My candidacy has provided an opportunity to meet islanders in their own neighbourhoods and as Director it’s important to me to continue receiving feedback and input from across our community. Connecting and hearing from a diversity of voices about Area C issues is an intrinsic part of how I see us successfully realizing sustainable solutions and community alignment.
When I began my candidacy I thought reviving the Advisory Planning Commission (APC) for Area C was the way to go. I soon learned the limited scope of an APC (the Director is unable to have broader conversations with the group), and as a result, I’ve lifted my eyes and set my sights on a Community Advisory Council.
Of key importance is the Advisory Council having representation of Area C’s regions and interests. I envision this group will weigh-in on proposed bylaws or permits and land use considerations, as well as meaningful consultation on island-specific solutions to the big issues we’re facing.
So many islanders are busily engaged in community volunteer organizations. I’m grateful the Quadra Community Centre provides umbrella support for many island groups and committees, while Quadra Circle and Quadra Island Foundation support Quadra in additional ways. On Read Island the Surge Narrows Community Association manages important projects. Great work is being done: I see my Director’s role as a way to support and strengthen this work.
The Advisory Council is intended to provide the Director with a range of thoughtful opinions while not adding a complex layer of volunteerism to our highly motivated, involved community.
To build the Advisory Council, I intend to ask neighbourhoods for nominations of folks with local understanding, great communication and open minds. I’d love to have representatives from a range of areas across Area C and within Quadra itself. I want rural places like Granite Bay and Bold Point to have a voice. An invitation to local First Nations will be respectfully offered. A truly representative Advisory Council will include tourism, silviculture, business interests, and involvement from the under 30s all the way to our elders.
I’m here to listen and learn from thoughtful, busy, quiet, concerned and creative constituents. Combining focussed open houses with digital engagement will more effectively capture input. Authentically representing the voice of the islands, engaging the community and finding alignment: these are my goals.
This post was first published as a Candidate Column in the Bird’s Eye, a local weekly publication.