Clarke Gourlay. - Submitted photo

Three questions for RDN candidate Clarke Gourlay

Candidate for Area G (French Creek, Dashwood, Englishman River)

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue in your area?

We have three broad issues we are facing in Area G, and I have made campaign commitments around each one.

They are: 1. Thoughtfully managing growth (population growth, housing and appropriate zoning); 2. Support for the successful use of agricultural lands and existing commercial and industrial nodes (economic development); 3. Increased access to natural places (parks and recreation, trails, beach access and transit).

See more at https://www.clarkegourlay.ca/platform.

If elected, how will you bring about change?

Gradually.

At the highest level I will function in three decision making arenas: I will be one director on the RDN board of 19; one electoral area director on the EAS Committee of seven; and one director amongst seven speaking for the Oceanside area. Any changes I champion on Area G’s behalf will be a determined process of consensus building and negotiation.

But there are some key opportunities coming up. There are ongoing housing developments that will need review and input, as well as ongoing community parks designations and discussions around the French Creek commercial node. The Regional Strategic Plan is due to be updated in 2019-20. There is a recently released Oceanside Recreation Services Masterplan that will need considerable leadership in its implementation. Our OCP dates back to 2008, so while updated regularly and still very relevant, I imagine in the next four years that will need to be reviewed in a more significant way. Electoral area leadership is not always riveting stuff!

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I can only really speak to what I have to offer: 1. I am personally committed to Area G – I have lived here for 18 years, raised a family here and started a business here. My senior mother lives here as do my two grandchildren. Eventually I plan to retire here; 2. I have the leadership, management and board experience to perform well as a director – I have a BA in political science and an MA in Leadership and Management. You can stop by our farm and business any day of the week to see the effects of my leadership in agriculture, business and the community. And I have served on numerous boards, most relevant of which is the BC Agricultural Land Commission, at which I interacted with municipal and agricultural planers and staff, local governments and provincial legislation, developers, and citizen-interest groups.

At the RDN, I look forward to hitting the ground running!

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