1. How do you plan to address the affordable housing issue across the Cowichan Valley?
As your next MLA, I will bring together the grant funders (Feds & Prov.), the builders, local government and appropriate service organizations to work together. Senior governments provide the money, builders bring the expertise, and local government will need to cut red tape and provide land and /or zoning. Service groups can serve as facility operators and service providers. I will seek help from young people, the working poor, and people with physical and mental needs, and the homeless. This will help us form the foundation of affordable housing solutions
2. How would you transition to a sustainable economy that will support local business and create reliable, living wage jobs for residents in Cowichan?
We can dramatically reduce raw log exports and create new wood based manufacturing in Cowichan. Tourism will continue to grow and provide seasonal employment for our youth and business opportunities for our innovators and entrepreneurs. I’ll bring business owners and union leaders together to grow union membership and business profits. As your MLA, a major priority will be agriculture with a focus on cash crops and food security, in partnership with groups like Cowichan Green Community.
3. What do you consider to be the top priorities for improving education and, if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
Education is about investment in our young and their future, not government’s treating schools as cost centres that need to be cut or closed. Whether it’s $10/day daycare, investing in programs like Success by Six, increasing per/pupil funding amounts for K-12, or increasing trade and post secondary education supports, these are investments our government must increase, instead of trying to fund on the cheap. Lastly, students shouldn’t be handed a “debt” sentence for pursuing a post secondary education.
4. What do you consider to be the top priorities for sustaining a healthy environment and, if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
Climate change, clean air and water! As your MLA, I will work with government to create and support strong environmental policy and legislation. I will also work with the opposition to hold polluters to account and ensure that critical habitat is protected. First Nations stewards and groups like the POLIS Project will help Cowichan to become leaders in restoring ecosystems to health and making our environment sustainable. As your new MLA I will engage with communities to stop the increase of hydrocarbon production. That means No to LNG in Saanich Inlet
5. What do you consider to be the top priorities for better health care in Cowichan and if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
As your MLA, my priority for Better Healthcare is to secure Provincial funding to begin building the new Cowichan District Hospital. Home support and care services need to grow with our ageing population through improved public, private, and volunteer service providers. I’ll work tirelessly to build new care facilities in our smaller communities. As your new MLA, I will work to secure the capital grant funding to build Senior’s Activity Centres for the residents of Cowichan Bay, Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, and Shawnigan Lake.
6. If elected, how will you support moving forward on reconciliation with First Nations in British Columbia locally within our riding?
I’ve been participating in Ojibway and Cree traditional ceremonies for almost thirty years. My wife Brenda and daughter Rhianon are both Status Indians. I have served on three Provincial treaty negotiating teams with almost six years serving on the Ditidaht/Pacheedaht main treaty table. I call on everyone to support the work of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women’s Task force (MMIW). Advancing reconciliation with First Nations in the Cowichan Valley is about listening.. As your Cowichan Valley MLA, I will be listening, and prepared to act when asked. I believe our First nations neighbours have much to say, and non first nations Canadians, so much to learn.
While we listen, government must strive to support young families instead of seizing their children. We must work with leaders to keep low risk First Nations offenders in community and out of jails.
7. One Cowichan has been facilitating a petition for the federal government to allocate adaptation to climate change infrastructure funds to raise the Cowichan weir for the Cowichan River. How will you work to bring the provincial government to the table as an active partner to move this initiative forward?
As your Cowichan Valley independent MLA I will bring the significant body of evidence I’ve learned on the Cowichan Watershed Board-CWB, at the Cowichan Stewardship Roundtable-CSRT, Cowichan Lake and River Stewards-CLRSS, along with the passionate pleas of residents and our First Nations stewards, to any and every related Ministry, Minister, bureaucrat and funding decision maker, until Provincial and Federal Capital funding is fully secured. The Cowichan is a Heritage River, and I will personally invite and accompany every MLA in BC on a guided drift of the upper river, to ensure this project is supported.
8. What made you decide to run in this election?
I’ve got a fire in my belly. A burning desire to serve. I’ve been working towards this election for years. When denied the right to contest the NDP nomination because of the discriminatory “Equity Policy”, I resigned as the constituency President. I decided to run as an independent candidate because it was the right thing to do. Immediately after announcing my candidacy, community members started to approach me and say” Ian, it took real character to stand up against discrimination. That’s why I want you standing up for me in Victoria”. Frustrated voters are saying that it doesn’t seem to matter what party they vote for, we all just get the same old, same old. People in Cowichan are tired of feeling like their vote is wasted. VOTE IAN MORRISON – THE BETTER ALTERNATIVE. My campaign is about people before parties. Let’s put “Cowichan Valley First”!