As we spend our time chatting with residents on doorsteps and elsewhere, I am frequently being provided with residents’ views about my decision to run in the provincial election. Party politics is a very emotional discussion and I do not, and will not, go through the merits of parties. But I would like to offer to those who ask and are interested, why I made the decision to run in the provincial election.
As Mayor of Esquimalt for the past 10 years, I saw that Esquimalt had no effective influence and impact with the previous provincial government. The extent to which funds did not flow to our municipality underscores this point.
The policing challenges in 2009-2014 and the sewage treatment process are strong example of issues where we would have benefited from a voice within the sitting government. Our MLA did what she could but, in opposition, she had very little influence.
As CRD chair in 2016 and 2017, I also saw that the region held very little sway with the BC Liberal government. Funding and investment in our region were difficult to obtain and slow to come.
With little or regional representation with the sitting government, we were often ignored and it felt we were unheard.
I sought to make a difference and strengthen Esquimalt’s voice.
Some have indicated I was abandoning Esquimalt. In fact, it was the opposite. It was about enhancing Esquimalt and the region’s needs, and getting heard. I have never been someone to sit by. If something is not as it should be, I feel strongly that we need to do what we can to fix it. If you can’t fix it from the outside then going inside is one of the few remaining ways to make change happen.
The voters decided otherwise and I truly respect that decision. We now have local, regional and significant representation in our BC government.
I believe that strong relationships with the party in power are essential regardless of political stripe. I am pleased with the relationship I have established with the BC government, with our MLA, Mitzi Dean and with local MLAs and cabinet ministers.
As Mayor I will continue to nurture these relationships to enhance our community and ensure that our voices are being heard and that our needs are being met.
Finally, I promise you that I will not be running in any future provincial or federal election. I am hopeful to have your support and that you will allow me to continue to lead Esquimalt.