- Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?
I love the town and see that it is at a watershed moment where it will either become a bedroom community or a vibrant town. With my experience in business and creative bent as well as my history of working with all types of people, I feel I can contribute to creating the dynamic community this place can become.
- Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?
YES. Although this bylaw supports research and understanding of the watershed and is not related to the application of water retention projects, I feel it is critical to the future of all settlements in the Cowichan Valley. This is just the first step in creating a sustainable water management system.
- Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw?
No. Although I understand the work and multiplication factor that this bylaw promotes, I feel that the immediate need of the Lake Cowichan area will likely not be addressed as the population will likely make it a low priority when considering the entire Cowichan Valley. We need a more immediate and local solution to the housing problem.
- How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?
The biggest way of working with other levels of government is to keep in regular touch and develop dialogue so you understand their needs and objectives. It is also important to acknowledge what they are accomplishing in our area at the moment and ensure that they know their contributions are valuable and appreciated.
One Cowichan supporters have expressed concerns about climate change, especially local impacts on our water resources. What local climate change mitigation and/or adaptation strategies would you support if elected?
This is not a question that has a simple answer. We can start by having designated bike paths to encourage people not to use their cars. We need to support such things as the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service so that we truly understand the natural environment. Too often groups will do something they feel is proactive however the work done is damaging in the long run.
- How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?
We need a balance in our growth -- not just homes but businesses. Some might even be home based-long distance jobs. Transportation can be managed with feeder routes to encourage people to walk, bike and use the bus system. Environmental protection rests on education and ensuring the community feels a vested interest in those projects.
- What do you consider the three most pressing issues facing local government and the one most important thing local government should do on each one?
Transparency of Council Actions- recorded meetings posted electronically, having a trail of easily sourced information on the status of resident requests, being available for personal discussions
Getting more facilities within the town- carry on the great work done by the current council in getting funding outside of the tax stream to finance new services, safer walkways, biking paths etc.
Stimulating Business - ensuring that new business potentials have the support they need to run a successful venture and promote the town so that there are enough people and visitors that will create enough clients.
- Our citizen surveys indicate a desire for more consultation and accountability between elected officials and their constituents. If elected, what would your approach be to those issues?
Our council should be an opportunity generator -- that is they should be finding ways to make things happen and to support the strong diversity of talents available in the community. Recorded council and committee meetings, accountability in reporting on progress of requests, clearly stating the guidelines for support, being accessible in public areas for input and keeping an active presence on the internet are all things that can be done without costing additional funding.