Scott Harrison is seeking re-election as a councillor in Qualicum Beach.
According to a press release, Harrison’s connection to the community began in the early 1980s, when he’d visit family every year in the summer.
During his first term he worked with the Perfect Storm Group as the town liaison and worked with the Division of Family Practice to lobby the province for more funding for healthcare. In September of 2020, the province invested in the funding for the Flowerstone Clinic. As well, he successfully lobbied the federal association for municipalities to pass a resolution to support increased financial support for caregivers based on the recommendations from the Canadian Medical Association.
“By attending every event I could put on by healthcare practitioners and then scheduling meetings with provincial staff to pass on their concerns as well the challenges our community is facing, we’re now in a position where the province has a $4.6 million annual funding commitment for our region,” said Harrison via the press release. “However, more work needs to be done to ensure those positions are filled amid a broader crisis in accessing healthcare in smaller communities.”
Harrison has worked tirelessly, said the release, to ensure the town’s application to BC Housing for roughly $9 million dollars of capital funding as well as 60 years of ongoing operational funding for the Railway affordable housing project was successful.
“In terms of the capital costs alone the Railway project is almost three times larger than any grant we’ve ever received as a community.”
He was selected to be on a panel by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association to present at Housing Central, the largest conference for affordable housing in Western Canada.
“It’s important to learn from the people who do this for a living to avoid reinventing the wheel, and understand that with affordable housing the perfect is the enemy of the good.”
Harrison has also made significant personal sacrifices to advance reconciliation with the Qualicum First Nation, offering a kidney to Chief Michael Recalma.
“The next few decades on Vancouver Island are going to see significant growth in Indigenous businesses in several sectors,” said Harrison. “Reconciliation needs to be more than a territorial recognition that is spoken at the start of a meeting and then not acted on, it needs to be a continual commitment to working together to make the most of the opportunities before us.”
If elected he hopes to continue to advance affordable housing projects for workers as well as a project primarily for veterans and first responders, as well as making it easier for citizens to build secondary suites to promote multi-generational housing. “When a new home costs $1.2 million, the easiest way to promote affordable housing through the market will be by having three generations on one property,” he said. “The OCP strongly supports multi-generational housing, but that only represents 1.2 per cent of homes in 2021. As well, we need to keep the pressure up on the provincial government to ensure access to primary care.”
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and his website is vote4scottqb.ca.
– NEWS Staff, submitted