Wendy Morin is running for re-election to Courtenay city council this October.
Upon reflection, Morin says, “It’s been a surreal experience to have governed almost my entire first term during a global pandemic.”
The city has faced a myriad of social issues, normally the mandate of higher governments. A major accomplishment has been adopting the updated official community plan. Courtenay is Canada’s first municipality to have climate action and reconciliation at the core of this important guiding document. Another milestone was completing the 5th Street rehabilitation project. Despite hiccups along the way, the vital work extends the life of the bridge decades into the future. Morin says, “Our council is very action-oriented, and we felt it was important to get things done that had been languishing for years, adding to the cost. Maintaining our valuable assets is the responsible thing to do and saves us money.”
Council implemented several actions to support businesses to ease impacts of COVID and the bridge project. These include utility payment deadline extensions, waived parking fees, patios, expanded list of allowable businesses in the home occupation bylaw, funded a DCBIA marketing campaign, and enhanced security measures. Council also adopted transportation, stormwater management, parks and recreation master plans, an urban forest strategy and cycling network plan. Morin championed food security, a challenge during the pandemic. Her urban agriculture resolution was adopted, allowing hen and beekeeping and market stands across the city.
Also, over 1,200 new housing units were added, 81 below market and supportive housing – surpassing previous terms. An additional 80 units of below market housing, and more market housing are on track for completion. With staff, council identified land for affordable housing and met several times with provincial officials to streamline funding and approval processes. Morin advocated for implementing a cultural services plan to bolster support of the arts community that contributes economically and otherwise to the region.
She believes it’s important that governance reflects diversity. “I’ve lived here my whole life and we’ve had fairly homogeneous faces in decision-making spaces. Last election many folks on the doorstep told me they felt their views weren’t represented. I’ve worked diligently to promote equity and inclusion policies and practices.”
Morin is chairs the water committee on the CVRD board. She is excited about the regional parks service, and optimistic about a new direction for economic development that promotes sustainability, and that reflects community values. She welcomes the opportunity to build on the work done thus far. Election day is Oct. 15. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wendymorin.ca, or find her on Facebook.