- Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?
I was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, the closeness of this community and its rich culture are some of the reasons I stayed here to raise a family. I am a registered psychiatric nurse, stigma educator, community action team coordinator, advocate, Caring with Cookies creator, mother, wife, daughter, and friend. I demonstrate my passion for my community every day. I bring experience and passion to the team as well as my ability to respect people for who they are, where they’ve come from and the hurdles they have had to overcome.
- Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?
YES. Being a mother means having to consider the future, I need to ensure that their generation does not suffer from the mistakes of mine. Water is a necessity but I believe it’s one that many take for granted, just expecting that the quality and supply will always remain constant. We are seeing the effects that climate change, development, and our aging infrastructure is having on the supply and quality of our water and we need to be prepared to do something about it. I am only one vote, but I will be voting yes.
- Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw?
YES. It has become very evident that we need more housing in the Cowichan Valley, housing that people can afford as well as different levels of housing for different levels of people. Investing in affordable housing goes hand in hand with the health and well-being of our citizens. At the CVRD presentation, it was explained how there is money available from the government to obtain these types of housing but that we first must be ready to accept it and that this program will allow us the funds to do just that.
- How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?
Being new at politics, this is a difficult question to answer in terms of exact strategies. Having said that, I have experienced working with other governments in my community, and that work has taken place respectfully and collaboratively. In my opinion, there is not much sense running for council if you are unwilling or unable to work with the people around you.
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?
It’s difficult for me to say exactly what strategies I would support if elected; however, I do want constituents to know that I recognize the effects of climate change and the direct link between them and our health and well-being. We are blessed with many experts in this field here in the valley and if elected, I would love to sit down with some of them and discuss what local government can and should be doing to mitigate these threats.
- How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?
Duncan’s Official Planning Guide lays out some comprehensive strategies for managing growth sustainability within our region and I think that it’s important that we use this as a guide for building on but also that we continue to evaluate where we are at in terms of growth and whether or not our needs are changing.
- 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?
Many of the citizens I have asked this question to indicate that crime, homelessness, and substance use are their top three pressing issues and I believe that in order to really solve these issues we must look to effective prevention. Provincially, Cowichan Valley has the highest rates of children in care as well as abuse against women. I firmly believe that these two aspects, among others, are directly linked to the outcomes we are seeing today. We need to invest in our children and provide them with the tools required for success.
- 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?
Constituents should not only feel that they have a voice, but also that that voice is being considered. I have an innate ability to listen and accept; something that lead me into the field of psychiatry. Should I be elected, I will listen and take note of what citizens are saying and I will encourage them to come to me with issues they have.