The Lake Cowichan Municipal All Candidates Forum took place Monday night at Centennial Hall from 7 to 9 p.m.
The hall was packed; more chairs had to be brought out and once those were filled people stood at the back of the hall.
The Chamber of Commerce hosted the forum, which was moderated by George deLure. He asked the candidates a series of pre-determined questions created by the Chamber, which the candidates hadn’t heard before. Once the Chamber’s questions were finished, they opened the floor to questions from the public.
Candidates answered in a way consistent with their platforms.
All candidates touched on the need for a seniors care facility, improvements to infrastructure, and the need for a way to entice business into the downtown core. Each individual answered with passion, earnestness, humour or resolve, as they saw fit. Each individual also demonstrated their conviction to act on behalf of the town and serve in the way they thought would best serve the townspeople. The forum was at some points heated and at some points relaxed as candidates and the public listened and interacted with each other.
Below is a summary of how candidates answered one of the Chamber’s pre-determined questions. Responses are summarized in the order they were answered.
If (re)elected, what would be the one goal you want to achieve in the next four years?
Rocky Wise: Two new ball parks.
Lorna Vomacka: Affordable family housing.
Bev North: People want to have fun and see the lighter side of life. What do you (townspeople) want?
Put some drive into it, laugh a little and we’ll get through.
Tim McGonigle: “Fun’s my middle name.” A base for revenue, apart from property taxes, and other tools to raise funds to pay for projects in town. For example, a gas tax. We need to lobby the province for continuous funding.
Frank Hornbrook: A balanced financial statement with no debt.
Ted Gamble: An assisted living building, which might take some time. In the meantime, a local market in the new square, generating local economy.
Bob Day: A downtown business marketing program that draws new business to the area.
Hubert Crevels: Eliminate most of the stop signs in town by removing them or changing to yield signs.
Carolyne Austin: Affordable housing for seniors and families.
Ross Forrest: Seniors care facility. I’ve seen too many spouses separated from each other when they get old. I want to see people stay together as they age. We also need to attract other partners in business
Wendy Klyne: I have a vision for how I want the town to be–a busy downtown core bustling with people; a new elementary school.
Over 150 people in the community are 80+ years old, so we need assisted living.
Focus on planning with purpose for the future. I want to leave the community better than it was when I came here. It’s not just about what I do for the next four years but how I lay the foundation for the next 20 years.
Questions from the floor ranged from water and sewer costs, a new town hall building, the future of the old ranger station, downtown revitalization and an open door policy at the municipal office.
The municipal vote takes place on Nov. 15 this year at Centennial Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To register as a resident voter, you must be 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen, a resident of BC for at least 6 months prior to voting, a resident of Lake Cowichan at least 30 days prior to voting, and eligible by law to vote. To register on election day, bring two pieces of signed ID. One piece must also have your address.
Advance voting is open to eligible voters at the Municipal office on Nov. 5 and Nov.12 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.