Candidates in Port Alice listen to a question from the audience at the Community Centre during the all-candidates meeting Nov. 4.

Port Alice questions council candidates

The Village of Port Alice last week got a chance to quiz the candidates vying for a council position at an all-candidates meeting.

Gazette staff

PORT ALICE—The Village of Port Alice last week got a chance to quiz the candidates vying for a council position at an all-candidates meeting.

The meeting took on a town hall feel as community members took the opportunity to express frustration with internet service, parking and the marina project.

Before the council candidates faced the audience, School District 85 Area 2 Trustee candidate Carol Prescott took the microphone to urge residents to use strategic voting in the upcoming election.

Prescott outlined the boundary changes made during the current board’s tenure which will see an additional trustee from Port McNeill on the next board while candidates from Alert Bay, Sointula and Port Alice seek election to one of two seats representing Area 2.

“I’ve reviewed the numbers from the last election,” Prescott told the crowd, “and the only way Port Alice can have a guaranteed seat at the table is if Port Alice residents use strategic voting and do not use their second vote.”

 

 

Council candidates

Current councillor Marc Brackett said that he had “been working hard for three years now and can’t lose focus.”

He said he had heard concerns from residents on internet connectivity, taxes and services and said he would bring 21st Century tools to help engage the community.

Marnie Chase pointed to a wealth of volunteer experience and said that “Port Alice has had enough losses.”

She suggested a Port Alice fishing derby as one method to stimulate the local economy.

Christine Martin said that, as councillor, she would work to “Maintain what we have and plan prudently for the future.”

She said she would like to see the Village diversify without losing the qualities that make it special.

Current councillor David Stewart said that  serving on the Village’s council was an honour  and a very rewarding experience.

“Whether elected or not I plan on being the best Port Alice resident I can be,” Stewart told the crowd. “I’m committed to this community.”

Doug Worthington said he would bring financial management skills to the council table, encourage economic diversity and listen to residents.

By following this framework, he said that, “Port Alice will remain an economically viable, ecologically vibrant village.”

During the question period Worthington was asked to expound upon a suggestion of improving internet access to the Village.

“It would be a good thing,” he quipped before deferring to Brackett to explain council’s most recent lobbying efforts.

The councillor explained that the impending switch to fibre for much of the North Island would free up bandwidth for communities such as Port Alice, which would continue to operate on the current radio system.

Council’s current role, he explained, was in lobbying for a fair price for this newly available bandwidth but stressed that the long-term vision would have to be a move towards bringing fibre to Port Alice.

Issues with healthcare including understaffing and Island Health policies were raised to applause.

Candidates responded, agreeing with the  concerns raised and promising to pursue advances. “We need to do better,” said Stewart.

Chase responded to questions on the Northern Living Allowance, pointing out that “Fort MacMurray, a bustling, ‘have’ community gets Northern Living Allowance — maybe it’s time this council lobbies the (federal) government.”

Other issues raised by residents included ideas for growing the population of the Village, the fee structure of the marina and parking issues.

 

Just Posted

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Fishin’ Corner: Stand up for your fishing rights

“Don’t give in to DFO and their quota bureaucracy that the fish belong to everyone.”

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Calgary mayor seeks person who leaked details of closed-door Olympic meeting

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate a leak of details from an in-camera council meeting.

B.C. MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

Designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Most Read