My wife Jackie and I have lived in Port Hardy for the last 18 years. We have three grown children and four grandchildren who, thankfully, all live here.
I have worked in forestry for 29 years, tourism for two years and the fishing industry for the last four years. I was a town Councillor from 2008-2011 and was present for all council meetings. I served on several committees: Operational Services, Legislative Review, Addiction Services, Forestry and Community Watershed. I was also Harbour Commission Liaison.
As a forester I was involved in several provincial planning initiatives involving economic and ecological sustainability. Negotiated and consulted with government agencies, local residents and special interest groups concerning land use planning issues.
I am increasingly concerned about the economic and social well-being of our community. I believe one possible solution to this situation is more full time jobs with a decent living wage. How do we get them?
Although we are surrounded by forests and the ocean we have only minimal access to the jobs that these resources create. Our forests float down the straits and our fish roll down the highway.
Local government can bring businesses together, offer stimulus, form partnerships and lobby. Government should not operate businesses but we can create the environment for local resource development and jobs.
I truly believe that Port Hardy has a bright future. We are blessed with a multitude of resources; we just have to find a way to gain more local benefit from them.