Last year at this time, I was knee deep in my campaign for Courtenay council and this year I am like the rest of you, watching the federal campaign race and speculating.
I will never forget the day that the election results were read out and my name was among them. Being chosen by the 2,835 people who took the time to be educated about who I am, and then go to the polls and lift the pencil to mark my name, will forever humble and inspire me.
After nearly a year on council I have learned so much, and one of the things I have been really listening to hear in this federal election is which candidates recognize how much more support municipal governments need.
Post election, the first thing the council and staff are responsible for is the city’s budget, and that was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had.
The amount of infrastructure that the city is responsible for, and the cost of maintaining and upgrading it is staggering.
It used to be that the provincial and federal governments recognized the limited means municipalities have for raising revenue and helped with the costs.
As we are faced with the realities of our modern environment, whether you call it climate change, normal weather patterns or a freaky year, the reality is that in the year I have been in office we have had the highest water levels ever resulting in floods, and the lowest water levels ever resulting in drought and water restriction, the longest boil water advisory, huge forest fires and no snow on our mountain.
If Courtenay is to have the ability to adapt and implement new infrastructure to cope with the changing climate, it will take support from the federal and provincial government, and not in the lottery style of gifting that has become the norm.
Your vote does make a difference, I am living proof of that, so please use your vote for a candidate who will aid in the support of our beautiful city when you mark your ballot this Oct. 19.