Elizabeth Croft is running to keep her seat on the Cowichan Valley’s board of education, and is also running for a seat on North Cowichan’s council.
Croft, who has served eight years as a school trustee, is the former manager at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and the current director of grant management at the Cowichan Intercultural Society.
She’s also served on the board of the Cowichan Public Art Gallery, the Raptor Rescue Society and is currently on the Our Cowichan Health Care Network’s administration team.
Croft said she is positive about the future for North Cowichan.
“By encouraging growth within the urban containment boundaries, our residents can have it both ways,” she said.
“Walkable, affordable neighbourhoods, surrounded by the rural, natural beauty we value so dearly. At the same time, smart growth should help restrain taxes. With inflation, this is not the time to impose a higher tax burden.”
While Croft said she favours environmental standards for industry, she added that council must also signal that North Cowichan remains open for business, and support new and growing operations with timely, no-surprises permitting processes.
As for addressing the opioid crisis, homelessness and their effects, Croft said she recognizes collaboration across sectors as key.
“I’ll work on council to guarantee thorough community consultation so supported housing is wisely and peaceably located,” she said.
As a school trustee, Croft said she supported public-engagement innovations in the school district.
She said these included posting board meetings online, an expansive public co-creation of the district’s strategic plan and online-budget consultation and information processes that brought in hundreds more participants.
“Our district became a provincial model for transformational education and First Nations consultation because we dialogue and walk together,” Croft said.
Croft said she supports further operationalizing the district’s strategic plan and adding more educational choices.
She said she’s passionate about increased funding for diverse (special needs) learners.
“We already add 50 cents to every dollar of provincial funding, yet it’s not enough “ Croft said.
“Until the province increases funding, we must consider using surplus funds to hire more educational assistants. We have a receptive ministry, and the timing is right to advocate for more realistic budgets.”
Croft is part if the Students First Team. The team shares a commitment to working together to create an environment where children can be their best selves, realizing skills and a love of learning that benefits them for life. Members of the team look at decisions with a students first lens. Each member of the Students First Team brings their own opinions to the table and are committed to reaching values-based decisions through civil, thoughtful discussion.
Team members are Elizabeth Croft, Johanne Kemmler, Cindy Lise, Jennifer Strachen and Joe Thorne.
Croft can be reached at 604-931-9122.