May 25th, 2024

Rufa Doria: Council candidate says a flourishing city needs to be a common goal


By Tim Kalinowski on September 2, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Council candidate Rufa Doria says for Lethbridge to grow as a community, everyone has to do their share.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

City council candidate Rufa Doria says running for elected office in Lethbridge means minding her ABCs – that is being “attentive” to the needs of the community, keeping “business in mind” in build a flourishing economy, and building a “community of the soul” where the interests of all citizens are taken care of for the greater good of all.
“It’s a common goal to see our Lethbridge flourish,” Doria explains. “I don’t want people telling me, ‘Oh, it’s my taxes. I don’t want to help those people.’ We also have to think about the city as a whole. If we want to have a peaceful, a safe, and flourishing economy in Lethbridge, we all have to do our share.
“We have to redefine our heart, our mind, and our soul toward those issues,” she adds. “We need to get down to what are the needs, and what we can do to move forward. We have to listen to those (vulnerable) people because we have to bring in the issues and discuss what is best, and where to collaborate on those issues in order for us to be helpful.”
Doria, who has a PhD in bio-resource engineering and is a former research fellow at the Agricultural Research Centre as well as an instructor at Lethbridge College, says she has a passion for research which, she feels, will help serve Lethbridge well as the community seeks answers to its pressing social problems.
“We need to collaborate and maybe reach out,” she confirms. “Maybe there are programs in (provincial or federal) government we need to reach out to in order to get funding for our community’s special concerns. We need to dig down deeper to figure out what is the best (solution). My position is there is always a way to learn through listening to the situation. It’s not as easy to say, ‘Put this here in that location.'”
“I agree we have a tight budget and we need to do priorities. We have to identify our priorities. For me it is the social issues. We have to prioritize the wellfare of the residents of Lethbridge. I want the community to be well-informed about our social issues.”
To Doria, who is also co-owner of Doria and Doria Canada Immigration Consulting Inc., the vice-president of the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association and president of the local Filipino Canadian Association, that social agenda includes making Lethbridge a more inclusive space for all its diverse peoples with equal opportunities abounding for all.
“Lethbridge is a diverse city that is growing,” Doria affirms. “We accept diversity, but what we need to understand that diversity is separate from inclusion. They (diverse peoples) need to be represented. They need to be included.
“I am running for city council because I never see identities and experiences like mine represented at the city council level,” she says. “As Lethbridge is diversifying and growing, I believe people in a position of leadership should reflect proportional representation from the population.”
Keeping her ABCs in mind, Doria says she would apply the same lens to her capital spending priorities if elected. She is not in favour of large capital projects which are not attentive to the real needs of the community, which do not help build up the local economy, and which are not for the greater good of the community as a whole. She would rather vote in favour of capital spending on infrastructure which will encourage continued growth and economic development in the community.
“Lethbridge is growing; we are already more than 100,000 in population,” she explains. “So infrastructure is my first priority. What I mean by infrastructure isn’t necessarily a (third) bridge. It is something that is needed in our whole community to maintain our status and hopefully to grow.”
Doria says some examples of infrastructure spending she would support is increasing the city’s fibre optic infrastructure to allow faster, more efficient, and more accessible internet for all, and spending on projects which would foster continued growth of the local agriculture and food-processing sector.

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