All-Candidates’ Debate 2017: A Family Night Out

The littles and I attended the Shawnigan Residents Association (SRA)-sponsored all-candidates’ meeting at Shawnigan Lake School last night. The biggest little’s class is putting on a mock election in a couple of weeks so this event was educational for all of us.  (more…)

Pigs Can Fly: The Donald, Community, and Resilience

Donald Trump has put up a mirror to show the world there is work to be done in rebuilding integrity in the democratic process. His win, the Brexit win, and any unexpected political disruptions that follow will hopefully awaken the non-engaged citizen who had the misconception that government would take care of itself.

Trump’s win is confusing but it’s not the end of the world. People are more resilient than that. Take this story in the The Atlantic…

Deborah and James Fallows travelled around the US for three years observing and writing about how small American cities are rejuvenating themselves. They wrote this story because they realized major news outlets don’t talk about smaller cities unless a disaster hits it.

Many of these places had suffered from crippling unemployment, poor health, and poverty. What the Fallows found was each one of these places (and hundreds of other places they couldn’t visit) are reversing that downward spiral. These communities are proving they are resilient to political, economic, and even climate change.

The lesson learned is that it takes the village—a partnership between business, government, and volunteer efforts from residents—to (re)build a vibrant city. In some cases, it takes a partnership between towns too. Partisanship and borders didn’t enter into the conversation. Imagine if we applied this philosophy to the Cowichan Valley.

Here is the long but eye-opening summary of their 54,000 km trip around the US.

If you only have 5 minutes, read 11 Signs a City Will Succeed and consider how it applies to the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island. Some of it we’re already doing; some of it we can work towards.

What can you do to help?


Acceptance speech

I’m still riding high from the big news on Saturday that I was elected to council. There were strong candidates in this race. When I look at all the names of candidates who didn’t make the top six, I am humbled.

It takes help to be elected councillor for the Municipality of North Cowichan. Not just any help, but constant, committed, determined help that lasts five long weeks. It’s time to identify and thank a handful of those devotees.


Campaign tally

1800 brochures

10 big signs with my face on them (against my better judgement but it worked!)

100 little yellow signs that would have handled any element but the wind (we just endured the windiest week in the history of North Cowichan)

6 times Richard drove North Cowichan to fix wind-blown signs

8 t-shirts

25 buttons

22 emails with questions from constituents

3 two-minute speeches

1 video

18 blog posts

738 views on YouTube

4 determined women on my #dreamteam

2 supportive parents

Countless well wishers

The experience? Priceless.

This five-week journey was unforgettable. I have a year’s worth of material to write about, a lifetime of knowledge about municipal politics, greater understanding of what troubles our residents, and confidence that if I do get the job, I’m ready for it.

Thank you to everyone for your support!

Oh one more number: 6382 views of this picture. One last time for good measure…



Here are the locations, all open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

Chemainus Seniors Drop-In Centre
9824 Willow Street, Chemainus

Cowichan Secondary, Quamichan Campus (formerly Quamichan Middle School)
2515 Beverly Street, Duncan

Crofton Elementary School
8017 York Road, Crofton

École Mt. Prevost Elementary (formerly Mt. Prevost Middle School)
6177 Somenos Road, Duncan

Maple Bay Elementary School
1500 Donnay Drive, Duncan

North Cowichan Municipal Hall
7030 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan