Here’s what I think…
Qualicum Beach has seen multiple councils come and go over the years and we all have opinions on how effectively they each fulfilled their mandates. At the end of the day, however, I believe we can all agree we have done a pretty good job of keeping our town a very special place.
In the 30+ years I have lived and built my businesses here, I have been a part of many community changes… usually in the trenches, rarely on the sidelines. Whether the issue was building the Civic Centre, the Town Hall, a ring road and roundabout (first and second), replacing the fire hall, building the community pool, or improving the Memorial beach access, all major initiatives came about with open debate and mixed feelings. Some decisions, like building the community pool, went to a referendum. Those of us who worked on that campaign fought hard, door to door looking for support. Not everyone agreed with the initiative but like many important decisions, there was a lot of open discussion, and sometimes, passionate debate.
I think that’s the way it should be! For good decisions to be made, we need to foster open discussion based on solid information, and sure, sometimes we’re going to have a debate. But we need to be able to debate issues with due respect for each other’s values. We need councillors willing to put the work into reviewing information, respecting views, and bringing value to the table, based on their own knowledge and experience. But we also need elected leaders with the imagination to open their minds to creative ways to lead our community into the future.
I am willing to work with folks who I don’t agree with and there will be times when five councillors will not all agree: that’s okay. I feel it’s more important to ensure the broad representation of many interests that foster open and healthy dialogue, than it is to have five councillors who always agree with one another.
On the other end of the spectrum, my parents are in their 90’s and have sold their house in Qualicum Beach and joined us in a suite Jayne and I were able to add to our own house two years ago. We are making adjustments to our lifestyle as life changes and enjoying all of what that brings every day.
Every one of us is on a different part of the life journey. In order to stay here, we need what I call steppingstones: opportunities to have a home here at any age… affordable rentals, a diversity of home ownership options, the opportunity to create multi-generational living environments. We need elected representatives who understand that we are all finding our way and we are not so different from each other, though at different times in our lives, we have different needs. Meeting those needs, not just those that most resemble our own, makes a difference to the future of our community and ultimately, will benefit us all.
I ask for your vote on October 15…
I understand the importance of the sound management of community infrastructure. I’m here for the long-haul, so I believe in making financial decisions based on the long-term health of this community. I support completion of the St. Andrews Park project, continued improvement of our beachfront access, the revitalization of the tourism industry–long suffering due to the loss of two important hotel properties, creative housing solutions that are affordable, working with the provincial and federal government to find opportunities to improve the delivery of healthcare.
I’m running for public office, but my community involvement didn’t start there.
I have held a number of leadership positions, but I have long been a team player. I am a ‘joiner’. I’ve joined in when a particular community initiative needed on-the-ground volunteers. I’ve supported community events, coached girls’ softball. I understand the importance of playing well with others. I also value good leadership, good governance, good information and most importantly, listening to and working for all constituents.
The world is changing very quickly. Between the war in Ukraine and the severity of weather conditions all over the world, we need to take a deep breath, cherish what we have here today and ensure we leave a better place for generations to come.