Denyse Widdifield is running for mayor in Qualicum Beach.

Denyse Widdifield is running for mayor in Qualicum Beach.

Widdifield running for mayor in Qualicum Beach

Town of Qualicum Beach: Widdifield, Denyse — mayoral candidate

  • Oct. 30, 2014 2:00 p.m.

A resident of Qualicum Beach for 33 years with loads of public service work to her credit, Denyse Widdifield has never run for public office.

She has decided her first foray into politics will be an effort to unseat the longest-serving mayor in the town’s history, Teunis Westbroek.

Widdifield has announced her intentions to run for mayor of Qualicum Beach in the Nov. 15 municipal election. She says she has no personal axe to grind with Westbroek.

“He’s very polite and personable,” said Widdifield. “I don’ think there’s anything wrong with Teunis Westbroek the man, but I think 15 years as a mayor in a small town is too long — it shouldn’t be a career. I really feel that Qualicum Beach needs somebody to look at things a little differently than they’ve been looked at for that long.”

Widdifield, 68, spent 10 years on the executive board of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, including two terms as its president. She also spent eight years on the Rotary Club and chamber gala committee, assisting with fundraising for the Heritage Forest and the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

“There was an incredible togetherness for years in Qualicum Beach,” said Widdifield. “We accomplished that by working together, using the spirit of Qualicum Beach. Now, there’s fear mongering and something has happened to not protect a good balance of demographics in Qualicum Beach.”

Widdifield said the zero growth policies of councils lead by Westbroek have hurt the town, and she “panicked” when she saw the downtown elementary school closed by the district earlier this year.

She said she and her team are currently developing a platform, but said she doesn’t want to release specifics until she’s had a chance to meet and speak with more residents. She said she plans to visit 100 households this week to hear what people have to say.

“I announced this early because I have to talk with the people of Qualicum Beach,” said Widdifield. “What I feel needs to be addressed might not be what the people want addressed. From there, that’s where we should be forming our policies.”

Widdifield said she knows this race could get personal. She’s aware of recent news stories about conflict of interest and relationships between residents who have business with council and members of council, like the allegations recently fired at Coun. Dave WIllie in relation to the Dutton family’s proposed development at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort.

“Are we friends with the Duttons? Yes we are,” said Widdifield. “Are we friends with the Willies? Yes, we’ve known them for 20 years. We’ve been here for 30-plus years — I would hope we have a lot of friends.”

Widdifield was asked if her candidacy was more about bringing issues into the open than winning.

“I’m in it to win it,” she said. “If I thought I didn’t have a chance I wouldn’t be wasting the time, energy and money.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members, before descending into a gorge near Nile Creek to rescue an injured woman on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (ASAR Twitter photo)
Arrowsmith SAR crews help rescue hiker who plunged 10 metres onto rocks near Nile Creek

Helicopter with winch system required for technical operation in remote location

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Nanoose Bay man sentenced after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, given six-month sentence after beating pet he was supposed to be caring for

The graph provided by the City of Parksville in a release issued on May 4, depicting a balanced financial budget for 2021. (submitted photo)
City of Parksville announces a balanced budget for 2021

Penalty date for property tax payments extended from July 2 to Oct. 1

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read