Incumbents join election race

Economic development is the top priority for council candidates

Five incumbents will be vying for a seat on Hope council this fall.

Coun. Scott Medlock has already announced his intention to seek re-election in November along with Couns. Donna Kropp, Peter Robb and Tim Hudie. Mayor Laurie French has also confirmed that he will be running for his second term in the district’s top spot.

All five candidates have a platform that focuses on economic development as an essential part of the community’s

success. Attracting younger families through job creation is a key part of this plan.

“I’m the demographic this town is missing,” said 34-year-old Medlock, who is currently the youngest member on council. “I want to be able to do things to this community that attract my age group and their families here. What we need to get towards is creating an industry or several industries so that people have a place to work.”

Robb believes the district was too slow in reacting to the loss of local resource jobs in the past. Hope is now faced with having to pursue a new direction in order to reinvent itself, he said.

“We definitely have to broaden our tax base, otherwise the burden in the future is going to be too high on the residential side,” Robb added.

Council will also have to find creative ways to keep costs down while providing necessary community services in the future, said Kropp. She would like to see a courthouse re-opened in Hope as well as a transportation system established to service outlying communities like Laidlaw, Yale, Sunshine Valley and Boston Bar. In addition, Kropp supports looking at other viable options that utilize the current Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways passing through Hope.

“It’s a healthier community when everybody has an option to be mobile,” she said.

Infrastructure remains a top priority for the candidates and council will continue to pursue grants for aging infrastructure upgrades. French said he’d like to revisit the pavement management plan since many roads in the community are in need of repair. Hudie also wants to see an extension of sewer and water lines to outlying areas.

The five incumbents hope to build on the work of council over the last few years. Some of the accomplishments

they noted are the new Kawkawa Lake Bridge, revitalization of Memorial Park, new municipal water system, and change rooms and a playground at Kawkawa Lake.

Local government elections will be held on Nov. 19. Candidates must file nomination papers by Oct. 14.