ABOUT

Leighton Larson

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WHERE I COME FROM

I am a strong believer in freedom, democracy and equality. We are very fortunate to live as free people. We live in a community that has passion, volunteerism and engagement. I am a strong advocate for planning for the future, community building, diversified economic growth and communication. I believe the continued health of the area, its air, land, water, and economic engines, will determine the ability for everyone to live and work here. I am also a very strong advocate for the environment with experience working in the recycling industry. I believe that integrity, ingenuity and hard work will lead to success for all of Strathcona County.

 

Born in Edmonton, I lived in Edmonton and in the province of Saskatchewan as a child. When my family arrived in Sherwood Park in 1979, we had found our forever home. My father was the Superintendent of Rainbow Pipeline which was located across the road from what is now Costco. After graduating from Salisbury Composite High School, I left Sherwood Park to join the Canadian Armed Forces. I jumped at the chance to be posted at Garrison Edmonton in 1997 and buy my first home in Sherwood Park. 

 

In 2015 once again, I jumped at the chance to move to rural Strathcona County as I was about to retire from the military, and I was finally home. Growing up as the city kid farmer, I spent my summers on my grandfather’s farm, and learned how to drive stick at age 12 so I could drive a grain truck (had to use a pillow to reach the pedals). 

 

Living rural took me back to my youth and my grandfather's lessons on raising and growing food. Today I grow or raise a lot of my own food sources, including bees, pigs, chickens, and gardens.

A THRIVING CAREER

I served 30 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. I was infantry by trade and was able to work in many diverse fields. I served as a commando, paratrooper, overseas operations, domestic security, disaster response, and part of the headquarter group in the formation of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). I had the opportunity to be a member of several committees on Garrison Edmonton: base fund committee, base safety committee, and base security committee. In Kosovo, I had a large rural area of operation where I was responsible for the security and gathering of information on community needs and connecting resources such as aid groups, conflict resolution and local mediation. At the end of my career I was writing, creating and vetting training programs, operating procedures, Canadian Armed Forces policy, appendixes of military law and was part of a vetting team for some NATO policies. I worked at the tactical level and strategic level and as a subject matter expert in the field of custody operations. After retiring from the military, I studied at NAIT and have been self-employed, recently being the co-founder of a recycling company.

MY PASSION FOR VOLUNTEERISM

I am a community-driven person, and I have been engaged in volunteerism in Strathcona County since 1997. I coach youth and adult sports, both in Sherwood Park and rural Strathcona County sports associations. Within a few months of moving rural, I joined the local Ardrossan Recreation & Agricultural Society (ARAS) and after a year, I was elected president; I now sit as past president. I have chaired committees over the past few years, primarily the Ardrossan Parade and Picnic including the past one in June 2021 (the third largest one-day event in Strathcona County) and have been a member of Safety Fair, community garden and Ardrossan Skate Park committees. I have been able to mentor the Ardrossan Jr. Sr. High School youth council the last few years for their haunted house at Memorial Hall. My dad and I do deliveries every year for the Christmas Bureau of Strathcona County. I created and ran a small fundraiser for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation for a few years, through hockey the event was called “Goals with a Goal”. I was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for volunteerism in my community, “Strathcona County,” and in the military community.

MISSION STATEMENT

Communication & Community

Your voice counts beyond the vote! Communication is essential to the success of any community; things change and so do the wants and needs of citizens. The government at all levels needs to be in tune with the people it serves. If I work for you, I want to hear from you. It is said that it can be more of a challenge to communicate in rural areas. Challenge accepted! I will work hard and be available to hear your voice.

 

Strong communities are the backbone to strong democracies, good health, strong economics and strong relations.

 

Tomorrow’s community is today’s investment!

One of the most important investments we can make is in our youth as they are the tomorrow. The elderly are the ones who worked hard and gave us the great community we live in today. We need to ensure they are cared for and have access to the community they built. Everyone in between needs an equal opportunity. In most cases they are self-reliant, however, there are times they may need that hand up. We can help with relevant, quality community programs when they are needed. In investing in youth, taking care of the ones that came before us and supporting them today, we will continue to be strong and grow stronger for tomorrow.