Errington resident to run for regional district seat

What is needed is someone to represent local interests, says candidate

Skye Donald wears many hats in the community of Oceanside and after the municipal election on November 11 this year she would like to add one more title to her repertoire.

The 34-year-old Errington resident who celebrated her birthday on September 24 also used the occasion to announce that she is going to run in the campaign for regional district electoral area director in area F.

Lou Biggemann currently holds the title of Area F Director for the Regional District of Nanaimo but the politician who represents Coombs, Hilliers and Errington so far has not announced his intention to seek re-election.

Donald is the first to declare her candidacy for Area F director and admits that although she hasn’t been involved in the political arena before, she believes she can offer a fresh new approach to solving the issues in the community.

It’s a job that will last until December 2014, but Donald said she is ready to commit and she is serious about running for office even if she has little experience in the field.

“Nobody else has declared yet and I know there are other candidates that are just getting ready,” she said. “I thought why not me? I am ready to make a commitment to this and I am excited about the possibilities. I told my manager at the hotel so that she is aware of what I am doing so if I do get elected I will be leaving. I am serious about it.”

Aside from her hotel job, Donald fills her days and nights as the choir director at St. Stephens United church in Qualicum Beach, singing in a choir group in Nanaimo, raising Alpacas at her farm in Errington and spinning and selling wool at the Errington Farmers Market.

She admits her resume doesn’t include a business background or local politics but she said she thinks she can bring a different perspective to the position.

“I don’t want to be branded as the opera singing alpaca farmer who is running for office, but that is basically what I am,” she said. “I think it brings a practical advantage to it and a completely different perspective and I am eager to learn and listen to people and talk to people.

“Sometimes when people are so passionate about something they can’t come across clearly and I am not sure as a result of that how well we are perceived at the RDN.”

Donald has been thinking of running for local politics for about a year.

She got interested when the whole building permit issue started.

“I am ready for a change in my life and the community is definitely ready for a change too. A lot of how the community feels really resonates with me and the core values in our official community plan we really value.”

She said as a young family person she has the energy to represent the community.

“I think what Errington needs is a community advocate at the RDN and I think our incumbent has done a lot of work in the past but maybe he has just got tired.”

As an example, she points to the Errington Community Park.

“We have had a bathroom constructed and finished for over a year now and we are still dealing with the red tape to get it open. The hall board and farmers market should have had an advocate to go to and say, help us.”

She admitted she doesn’t know whether or not the RDN director can actually do to anything to get through red tape but agreed the community needs somebody to be on their side to do that.

She said the issue with the building permits is a very significant challenge for the community but unfortunately it has been passed.

“It would have been great if it had been left to be an election issue and it really should have. It would be nice if there is any possibility that it could be modified to make it easier for farmers to deal with the impacts of it. It is ridiculous for someone like me. If my chicken house burns down I would have to apply for a building permit for that and the profit that we make on selling our eggs doesn’t allow for a $150 building permit.”

She said if someone wants to build greenhouses to provide food for the community the building permit process should be made easier for farmers.

“If you are building structures for livestock, greenhouses, and housing equipment, we should come up with reasonable options. Those are the things I am interested in,” she said.


Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read