What do you feel is the most pressing election issue in your community?
The most pressing issue in our community is the need for attainable housing for our young families, service workers, and retirees. As well, we have the responsibility to offer supportive housing for those who have health issues.
Qualicum is becoming increasingly unaffordable for our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers. Statistics Canada shows the average house price in Qualicum is $438,597. The vacancy rate in Oceanside to rent a one-bedroom apartment is less than 1%, a healthy municipal vacancy rate is more than 3%. To compound this problem, are rentals with pet and age restrictions as well as properties only rented as short-term vacation lets.
Qualicum urgently needs a variety of affordable housing adapted to suit the varied needs of our community. We need to seek solutions in grants and proposals so that it is not a deep gouge into taxpayers’ pockets on all these pressing needs.
How will you balance the needs of seniors and those of younger residents?
We as council and as a community need to foster a multigenerational approach to our actions. This means listening to our members and understanding pressing issues. We need to foster dialogue and support the diverse programs that engage the needs of all our residents and collaboratively work with RDN towards these goals. In order to have a vibrant community, we have to ensure economic vitality. This means supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and young families coming to live and work in our town. They provide the vital services and supports that we need and help keep our community sustainable.
Qualicum is already an age friendly community for our seniors, but we need to make sure we are meet the needs of all our citizens. We need to help all our residents live safely, enjoy good health and stay active.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I have operated a retail business in downtown Qualicum for more than twenty-two years and previous to that enjoyed operating a vegetarian/cappuccino cafe for three years, also in downtown. In both businesses, everyday the door was always open to provide friendly service and quality products. Similarly as your councillor, I will work tirelessly to promote local issues and stand up for what matters. I am a strong supporter of many of our volunteer agencies including Rotary, Legion, Grandmothers to Grandmothers, Shriners, Aldea Maya, Child Haven and our local schools. With the generous support of volunteers and businesses, I have successfully organized the Uptown Summer Market, spearheaded numerous fundraisers for local and international charities. I have a demonstrated ability to bring positive change to our town. I am action oriented, not just talk.
Listening to people I have met through my business and from attending council meetings are my inspiration for running for council. I am caring, committed, collaborative and ready to represent the people of Qualicum Beach with fresh energy.