Elaine Taylor is walking the Whitehorse West neighbourhood taking stock of the public mood after a busy, cold and snowy winter.
It’s what a good MLA does when the sun powers up, turning the roads soupy.
They get out and connect with people. Talk with them. Hear them out.
The really good ones do it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Even while shopping. On a Sunday.
They make the effort to reach out. They take an interest in their constituents’ lives.
And so Taylor, the Tourism minister, took a break from perusing books, called out to a constituent and engaged in a little idle chitchat.
Reconnected with an old acquaintance.
Inquired about the family. Winter. Easter.
Talked a bit about curling. Babysitting. Skiing. How to juggle parenting and careers, politics and mining.
And, of course, she discussed the neighbourhood a little bit.
It is, after all, a big part of her life.
Apparently, residents are excited about the Hamilton Road expansion.
And they’re ramped up about the possibility of a new school.
Deciding the type of school is the tricky part.
High school or elementary school?
Some parents are excited about the prospect of fusing a high school onto the Canada Games Centre.
Some see it as an elegant solution — increasing facility use and cutting overall operation costs.
But then there’s FH Collins, which needs to be renovated. Or replaced.
And what happens to enrollment at the older high schools if something snazzy is linked to the Games centre?
All this at a time when the number of schoolchildren in the territory is dropping.
Taylor smiled. It was the smile of someone who knew difficult decisions lay ahead.
And so the conversation shifted to snow.
Can’t remember when there was so much.
“It’ll be gone in a month.”
“I think that’s optimistic.”
More smiles, and then she was gone.
Into the sunlight.
Into the gathering storm. (RM)