A Trail lawyer running for Trail city council says ensuring public safety is his top priority.
“You look at things such as working on seniors housing, attracting new businesses, and land development,” Doug Wilson says. “Those are all valid points but I think unless we focus on safety first those aren’t going to matter as much.
“If it gets worse and we don’t do anything, why would seniors want to still live here? Why would new businesses want to come here? I say if we put a lot of attention on safety, other matters will start to fall in line.”
Making the downtown safer will require a combined effort from professionals at different levels, he says. “It’s going to take a lot of work, but we have to at least be talking about it and be conscious about it and find ways to work towards it.”
Wilson says he is sure the local homeless shelter is trying to do good things, but has been overwhelmed. He wants to talk to other communities about the problems Trail is facing, as he says they are not unique.
Wilson was born and raised in Trail. He left for about 10 years, first to Kelowna and Vancouver. His education then took him to Australia for a few years, where he attended law school.
When he graduated, he opted to come home to be closer to family and he’s glad he did. But he says he was taken aback by how much the downtown had changed in his absence. He says growing up, teenagers could go to the theatre without their parents worrying about them.
“I noticed that’s changed. It’s almost a different mindset now. People are lot more cautious when out walking downtown. It’s weird to think maybe we’ve gotten used to that.”
But Wilson says the city is still a great place to grow up and live in. Since he moved home, he has joined the board of Sanctuary, an after-school program for kids. He has been looking for other ways to serve his community and says city council seems like a good fit.
Wilson says he looks forward to working with mayor and council and is impressed with projects in other communities such as the Rossland Yards development and social housing complexes in Nelson. He’d like to see similar things in Trail.