, one of Eastwood’s own, is running in the upcoming provincial election as the Highlands-Norwood candidate for the Alberta Party.
Prouse is an archeologist by training who worked at UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the globe. Today, he works in forklift sales, calls the Eastwood neighbourhood home with his wife and son, and owns several properties in the area. He specializes in buying, renovating, maintaining, and owning older structures that aren’t heritage buildings yet, but have the potential to be.
He discusses the importance of strong community, without which he says we are at risk of creating ghettos.
His roots in the community include being past president of Eastwood Community League, having been approached to take on the role at a time when the league was in danger of going under. Prouse and his fellow board members restructured and systematized league operations before handing it off to a new board. Today, the league is in the black with 150 members and several successful programs.
After campaigning twice municipally, he decided to enter the provincial race because many of the issues that most interested him on a city level, such as homelessness and small business development, have a strong provincial component. He realized that the solutions he wants to bring about might be best approached from a provincial standpoint.
“The things I represent are not often represented in the province,” he said, citing as an example his ideas on combating homelessness. “Neither of the two dominant parties in this province have a plan on how to house long-term hard-to-house and homeless people.”
Prouse proposes an approach that focuses less on constructing more buildings. Instead, he advocates investing more in support workers, as well as incentivizing and overseeing landlords to not only house people, but also to provide quality service and maintenance.
He explained improving economic options and services like high-speed Internet in rural areas could help people who want to stay in those communities do so, rather than moving to the city; this would reduce demand for services in the larger centres.
This might include such initiatives as decentralizing health services, co-ordinating existing infrastructure resources for more sustainable long-term output, and building a rail line to better connect rural areas.
Prouse said he believes his party appeals to a voter who,“…recognizes that problems that are meant to be solved by government are not simple…It is acceptable to disagree and put forward different ideas.”
In his view, input from everyone is needed, as well as working with everyone respectfully to develop collaborative solutions. He also argues that more experience and expertise is needed in government, and that the Alberta Party brings that.
“The reason why things are on their head is that there is a massive sense of amateurism such that we are in a situation of debt that threatens programs…Our party has absolutely the ability to take what everybody does want and make it a reality.”
As for his vision for the riding: “I have an interest in making my community more viable, more safe, and more sustainable.” He cites a vibrant arts scene and safe, secure schools as part of what he’d like to bring about through provincial policy.
Finally, the candidate has a request for the residents of Highlands-Norwood: “I would love it if people would call or email with any questions about why I’m doing this. Even people who are adamantly not supporting me. I want to have those conversations.”
Reach Prouse through email at [email protected].
Featured Image: Alberta Party members, left to right: Stephen Mandel (party leader), Tish Prouse, Diana Ly (Edmonton-Goldbar candidate), Bob Philp (Edmonton-City Centre candidate), and Ali Haymour (Edmonton-Decore candidate). | Supplied