After years of community involvement in Cranbrook, and a past year of exciting personal growth, Danielle Cardozo has made the decision to seek a seat on Cranbrook City Council in the upcoming municipal election November 15.
Cardozo, who made it to the top 10 of this year’s MasterChef Canada reality show, is running on a platform of economic and infrastructure growth.
“While I hope that residents of Cranbrook will use my appearance on MasterChef Canada to identify that I am particularly ambitious and dedicated to representing Cranbrook with integrity, I hope that they’ll take the opportunity to recognize that my true passion lies in community and economic development,” Cardozo said in a press release. “As I run for Council, I would like residents to know that my focus will be on economic development, as a means to support local business, infrastructure growth, and decreased taxes.”
Cardozo currently works as Business Development Coordinator with St. Mary’s Band and the band’s Development Corporation, Aq’am Community Enterprises. She has also served as Employment Development Officer with the Ktunaxa Nation.
“My experience in these positions has allowed me to work with multiple local businesses and resource industries; learn about local and provincial tendering policies and procedures; study and apply innovative business models; and implement employment strategies based on current labour market trends.”
Cardozo says economic growth should be the number one focus in Cranbrook.
“It’s almost impossible to have infrastructure growth without an income beyond a tax base, especially on a shrinking tax base,” she said. “Cranbrook needs councillors who understand new generation business models that can support family owned businesses and encourage growth in our local market.”
Cardozo added that Cranbrook Council should know how to and be willing to support responsible economic growth, to increase the local tax base and decrease tax rates. “This is what will encourage new residents, new doctors, and new industries to relocate in our community; a community that values and supports its residents,” Cardozo said. “I know that these are qualities that I can bring to Council.”
Cardozo also said councillors need to understand provincial and municipal processes — such as those under the Trade, Investment, Labour Mobility Agreement — to be able to support local contractors in how to competitively bid on municipally and provincially regulated projects, like the current hospital expansion.
“The province has stated that since 2001, $67 Million has gone to expansion and upgrades at the East Kootenay Regional hospital. This work should have been done by local contractors. This money should have stayed in Cranbrook.”
Cardozo’s ultimate goal is to support current local businesses and increase the number of new locally owned businesses.
“I support growth in Cranbrook, but I understand that residents want to see growth, without losing community values that can be lost when growth occurs too quickly. By focusing on supporting entrepreneurs to use innovative business models, such as localized low-cost, new generation cooperative, and one-off experiences; we can build local economy internally.”
Cardozo says she is on side with her fellow candidates in that she wants to see increased infrastructure sustainability and growth. “By implementing strong economic development strategies, we can bring in the financial resources to then support infrastructure such as roads and sewers.”
She added that new infrastructure strategies are essential. “It is critical that we take the current 15-year infrastructure plan, and reduce it to a 10 year plan. By reducing the plan to a 10-year plan, we free up five years to focus on growth, rather than simply maintenance.”
Cardozo values Cranbrook, the community she grew up in and where she has chosen to raise her children.
“My recent television appearance gave me a great deal of opportunity to leave Cranbrook, and pursue a career outside of the Kootenays. But I do not want to leave the place I love; the place that my children and I call home.”