Prince Harry and Meghan Markle invited to call Okotoks home

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle invited to call Okotoks home
WATCH: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will soon be receiving an invitation from Okotoks town council. As Jessie Weisner explains, the invitation asks the royal couple to consider calling the community home – Feb 15, 2020

A southern Alberta town is thinking big with a recent invitation sent off by its town council.

Okotoks Town Council passed a decision last week to send a letter to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, asking them to consider calling their community home.

The motion put forward by Mayor Bill Robertson unanimously passed by the six council members in attendance.

What seemed like a ridiculous idea at first, according to Coun. Florence Christophers, soon became a motion with serious potential.

“[Robertson] had pitched the idea to council and one of my colleagues leaned over and said to me, ‘He’s not serious, right? Tell me he’s not bringing a notice of motion forward on that topic.’ And I’m like, ‘No, he’d never do that.’ Lo and behold, the next council meeting he does bring forward this notice of motion,” Christophers said.
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“I thought, ‘I am so not voting for this motion. This is embarrassing. This is not what communities and town councillors should be spending their time debating.’ And by the end, I’m like, ‘I’m totally supporting this motion.’”

Christophers said the motion passed because it could attract all kinds of new people to the community — not just Prince Harry and Markle.

“It’s an invitation to a beautiful royal family to come and join us here in this community we’ve created that’s so ideal for families but it’s more than that; it’s an invitation to any family,” she said.

The town of Okotoks prides itself on being a young, active, environmentally conscious community just 15 minutes south of Calgary.

Consisting of roughly 30,000 people, it has 72 kilometres of walking trails and a private airport.

“It’s just got a good feel to it. It’s not close enough so that everyone knows your business and it’s small enough that you can feel comfortable in your house at night and not have to worry,” said Okotoks resident Jeff Towner.

According to Sarah Ethier, assistant manager at Loop, a second-hand children’s shop, the community is also ideal for new families.

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She said Prince Harry and Markle’s nine-month-old son Archie would fit into the community perfectly.

“There are so many young families, the schools are great and there’s just a great sense of community here, so we love it,” said Ethier. “I think he would love it. There [are] all kinds of stuff to touch and feel and play with here. It’s just a good environment. There’s always lots of families around, lots of kids.”

The community has attracted some people from England, including Karen and Peter Scantlebury, who moved to Okotoks 11 years ago from an area south of Birmingham.

They are happy to hear Prince Harry and Markle have been invited to Canada as well.

“I’ve got no objections whatsoever, and if it brings people to the town, that would be great,” Peter said.

However, Christophers is not optimistic that the royal couple will decide to set up roots in the town.

“I think my impression is they’ve found a place on the island and that’s a beautiful spot to land as well,” she said.

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