Tom Norton has announced that he is running for the vacant council seat in the Abbotsford byelection on Sept. 25.
Norton is a decorated, retired member of the RCMP major crime section whose family has called Abbotsford home since 1994. He has 35 years of meritorious service in law enforcement and high-performance coaching,
“Municipal government has been a goal for many years, and the time was right for me to step up,” he said.
He said his optimism for the city is unwavering: “Abbotsford has unlimited potential for new families as the ‘Heart of the Fraser Valley.’ Like many other major metropolitan centres, Abbotsford faces challenges with vulnerable citizens experiencing homelessness, street crime, and gang activity that test the mettle of its emergency services, and I want to offer my decades of experience to help tackle those issues.”
Norton said his leadership and strategic guidance on employee services – including performance management, policy, discipline, and managing collective agreements – would serve him well on council.
“The stewardship of a nearly $35 million budget that supports people, operations across the province was an ever-changing, monumental task – our people always come first,” he said.
By optimizing assets that the City of Abbotsford already employs and collaborating with the right resources, Norton said he encourages focusing on managing green space, recreation and healthy pursuits, while supporting the arts, housing development and small business.
“These key areas will elevate the city’s profile to attract much-needed tourism,” he said.
For more than 30 years, Norton and his family have volunteered and fundraised for Special Olympics BC initiatives and the Canadian Cancer Society. He was recognized as Special Olympics North America’s Coach of the Year in 2015 – one of the organization’s highest honours.
Norton said he is a staunch advocate for parents with children who live with intellectual disabilities, and he will continue his work to grow a support network to improve community resources for all.
“I have demonstrated ownership and leadership in my community as a foundation for positive change by coaching and mentoring youth in athletics, and representing my community on council provides an opportunity for me to continue leading by example – with honesty, integrity and a profound sense of community care.”
He said he is grateful for all the city has to offer.
“This is an opportunity to continue growth as a community leader and drive Abbotsford towards its full potential.”
The byelection is being held to replace Bruce Banman, who was elected MLA for Abbotsford South in the last provincial election.