- Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?
I was born and raised on the island and I’ve lived in the Cowichan Valley for 10 years. As a loving husband and a dad to two wonderful children, six years ago we decided that Cowichan Bay was where we wanted to raise our family. I’m a realtor with Pemberton Holmes and I’ve asked many: What’s important to you and what needs improvement in Cowichan Bay? They want safer walkways for young and old to enjoy, a community space for events and better parking in the Bay so they can enjoy the cool little stores with their family.
- Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?
YES. Having an aquifer that is under considerable stress and being downstream from a lot of development, a Regional Service that will allow a greater understanding and ability for action is a necessity in the face of increased development and climate change.
- Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw?
YES. I didn’t at first until I understood it better. The BC Government has committed $7 Billion and the Federal Government $40 Billion to partner with Local Governments and community organizations. The free market is unable to provide the 750 units needed today. The CHA Service would attract funding from other sources as well. This isn’t a handout, it’s a means of helping many different people in our community, including preventing young families from moving away. There are people that make $70k a year who can’t even find housing they can afford in the Cowichan Valley.
- How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?
Having good relationships with our MP, MLA and First Nations is essential. I am not afraid of collaborating with all of them to do what is best for Cowichan Bay and the entire region. Nearly all decisions made for any area need a majority vote of the CVRD Board. I have already formed strong, trusting relationships with many of the current Board members to make sure our community’s voice is heard.
- 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?
There are many initiatives already in the works at the CVRD since Local Governments are on the front lines of climate change. Supporting a greater understanding of water and its protection, and lobbying the Provincial Government to improve forest practices legislation are necessary.
- How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?
The CVRD’s Cowichan 2050 initiative is an excellent starting point for the conversations and collaboration that need to occur on all these issues. Working to maintain development in compact communities and improve transit since over ¾ of the CVRD’s GHG emissions are from transportation.
- 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?
Climate change – Local governments are on the front lines of sea level rise and changing weather and precipitation patterns. Being able to collect enough information to plan effectively is a necessity.
Water protection and management – Having enough information and the means to study and protect aquifers and watersheds is essential for a growing community in a changing climate.
Affordable housing -- Having enough affordable housing helps everyone in the community. Paying a little to attract a lot of senior government funding will save money and improve the community in the long run.
- 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?
In a representative democracy such as this, consulting on every issue is impractical. I will certainly be available by the traditional means of communication and I will hold periodic community meetings around larger issues. I believe that before your money is spent the community should have a say in where it is going so we don't need to spend $140k for some drawings and we already know parking is terrible.