Rosalie Sawrie, who has served as a councillor in North Cowichan since 2018, is running for mayor of the municipality in the upcoming municipal elections next month.
So far, North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas and former councillor Joyce Behnsen have also announced they are running for the mayor’s position.
Sawrie said she has good skills at bringing people together, and those skills are necessary as there have been divisions at the council table and in the community over several issues during the past four years.
“I believe in leadership that brings communities together, and right now this community needs that more than ever,” she said.
“As a leader of this community, I would work to bring people together to work with and for each other, and to prepare our neighbourhoods for anything that comes at us next.”
Sawrie said North Cowichan has so much potential, and she wants to continue to build on it.
She said she will fight hard for funding from higher levels of government, and will work closely with other Cowichan leaders to improve local services for those who are not housed, for businesses and residents.
“We have a new police station, a new high school, and a new hospital on the way,” Sawrie said.
“Housing, affordability, climate change, a vibrant economy, and community health and public safety are high priorities for us all. We’ve just completed our Official Community Plan and I strongly believe the community needs to be involved in how we prioritize the implementation of that, especially by engaging the development community.”
Sawrie said the municipality heard loud and clear in its recent satisfaction survey that a lot of work needs to be done to improve the efficiency of its development processes.
She said if North Cowichan is serious about housing, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Sawrie said that in addition to the OCP, North Cowichan council has prioritized many environmental projects during the last four years of its term, including re-modeling the Climate Action and Energy Plan for reducing local emissions, and it is moving ahead with a new biodiversity policy, to name a few.
“I believe we must do what we can to better prepare for more extreme weather events and storm conditions,” she said.
“I will work with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to safeguard our natural assets and existing infrastructure, while development is prioritized with the future in mind.”
Sawrie said she has close to 20 years of work experience in leading community change, which has required listening with an open mind, inviting and giving space for diverse opinions and facilitating co-operative outcomes.
“When we include everyone, and work together in a fair and respectful way, we can achieve so much,” she said.
Check out Sawrie’s Facebook page at “Rosalie Sawrie for North Cowichan”, and her Instagram at “rosaliesawrie”.