Re-elected to his fifth term as a Town Councillor in 2013, Councillor Watson says the minute he and his wife Dolina discovered Cochrane, they both knew this was where they wanted to raise their family. The couple has lived in Cochrane for 27 years, and has two children and two grandchildren.
“If I had to pick one element of Cochrane that I enjoy the most, it would be the river valley pathways,” he says. “Dolina and I were married in Cochrane. We walked along the river pathway the morning before our wedding. That moment stands out for both of us; we still love walking Cochrane’s river valley.”
Known for his strong interest in politics, human rights and community development, Councillor Watson’s career has spanned many fields, from communication to management of outdoor recreation centres.
A well-known motivational speaker, human rights advocate and passionate promoter of community, Councillor Watson has devoted his life to politics and improving the lives of community members.
“Serving as Town Councillor keeps me closely connected with the diverse and interesting people of Cochrane,” he says. “I want to play a part in guiding this growing community to ensure it continues to be a dynamic place to live.”
Councillor Watson’s other commitments include seeing Highway 1A twinned, a new bridge built over the Bow River, a centre for the performing arts and to seeing Cochrane join the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park pathway network.
Councillor Watson holds a degree in Recreation Administration from the University of Alberta, and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Lethbridge. Ross recently retired from a career with Alberta Parks and plans to focus on town issues, personal business and provincial committees.
An outdoor enthusiast for over 20 years, Councillor Watson was the first blind climber to attempt 20,320 foot Mount McKinley, in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain, in 1990. In 2000, Councillor Watson fulfilled a lifelong dream by organizing and taking part in an expedition to be the first blind climber to summit Canada’s highest mountain, 19,640 foot Mount Logan in Yukon. On May 25, 2000 after 19 days of 60-kilometer winds and -35ºC temperatures, Councillor Watson and his three teammates reached the West Summit of Mount Logan.
Councillor Watson would love to hear visitors say that Cochrane must have an insightful council. In reality, they will most likely say what they are saying now, but with a bigger smile: “What a wonderful town.”
Cochrane Environmental Committee
Rocky View County Intermunicipal Committee
Subdivision & Development Appeal Board