Kim Mercer

Candidates lobby for Alert Bay council

Seven candidates stated their case for spots on the Village Council last week in an all-candidates meeting.

ALERT BAY—Seven candidates, representing a mix of incumbents and newcomers, stated their case for spots on the Village Council to an audience of about 50 residents last week in an all-candidates meeting hosted at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall.

The night was dominated by the question of how to fund needed services with a shrinking population and a tax base lacking a major industrial employer.

On the other side of the equation, the recently signed economic accord between the ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village give hope for the possibility of shared projects in the future.

Chief among them, agreed on by all the candidates, was a seniors’ assisted-living centre that candidate Kim Mercer said would be the first of its kind on the North Island.

“That’s the kind of facility that could bring in young people for jobs,” she said. “The reason our kids don’t come back (to Cormorant Island) is there are no jobs for them in the field they’ve chosen.”

Kane Gordon, an incumbent, used his opening statement to highlight some of the village’s recent accomplishments, including insulating and siding the community hall, building the skate park and the Village-’Namgis collaboration. He also pointed to the need for expanded harbour capacity and a fuel dock.

Newcomer David Faren wants to see more job opportunities, particularly for young people, and for the Village to find businesses that will bring new money into the community, “instead of circulating around the same dollars.”

Dennis Buchanan, a recent retiree who said he finally has time to devote to council, highlighted the opportunities the Village-’Namgis accord makes available. He also sparked a lively discussion when, in response to a question about recreational facilities, he mentioned an artificial ice product as the way around the Village’s inability to afford building a skating arena.

Lisanne Granger said the assisted living facility was critical for aging people who wish to remain in the area and called for enhancing health care and tourism.

Wendy White, another incumbent, said she appreciated working with council the last three years and wants to work on tourism, the assisted-living facility, and attracting people back to the community.

Duncan Williams admitted up front he was concerned about Alert Bay’s survival.

“We’re losing business and losing people, and my goal is to change that,” he said.

“We need new business to come in while at the same time keeping existing business.”

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Tri-Port Midget Wild finish season with gold medal performance

The other teams were no match for the Tri-Port girls.

Chief Administrative Officer officially appointed in Port McNeill

“Pete brings with him 17 years of municipal experience.”

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read