Head to head: Port Hardy mayoral candidate Bev Parnham

Bev Parnham feels she’s done so well during her first term as Port Hardy’s mayor, she wants to take another run at the town’s top job.

Bev Parnham feels she’s done so well during her first term as Port Hardy’s mayor, she wants to take another run at the town’s top job.

“I think we’ve moved ahead as a community,” she recently told the Gazette.

The reason for that, she said, is her aggressive attitude in getting things done.

“We’ve sort of had this thought that if we wait long enough, good things will happen and I don’t work like that — I’m really an action-minded person and believe in order for good things to happen, you can’t sit around and wait, you have to make them happen.”

Parnham, who’s “59 and holding” said she’s especially proud of Port Hardy’s official community plan, which was adopted at council’s last meeting.

“Our OCP was already 10 years old (when she was elected in 2008) and I really felt we needed to have a new vision and our OCP articulates that vision for the kind of community we want Port Hardy to become,” she said.

“The process was long, but it was an important cornerstone for us.”

Parnham was first elected to office as a Port Hardy councillor in 1989 when she won a byelection.

She spent the next seven years in the role until family matters demanded more of her time.

After a nearly 10-year break from politics, Parnham ran again for council in 2005, served the term, then was voted into the mayor’s chair three years later.

The mayor said she feels she’s had a successful first term.

“We’ve made a lot of improvements to our infrastructure, our harbour, our parks and just the general look of Port Hardy,” she said.

“That’s important because when you take pride in the community you live in, then people who come here will see that as well.”

Parnham also pointed out the new sewer line in the east side of the bay, which opens up that area for further developments.

And while she believes tourism is “very important” to the North Island, it’s not the only aspect of potential growth that needs attention.

“I believe in all industries and don’t believe one takes precedence over another,” said Parnham.

“There’s a mindset out there that you can have one or the other of different industries and that tourism does not work well with other resource extraction industries. I don’t see that at all, I think we can really work well together,” she said.

“We’re doing what we need to and we’ve developed a tourist industry that never was before.”

The mayor said in the past each of the North Island communities were working alone, but have now combined their resources for the greater good.

“We’ve really worked hard with Vancouver Island North tourism to put together some really good marketing,” she said.

“We have to have good things happening in our economy in order to make the other good things happen and to me it’s about increasing that tax base and finding ways we can lessen our vulnerability through further diversification of our industries and economy.”


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