“I am committed to Courtenay and I am committed to building a bright future,” Will Cole-Hamilton told a house full of supporters and neighbours on Saturday, June 9.
During his campaign launch party, nearly 100 people dropped by his family’s home in Puntledge Park to meet him as the latest candidate announcing a run for Courtenay city council.
“I’ve known Will as an active citizen in the Comox Valley for years,” says Sarah Frishholz Walsh, owner of Prontissima Pasta. “Whether he’s serving on the board of the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, teaching chess at the elementary school, volunteering with Elevate the Arts or coaching soccer, Will has worked with a wide range of people to turn ideas into action in the community. Will is smart and hard-working, and he’ll make the right decisions for Courtenay.”
After graduating from Dalhousie Law School, Cole-Hamilton moved to the West Coast with his wife, Shannon Aldinger, for whom he is now a researcher and legal assistant.
“Will has a clear, practical long-term vision for Courtenay,” she says. “With so many vacant seats coming up on council, Courtenay would benefit from having him at the table when key decisions are made.”
Cole-Hamilton notes that Courtenay faces rapid growth, emphasizing that smart long-term planning on housing and transportation are key to maintain our unique quality of life while making the most of the new energy, ideas and opportunities that come with growth.
“Smart development should include incentives to build within the city’s existing footprint of streets, sewers and services – particularly around downtown with a focus on smaller, more affordable units. This will strengthen the small business community, support our transit system, reduce traffic and increase the supply of affordable housing,” says Cole-Hamilton. “It will save tax dollars as well. Studies show that cities spend far less money to provide services for homes built within the existing network of streets, compared to new developments on the edge of town which require brand new streets and sewers.
“If we plan growth carefully and collaboratively, we can build on our quality of life rather than see it lost in bad traffic and sprawl. We can grow without sacrificing our vibrant downtown, rich arts and cultural scene, and preserve our easy access to the ocean, mountains, forest and river. Let’s build that future.”