North Cowichan is a community of towns and neighbourhoods each with distinct character but also shared values and goals. Our challenge is to find a way to continue to enhance our collective quality of life and protect our environment in the face of such challenges as population growth, economic pressures, and the climate crisis. Policies for dealing with these issues must reflect the things we value: the environment and its natural beauty, our rural nature, and the character of our diverse neighbourhoods.
Our diversity is our strength – we must enhance the flow of ideas between citizens and the government representing them. Individuals with deep local neighbourhood awareness and specific skills and knowledge are invaluable assets to the community. They should be included in planning discussions to assist elected council and staff in understanding the community vision. Their input helps translate that vision into fresh plans, policies, and practice.
We are at a critical juncture. With the completion of a new and very thoughtful Official Community Plan, the next Council will have to make difficult decisions that will affect the future of the Valley and the quality of life of residents young and old – decisions that will directly affect such things as housing affordability, local economy, the environment, community growth, and taxation. I believe that together we can find creative solutions to the pressing problems our community is facing while protecting and even enhancing the natural environment, the character of our existing neighbourhoods and towns, and the quality of life we are so lucky to enjoy here.
I would be grateful for your support on October 15 and honoured to serve you and this community to the best of my ability.