Bruce Lloyd’s councillor candidate biography
BRUCE LLOYD is running for Village Council once again. I have held the seat for five terms. I know the demands and expectations of the job and look forward to helping guide our little village through once again. This village is in poor fiscal straits again and needs a financially responsible voice combined with a council – wide work ethic. Though I am employed with BC Transit and Marine Harvest I have decided to run so as to be sure that the incoming council selflessly serves the public for the good of our tiny incorporation that seems to fall into major challenges on a consistent basis. As well as my past experiences on Council I have also been an elected Health Councillor with Mount Waddington CHC, MWRD appointee to the Regional Treaty Negotiations, MWRD Aquaculture Advisory Committee member, and on the Powell River RD waste management Committee, VP of the NWCC student’s association, as well as various trade unions and the MW Labour Council.
I am knowledgeable about the forest industry wherein I worked as a logger, boom man, sawmill, pulp mill and shingle mill worker. I also did 2 years as a “Street” social worker. I have worked as a truck, bus and cab driver, a security guard, salesman, shore worker, news reporter, and newspaper columnist for a 40,000 circ regional paper for 15 years. As a kid I was a shoe shine boy, newspaper hawker and delivery kid. I hold an Associate of Arts diploma, a BA, and a post graduate certificate in “Accelerated” Journalism. I presently hold a seat on Council as a result of the February by-election and had a busy and interesting time this spring and summer trying to reform some aspects of political life here in our little hamlet. Having started to work towards the plans I had laid out to the electorate of the various things I had hoped to accomplish I was able only to make a safer cross walk scenario for children in front of the Green Church with the help of our public works foreman and staff. These small things are often overlooked but of utmost importance when seriously considered. Surprisingly I even found a bit of opposition here! Next upon reviewing my plan with the public works foreman to lay out a sidewalk from the Legion to the Public Works yard, we realized that this cost, although relatively minimal, will have to await a specific sort of grant given our massive financial demands for water and sewage repairs that are now the MOST PRESSING NEED in our town – bar none! We have only just begun with this massive and expensive project at this time.
The mill road is seemingly an impossible scenario given that our forefathers unwittingly took it from the provincial government in an era of seemingly eternal prosperity and now it has become a lead anklet. My hope is to continue to press our provincial government to take it back and it seems fortuitous that our MLA is the transportation minister. The incoming mayor should make this a priority among few others with our dedicated support. As well as addressing my long – held desire and proclamation that our village should extend our boundaries to encompass the Quatsino Sort and thus be their taxation authority. This is a common procedure in regional politics. I was told in Council by the current Mayor that “a study had been done.” When I asked for that study no one could produce it? Then I was told that should we take it we would have to maintain the road at which point I informed these folk that they currently maintain their own road and that could continue or we could maintain such by contract and bill them accordingly within the rate as would the current tax authorities. It is only a few thousand dollars of tax revenue we are speaking of – but if the sort is ever shut down and that property is re- developed into a fishing lodge, marina etc. it could be significantly more. Any increases to our tax base would be welcomed and this is one more job for our incoming mayor and council to asses and work upon. The present scenario wherein our major taxpayer has not paid their 70 per cent of the tax base has put us in a position much like we found ourselves in 2004!
Council at that time did a far better job of dealing with this problem than our present members. I know, I was there both times. No one missed a meeting back then and we immediately got to work on all sorts of things including constant liaison with the provincial government, even some stuff with the Federal! Pursuit of liens, dike-clearing, construction of the industrial park, basketball replaced hockey for a winter as private enterprise donors donated uniforms, a tall cop became a beloved coach and a spirit of kindness enveloped the community; with the only exception being those ever present Face Book Trolls who seem to forever sadden the world with their ignorance and ire. At this time we need to do a number of things to develop our town as we await the outcome of our mill’s deliberations. No matter which way they go we must continue to work with the property developers who have made their desires known to us recently. We must also proceed with the designation of our town being the “Sea Otter Capitol of Canada” as one of our more successful tour operators has suggested, and pursue any chance of re-establishing an aquaculture presence in the community including shellfish aquaculture. These are our most realistic options but council can and should be open to any realistic suggestions. At the recent all – candidates meeting it became evident that all candidates for councillor were now willing to work for no honorarium through our financial crisis and that is as it should be.
The other incumbent councillor on the slate was unwilling to second my motion as such in August but now says he’s willing. The present Mayor was also unwilling though it was just for till the end of our term. The last time we held office without honorarium for a few years during the previous crisis – but still dutifully attended and even enjoyed the job! Thank goodness for this change of heart and I look forward to his seconding motion if he is elected. The new Mayor may be willing to look at a reduction in pay as well. I also look forward to reducing the ridiculous $40 dinner allowance to the more realistic and fair $30 which the incumbent councillor and the present Mayor also refused to endorse at the same meeting. As one who dines in the city at THE KEG etc. – I know the lesser amount is fair. Present council should renew the Regional District’s offer to operate our Link River Campsite once more given our negative financial situation at this time. The attempt to buy Port Alice Campground was opposed by myself due to financial constraints but I did suggest to Councillor Stewart that he could initiate a referendum at no cost during the election. He refused, citing his belief once again that “We are elected to make decisions.” I also suggested sincerely that he put the arena question to referendum given the controversy, but he refused in similar vein.
I personally believe in the “perfect polling” of democratic referendums and especially the Swiss style of such. Far from being anti-sport I grew up playing hockey, curling, skating and refereeing as well as having been a “rink rat.”. I was also the only soccer ref here for a decade! But I cannot condone running the rink in deficit without a mandate from the public – and thus the recent controversy. Municipal governments must act maturely and responsibly. As Councillor once again, I will work with Mayor and Council to establish a bargaining committee to work with our major taxpayer should the occasion arise. I’ve already done a bit of foot work here. A modest hotel accommodation policy should also be discussed. A weird negative response to my request to maintain our CC’s outside and tennis courts by the present “powers that be” seems to have been overcome though I myself had to clean the courts! Restoration of some janitorial hours there is a topic for a new council to consider as well.