By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
One of the several complications that a municipal government has to face on a nearly daily basis is properly representing the people within their area.
Vauxhall has been dealing with this issue, as a large portion of the Mennonite community had not really been engaging with the town or any of their organized events. Kimberly Lyall, a strategic planning consultant, had a discussion with town council at their last meeting about holding an open house on Sept. 29 about how to make the Mennonite community feel welcome in Vauxhall — and if this meeting should just be town council or expand to other organizations, such as the chamber and ag society.
“In my initial conversation with you, many of you expressed the desire to have members of the Mennonite community and various sects of the Mennonites community in Vauxhall feeling like Vauxhall is their community as well, and participating in this strategic planning process,” said Lyall. “So, whatever we determined is the goal in the future for Vauxhall, everyone in the community, or as many people in the community, feel like it’s part of their future as well — rather than half of the community. I recognize it’s been difficult in the past to maybe get members of those Mennonites communities to engage in the activities or helping you plan.”
With a recent Canadian census showing that 55 per cent of Vauxhall’s population speaks German as their native language, this illustrates that a majority of residents within Vauxhall are Mennonites or have some degree of that culture in their background. With this in mind, Lyall emphasized the importance of their community taking the necessary steps to work as a bridge to make them feel comfortable within Vauxhall.
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