With the encouragement of family and friends it is with great excitement that I am announcing my candidacy for Mayor of Courtenay in the 2018 election. People have asked me “With such a busy family life, why are you running for mayor?” My answer is simple. I am running because of my family.
Nominations do not start until Sept, but I wanted to let the community know my intention to be our next Mayor. My council experience over the past 4 years, along with decades of business, social, environmental and board experience makes me the best candidate. With a $110 million water project and over a hundred million dollars required in other areas to keep up with aging infrastructure and growth, we need to ensure we are making the most informed decisions possible to reduce costs and maximize grants. Financial sustainability ensures that we have the capacity to support social, cultural, environmental, transportation and healthy initiatives that make Courtenay such a phenomenal place to live.
Nearly 4 years ago I was compelled to run for city council to ensure that Maple Pool residents were not evicted. I’m proud that we were able to avoid the evictions and that our most vulnerable citizens were not forced onto the streets. I worked to get stable funding for the Homelessness Coalition to allow them to target specific projects and make meaningful progress.
I’ve been very effective at initiating policies and bylaws for positive change. Through Council I was able to start an Urban Forest Strategy to make sure we are not just focusing on what trees to leave, but also where new ones should be planted. At the Regional District I helped create the Integrated Regional Transportation Select Committee. On the Hospital Board and City Council I was successful in advocating for free parking at our new Hospital.
As chair of the Water Committee for 4 years I was immediately challenged with a 47-day Boil Water Notice forcing us to move forward with a Water Filtration Project. Safe drinking water is very serious and I’ve worked closely with all stakeholders including Island Health and K’ómoks First Nation to come up with a plan to move forward. I have traveled to Victoria and Ottawa to make sure we are considered first for grant funding.
I am committed to First Nations reconciliation and will continue to engage and consult with the K’ómoks First Nation because I believe in their inherent right to self government. We have a unique opportunity to support our neighbours as they work through the treaty process for their Nation.
Since moving to Courtenay I have worked hard to improve the quality of life for all our citizens. I have volunteered for social, arts, economic and environmental causes and have been recognized as a proven leader and an effective change agent. With the election over 7 months away I will continue to create positive change in our local community by actively supporting events for Kus-Kus-Sum, Dawn to Dawn, Startup Comox Valley, Island MusicFest, Rotary and many more.