I am thrilled to run for Area A director: Baynes Sound, Denman/Hornby Islands. It is a privilege to live in the Comox Valley, and I believe the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) can play a leadership role to ensure excellent public services, green infrastructure, and smart regional planning.
As Area A director, I will be a champion for small businesses and families that call the area around Royston, Baynes Sound and the islands home. I am someone who supports green initiatives whenever feasible. I am an optimist, but rarely naive. My main skillset, according to colleagues and employers, is to bring people together around common goals, chart a course, and work towards good outcomes. As the economic development administrator on Hornby Island, I am used to co-ordinating with many people, stakeholders, and businesses (300 small businesses currently participate in our programs). I thrive on identifying common priorities, building consensus, and learning from other viewpoints.
Career-wise, I have regional, national, and international experience. I have been chair of a national sustainable forestry association and reported as general manager to a board of five First Nations in Clayoquot Sound. I am used to complex and multi-faceted files, and have learnt the importance of good governance, clear communication, and team leadership.
I have huge respect for people who live in rural areas, particularly trades people and natural resources workers. In Area A, many households derive their livelihoods from construction, aquaculture, forestry, farming, and fishing. I will be a champion for these sectors, particularly as they work to showcase sustainable practices. I also recognize that rural life is changing. Increasingly we have young professionals, retirees, and commuters who enjoy a quiet life, and we need to be attentive to their needs. I envision our future as “connected rural.” By this I mean we must provide excellent connectivity, whether it be fast internet, convenient transportation (bus/ferries), great public spaces, and green infrastructure. I will be a champion of the Comox Valley Sustainability Strategy. Our rural and urban areas are interdependent on each other, and I believe the CVRD can help bridge the two successfully.