Born in the valley, I am now a mother to three children working as a support worker for adults with special needs in Smithers for several years, which is when I began my activism through my union.
Through my union activities, I received training and educational opportunities to become an advocate for fair and equitable treatment for those around me.
Initially, my focus was health and safety but that quickly grew to include supporting broader social causes: affordable housing, living wages and sustainable jobs, which led me to become the president of the KTDLC (Kitimat-Terrace and District Labour Council) in 2019.
Throughout my journey as an advocate, I have petitioned and asked people to consider another view. Now I hope to have the opportunity to share that perspective directly with those who make the decisions.
I also want to ensure an inclusive community for all youth in this valley, where they can be themselves, thrive and have the opportunity to participate in sports, music and all the other pursuits that Smithers is known for.
The lack of safe and affordable rental units, we have hard-working residents who are living in their vehicles or travel trailers because there are not enough affordable rental units available. When you look at the rental sites there are more posts from people trying to move here because they have jobs starting, but with nowhere to live.
There have been strides in the right direction, by implementing tax exemptions for downtown commercial projects that include suites and the recent approval of laneway housing.
We need to build on that by increasing the area that would qualify for the tax exemption to include commercial areas away from downtown, commercial buildings on Railway Ave. for example. Provide one-time incentives for homeowners to build legal suites or laneway houses on their existing properties, with added incentive for two-bedroom spaces.
Transparency and proactive communication for town projects and special meetings. Residents should be made aware exactly where their tax dollars are going, the steps that were taken to reach the decision and the rationale behind it.
Ensuring that there is ample and well-advertised notice before special meetings so that all members of the community and the organizations that are impacted have time to prepare and attend the meeting.
This can be done by utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram to create posts that can be quickly distributed.
Review bylaws that may create more sidewalks to nowhere or could potentially block the installation of much needed medical equipment.
During council meetings, I will bring to the table my ability to see the bigger picture and common sense approach to advocate for the solution that best benefits the members of our community.