(Top row, L to R) Angela Skoglund, Arlene Webster, Bob Shore, Crystal Sedore (Middle row, L to R) Heather Stewin, Hondo Stroyan, John Mason, Pauline Newbigging, Janet Wort (Bottom row, L to R) Dave Fernie, Scott Medlock, Sue Turgeon, Zachary Wells

(Top row, L to R) Angela Skoglund, Arlene Webster, Bob Shore, Crystal Sedore (Middle row, L to R) Heather Stewin, Hondo Stroyan, John Mason, Pauline Newbigging, Janet Wort (Bottom row, L to R) Dave Fernie, Scott Medlock, Sue Turgeon, Zachary Wells

QA with candidates for Hope councillor

Four questions and answers with council candidates

Dave Fernie:

Why are you running for council?

My +40 Yrs as CEO of an International Telecom business qualifies me to help guide Hope’s future. I became a Hope summer resident in 1996 then in 2011 built our home in Kawkawa Lake area. I want to increase my community service to all of Hope. +5500 Citizens stated their wishes to council with a 3000 Person Petition & 2500 Letters to Council being largely ignored. Hope is the Tourism Hub of roads across Canada bringing more business development, job opportunities helping youth, families and seniors. Let’s develop that opportunity. I joined fellow Station House Coalition partners Arlene Webster [a two term councilor] and Janet Wort President of Hope & District Arts Council, for a team approach, When elected I/we promise to make Hope our priority working together in council to Make Hope Better elect Fernie, Webster, & Wort It’s Time for Change www.movehopeforward.ca

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

No Affordable Housing & Homeless programs

No Council Transparency – To much secrecy with “in camera” decisions

No Crime Prevention – Causing businesses to close down.

No Employment programs

No Enforced Vagrancy Laws

No Proper Road Services – Pot Holes Galore & need full Snow removal

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

Hope can do better for Citizen Safety with Proper Preparedness in Fire, Flood Prevention & Road Safety versus leaving much of it to Citizens themselves.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Engagement with Indigenous Chiefs for equal representation by Hope district as they are our First Citizens. Our group consulted with Chawathil on participation in The Station House displaying Indigenous history & artifacts.

John Mason:

Why are you running for council?

After living in Hope for 10 plus years and being very involved in

many aspects of our community such as Community Forests, Communities in Bloom and the Hope Community Garden, I feel that I have an understanding

of some of Hopes Residents Concerns. I believe that with this knowledge

I would be able to make unbiased decisions for the betterment of our community.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

Some of the main issues facing Hope would be to improve communications with the residents of Hope and the town hall, strengthen the disaster response program,and aiding our at risk population.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

Hope has been handling emergency situations the best they could with the resources that were available at the time. From being on the front lines during Novembers problems I could see that additional supplies and organization are needed.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

With being on the board of Community Forests for the pasts 7 years and now chair of the board I have had exposure working along side with Yale First Nations

as one of the partners in the Community Forests. We find that communicating

openly with all our partners strengthens relationships.

Scott Medlock:

Why are you running for council?

It is important to have continuity. I believe I can bridge the gap between those newly elected and any returning councillors. I have enjoyed the last 14 years on council and I bring no set agenda. I keep an open mind.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

Housing is a major issue. Hope needs to continue to follow our Official Community Plan by diversifying our housing options.

Communication with the residents needs improving. Too often the District has fallen short when there are multiple platforms available to communicate what is happening in the community. Hope is faced with a large amount of infrastructure that needs replacing and limited budgets to complete the task.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

Hope did a great job during at the atmospheric river and wildfire events. Staff from the DOH along with our community partners banded together during rapidly changing events and managed to reduce risks, problem solve and keep the community and travelers safe. That said, I understand that the community would like to know more about the Districts Emergency Plan and would like to see stronger communication during disastrous events. I would also like to see this change happen.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

We need improvement in this area. I advocate for building stronger relationships with all our First Nation community neighbors. They have a lot of insight about our area and can help us learn so much. It needs to start over with a conversation and then we can build a relationship.

Pauline Newbigging:

Why are you running for council?

I have lived in Hope for 44 years, worked at the same place for 36 years, raised 2 kids, and love Hope! I have vested most of my life here so it seemed the next logical step to help support the community. I hope to see positive changes within our town and surrounding communities, when you get involved you have a stronger voice in the future of our town.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

Hope is facing many issues, the main ones I think being: Lack of affordable housing, homelessness, road conditions, emergency plans, and affordable senior housing.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

I believe that there is always room for improvement. I can’t say if the emergency situations are handle right or wrong, however this will be a topic that I am interested on how improvements can be made. Emergency plans should be put into place prior to a disaster not during, being prepared and organized will be the key.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

To collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities, we all have to be willing to work as one. If we can all agree to work as one community and not as individual communities this could be a start to addressing issues that can be amended over time. Without communication, this will not happen.

Crystal Sedore:

Why are you running for council?

As a 30-yr Hope area resident, I feel that I have good knowledge of the community and of the people who live here. I’m in tune with both the rising issues of the day and with the long-standing challenges that we have faced as a community over the last 3 decades. I hope to bring my extensive experience in social service, community development and relationship building to the District of Hope.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

I have 6 main platform topics that I intend to address if elected; Homelessness, Community Heritage, Indigenous Relations, Families & Youth, Emergency Preparedness and Affordable Housing.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

I have been involved in emergency preparedness for Indigenous communities many, many times. I know what questions need to be answered immediately in a crisis. Emergencies don’t permit time for planning a response, we must be proactive and prepare for disaster well in advance.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Indigenous communities surround us, it is counterproductive and disrespectful to not include our neighbours in our planning. After 30 years working almost exclusively within local Indigenous governments, I have established many friendships and partnerships. Relationship building begins with identifying common goals and actively seeking opportunities to work together.

Angela Skoglund:

Why are you running for council?

I have lived in Hope for over 40 years. I am married and have raised two sons in Hope. I am running for council because I don’t want to be one of those people who complains

Angela Skoglund:

Why are you running for council?

I have lived in Hope for over 40 years. I am married and have raised two sons in Hope. I am running for council because I don’t want to be one of those people who complains about things but does nothing about it. I have volunteered throughout my years in Hope as far back as high school when I was involved with student council. I think it is important to be involved in making things better in the community that you live in.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

“We all have opinions on what our biggest concerns are in Hope. I think that affordable housing and senior housing are two of the biggest hurdles we have in Hope currently. There are seniors who have worked their whole lives, now retired, who can’t afford both rent and food. There are young people here trying to make it on their own, who can’t afford to either buy or rent.”

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

When it comes to emergency planning and response, I think the flooding in November 2021, was a huge eye opener for all of us. I think the District could have done a lot better with the way this emergency was handled and I am hoping that going forward we can learn from and improve on our handling and preparedness for any future events.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Any communications and collaborations with First Nations communities in the Hope area, need to be open and honest. There needs to be a two-way flow of information and ideas and inclusivity of all concerned groups.

Bob Shore:

Why are you running for council?

I am running for council to bring new ideas to the table.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

My main concern is the infrastructure of our city. We as a city have to bring our infrastructure up to date to mitigate any potential disasters caused by global warming. I have seen parts of the city roads damaged beyond repair, I would also recommend the city collaborate with B.C. Hydro to upgrade our power station for future needs I believe we do not have enough power to accommodate EV and heat pumps in the future. I support keeping the station house as a city asset and to be a key focal point of our tourism industry. I would bring forward to city hall that we apply for as many grants through the province and the federal government under the Canada heritage act. I have seen a division of taxpayers concerns over keeping or selling this iconic building. I myself would like it to be self efficient and to see no taxpayer’s funding going to support it. I have worked and volunteered with many projects like this that have been very successful and am willing to take a lead role to expedite this project so as we as a city can get down to business of running the town.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

I think the city has to move fast on calling an emergency on local disasters so we get the funding we need.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

I am willing to collaborate with our first nation’s partners on any subject that concerns them at the city level .

Heather Stewin:

Why are you running for council?

I am seeking re-election for Council because I have a variety of life experiences that lead to inclusive decision making. It is important to have people at the table that can provide background information to new Council members.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

Housing, affordability, and accessibility are some of the main issues that I see in our community.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

I know that the District of Hope staff have worked very hard to keep the community safe from a number of situations over the past three years. I think that we could have communicated more effectively with the public during these times. There are areas for improvement. I think that there are opportunities for education about emergency management. It would be helpful for the public to know who is responsible for what during an emergency. What is the role of Council? What is the role of staff? What is the role of the public? How can you best prepare for an emergency?

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

This needs to be a priority for all local elected officials. We need to educate and inform locally elected officials about the 94 calls to action for truth and reconciliation. The building of these relationships needs to be based on healing and understanding. We need to work closely together and build trust. I would like to see council work intentionally with indigenous leaders to identify key areas that would be meaningful.

Hondo Stroyan:

Why are you running for council?

I have lived in Hope with my family for 18 years, I am very proud to be a part of this community and over the years have worked with a great many people on projects and events all around town. I would like to be on council because we need people who bring strong leadership skills and a commitment to our community.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

There are many issues that we are facing right now because our town is growing, we need to listen to our community and work on long term solutions, for growth, infrastructure, emergency preparedness and community programs for our youth and seniors. We need to build relationships with all the communities that are a part of Hope, and work with Federal and Provincial partners that are willing to share in our vision and goals.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

His answer was not received for this question.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

We need to work with all First Nations in this territory, on plans of growth and development, emergency preparedness and all inclusive programs for our communities.

Sue Turgeon:

Why are you running for council?

I feel I can make a difference. I have no hidden agenda, we are elected for the betterment of the whole community.

The voice of the people has been lost. Put up a suggestion box. We need to listen. Hold referendums so the people’s voice can be heard. Find solutions together. Find a way to come together as a community to fight the± increase in crime and homelessness. Update the emergency plan so that people know in any given emergency where they need to go and who to contact. Whether it be by social media, bulletin boards,a monthly newsletter, email, etc, a way to communicate with the general public to keep the public informed. Make city hall more accessible and transparent. Lessen the red tape and hoops people have to jump through to find information. Not everyone is tech savvy.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

The low barrier housing, the station house, lack of transparency and communication with the people. Increased crime and homelessness.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

The last few emergencies that Hope has gone through have NOT been handled. Lack of localized response and action planning, and total lack of communication to the general public are some of the areas that need addressing.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

By opening up dialogs with the local bands, asking what their concerns are? What are their needs? What can we do to help? Trying to find common ground that we start a conversation with. Really listening. Communication is key. Working together so that all parties prosper and grow.

Arlene Webster:

Why are you running for council?

We need change and I want to be part of that change. I love our community and I am willing to work hard to preserve our history and small town way of life. I have lived here most of my life, and I know the community, it’s history and the people who live here. I have political and business experience – 40 years in business, six years on Hope Council and nine years as a School Trustee. I will bring fresh eyes to the council table.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

The main issues are:

-homelessness

-affordable housing

-crime

-vagrancy

-sustainable employment

-incentives to support established businesses and help new businesses locate here.

-lack of transparency in our elected council

-NO DEVELOPMENT in Memorial Park

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

Hope needs to be better prepared for emergencies. We need:

-a coordinator either part-time or shared with other districts

-an emergency plan for evacuation

-a plan to deal with the elderly and hospitalized during an evacuation -a plan for emergency sheltering including food supplies -to apply for grant money when it is available

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Inclusiveness, communication, collaboration, and engagement are important when you wish to strengthen the relationships with First Nation communities in our area. They must be considered equal members in our community if we as a society are to prosper.

Zachary Wells:

Why are you running for council?

I am running because I want to be a younger perspective to council and help better hope

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

The rising homeless population and our emergency response plan.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

I will get right to the point, poorly.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Coming from a First Nations family I plan to seek their guidance on every topic that I possibly can. As well as reach out to the chief and council of all the surrounding bands to help create a more inclusive town.

Janet Wort:

Why are you running for council?

I am running as a District of Hope Councillor to bring changes to our Town. I also feel we need to have a better representation of women on the council as Hope’s demographics show that the male/female ratio is pretty even at all ages. I see that our community has much to offer, but I have seen areas that need improvement. We need to establish a fresh identity for Hope by making it more of a tourist destination and stick to no development in Memorial Park!!! We need transparency in our council business, we need to listen to our citizens and make informed decisions. I will work hard to make Hope better and better.

What do you believe are the main issues that Hope is currently facing?

Lack of affordable/no housing High crime rate Homelessness – but hold the Province accountable for providing services Road and water services need improvement Good employment to attract younger families.

How do you think Hope has been handling emergency situations?

Hope as a Community has been very responsive in handling emergency situations. I couldn’t have been prouder of our Hopeites when they stepped up and helped so many stranded people last Nov. However, I would like to investigate further why Hope did not apply for the Emergency Management Grant last fall.

How do you plan to collaborate with and strengthen communication with First Nation communities of the area?

Communication is the most important aspect in any relationship. First, we need to make personal contact with the Chief and Council of each band individually. In each meeting, encourage open and transparent conversation. Listen to their concerns, research to better understand and then collaborate on ways to address them.

READ MORE: Housing issues front and centre as council candidates square off


@KemoneMoodley
kemone.moodley@hopestandard.com

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