On Principled Leadership

Today I want to share two core pieces of my platform. Acting together, they underlie my approach to all of the issues that confront our communities.

A broad and representative community voice advising the Director

Firstly, I am running on a platform of Community Empowerment. To me, this means that there need to be organized and democratic community-run institutions in place in Area C.

These institutions would engage as many community members and groups as possible, on a regular basis, in organized and fair discussions, on issues affecting the community. The result would be a broad and representative community voice that could then inform, influence, and advise the Regional Director (among others) and ensure that the Director does not operate alone, or in a bubble of only a few hand-picked advisors.

These community-run institutions could also facilitate the development of a community vision and plan, and create and support community projects.

I would work with the community to help build and enhance these organizations in a way that is supported by the community, properly resourced, and sustainable.

One such broad-based organization already exists: the Surge Narrows Community Association represents the residents of Read Island, Maurelle Island, North and South Rendez-Vous Islands, and southern Sonora Island. They are doing great work and I would support them in any way I can.

Principles guiding decisions

Secondly, I want to share the guiding principles that, if elected, I will refer to and that will form the foundation of my decision-making process.

I Believe:

  1. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. We must work to protect that beauty as well as the integrity of the ecosystems that thrive here.
  2. There are long-standing First Nations communities living in Area C. Our collective resilience relies on mutually respectful relationships and on striving to promote a sense of community among all island residents.
  3. The climate crisis is here and we need to plan together to mitigate, adapt, and lessen its effects on our community.
  4. Our communities should strive to be independent, fully functional, vibrant, and diverse.
  5. Local volunteers are the backbone of our community. They need to be supported and assisted by government at all levels.
  6. Local businesses should be supported and an independent on-island economy should be promoted.
  7. We need to be creative and consider all options when looking for housing solutions for community residents.
  8. We need to expand the local food economy and increase our food security.
  9. We need to fully understand the limits of our natural water system and use that knowledge when making decisions.
  10. We need to reduce fossil fuel consumption by improving the safety of our roads and walkways for cycling, mobility devices, and walking.
  11. Constant pressure and communication of creative solutions need to be directed towards BC Ferries in order to improve ferry service.
  12. Decision-making should be local and democratic when possible.
  13. Good governance requires that proper procedures and an open process are followed.
  14. Creating partnerships and maintaining open communication with all levels of government and all organizations is the best way to operate.
  15. The voice of smaller communities within Area C should not be drowned out by the voice of more populated ones.
  16. My positions and opinions need to be open to change through open discussion, better reasoning, new information, as well as new or changing circumstances.

An abbreviated version of this article was published in the Bird’s Eye on August 30, 2022.