Lokken back for another crack at town council

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Philip Lokken has been practicing law in Slave Lake for 40 years. That makes him close to retiring, and he’s keen to give something back to the community by serving on town council.

“I’ve had a lot of experience here in Slave Lake,” he says.

Part of that experience came from one term already served on town council. That was 2013 to 2017. Otherwise, Lokken says the practice of law, “covers a wide range of subjects, particularly in a small-town practice,” which he thinks would serve him well on town council.

Slave Lake is the only town Lokken has ever practiced law. He came here in 1982, following a year or so of articling with a firm in La Ronge, Saskatchewan.

It was in answer to an ad from a local firm – that being Larry Schmipf’s. He started there, later setting up his own practice in the former RCMP office/barracks on 3rd Ave. NE, where it still is to this day.

Lokken says he was raised in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. He did his undergraduate degree at St. Olaf’s College in Minnesota, and his law degree at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Since arriving in Slave Lake 39 years ago, volunteering in the community has always been part of what he does. That includes through his church, St. Peter’s Ecumenical, service clubs (Lions and Rotary) among other things.

Lokken’s list of priorities for council (should he get elected) is five in number, and it starts with ‘financial stability.’ He says he thinks it’s important the town do “whatever we can” in working with the province and the MLA to stabilize finances. He’s also in favour of “quality recreational, cultural and community services.”

Promoting the town “as a great place to live and work,” is also high on the Lokken agenda. A lot of people come for a couple of years and then move on, he notes. Fair enough, he continues, but “I think we need to encourage young people to look outside Edmonton and Calgary, and we have to have something for them to come to.”

Lokken says he’s also in support of “initiatives to support the homeless,” and “improving infrastructure.”

One thing that’s not on his priorities list, but he adds during the interview: “I would like to promote seniors’ programs. We have a lot of seniors, and all of us are headed in that direction!”

Lokken says he’s pleased to see such a large number and variety of candidates running for council.

“I think any combination might be good,” he says.

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