Election 2014: New candidate plans to seek council seat

District of Hope: Donna Burns believes economic development will increase opportunities for living wage jobs

Another candidate has joined the municipal election race.

Donna Burns is planning to seek a seat at the council table this fall, a decision motivated by her desire to see Hope prosper. She believes economic development will increase opportunities for living wage jobs, which will ultimately benefit local businesses.

“Our town is dying and it needs some gas,” said Burns, who currently works for Canada Post in Hope as a rural mail carrier.

“If we build upon an industrial park and better wages, it will bring more families which builds our businesses. I feel everything goes hand-in-hand.”

Being that Hope is at the hub of several highways, Burns feels the community can capitalize on its commuter traffic. For example, she points out that a heavy duty mechanics shop could cater to the hundreds of semi trucks that pass by Hope daily. While drivers wait for their trucks to be repaired, they typically spend money locally on food and accommodations.

Burns would also like to see greater collaboration in the business community and more support to help existing businesses flourish.

“Since I moved here 14 years ago, I’ve seen a lot of businesses last six months and then they’re gone,” she said.

“If we’re all working together, it can really broaden your spectrum of what can be done.”

Burns has been involved in politics for several years as a volunteer in election campaigns, both provincially and federally. She’s done everything from door knocking and handing out brochures to running an office. She’s also a Labour Council delegate, and the shop steward and health and safety officer at the post office in Hope.

“Politics has sort of become a passion with me. Going to council meetings and seeing what happens there, I just thought we really need to make some changes. I feel that I’ve had enough experience with doing different political things that maybe I could be that difference,” said Burns.

“I talk to a lot of people in this town and I listen to what they have to say. I enjoy being an advocate for people and can bring more ideas, fresh ideas, to council. I would work hard and do the very best I could to bring as many things to this town as possible.”

Burns believes council transparency and communication with the public are essential. She points out there’s multiple ways the district can work with the community to curb overspending. One suggestion Burns makes is more volunteer involvement from residents, similar to how Hope Communities in Bloom has saved the district thousands of taxpayer dollars through their efforts.

“We’ve got to keep the taxes down and by helping volunteer a little bit, I think it will help to do so,” she added.

Burns is the only person that’s announced her council candidacy so far. However, nomination papers don’t need to be filed until 4 p.m. on Oct. 10. As for the mayoral race, Lloyd Forman, Wilfried Vicktor and Cindy Young plan to run for the community’s top job this fall. After further consideration, Coun. Peter Robb has decided to leave politics after this term and will not run for mayor on Nov. 15. He’s looking forward to enjoying retirement and spending more time with family.