- Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?
I am concerned that North Cowichan Council could use a dose of new blood and a broader diversity of political philosophies. My professional work has always demanded strong levels of collaboration if success was to be achieved by the stakeholders I was working with. I believe voices from across the political spectrum should be represented on council. In the absence of diversity council can end up as an echo chamber where thinking outside the box is next to impossible.
- Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?
No. The provincial government has the statutory authority to deal with these issues. If those responsibilities are not being fulfilled to our satisfaction I would go after the provincial government to do their job!
- Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw?
No. I believe each area within the Cowichan Valley is best suited to bring social housing into reality is each of their jurisdictions. I am campaigning on leading the charge to aggressively pursue use of the provincial government’s $500 million fund to create affordable rental housing for low income people, whether they are young people and/or families, seniors or people with disabilities.
- How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?
I have long term experience with all levels of government, as well as First Nations. I have learned that there is only one way to work these other levels and that is through collaboration.
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?
I believe local governments should work through education and incentive. High efficiency toilets, for instance, can be encouraged into place. Similarly, composting toilets can have a major impact on water usage. Also, through education, we can help change the culture around “green” lawns, …we can educate and encourage the use of landscaping plants that need little water.
- How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?
First, through the use of, and enforcement of, urban containment boundaries. Secondary suites can add supply to the housing market, …also building up instead of out. Develop policies that would allow people entering the agriculture business ways of securing long term access to arable land under lease or other arrangements that makes it affordable.
- 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?
Housing affordability – examine all North Cowichan’s land use policies and procedures to ensure they are not adding to the cost of housing.
Affordable rental housing – aggressively pursue proposals to create rental housing in North Cowichan in partnership with local housing NGOs and the provincial government.
Support the development of small business – Make sure North Cowichan’s land use policies and bylaws are not overly restrictive or are being applied lacking common sense.
- 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?
First, I commit to a regularly updated community blog that I will populate with relevant information and have provision for community comment and feedback. Second, I will hold monthly accountability sessions with the locations rotating between Chemainus, Maple Bay/Quamichan and the south end.