Age 53, father of three, married 25 years, Owner/Operator of Upwest Geomatics
Why am I running for Council?
I feel that it is time for me to give back, in a concrete way, to this village that has been such a good home for me and my wife and our three children, and for my mother during her last years.
Why should you vote for me?
A lot of my past work experience is a good preparation for working together with other councillors, the mayor and Village staff. At one stage in my career, I attended more planning meetings than you could shake a fist at – if fist shaking is your thing (it’s not mine.) But it’s the good ones – the meetings that resulted in a workable plan with the stakeholders all onside – those were the efforts that I remember best. Because they taught me a lot – primarily how important it is to actively listen. Give a little to get a little – that’s the only way opposing viewpoints can get over the hump.
I and my wife Erika Bird, two baby boys and a dog moved to Kaslo in 1993 from the Eastern Townships in Quebec. We came here because I had been offered a job as a forest technician. During the 1990s I worked mostly in the field: my job was to ensure the success of plantations after logging; my zones were the Duncan and Lardeau watersheds. I worked for Kaslo consulting firms and the Forest Service. Our third child, a daughter, was born in 1995. Our house in Kaslo, which began as a drawing in the dust in conversation with a local builder, was built with local workers and almost entirely with local materials in 1996.
After an accident in the bush and almost a year’s recovery, I retrained at Okanagan University College. My specialization is Geographic Information Systems. Simply put, this means that I can show data of all kinds (wildlife and human activity, vegetation and the physical world) on maps. Every decision we need to make about people or wildlife somehow comes back to the land. GIS has become an essential tool for land use planning decisions. It is a powerful tool for analysis but only as accurate as the data that is used for the analysis. It is no replacement for boots on the ground.
For several years I worked for the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. There I received a Deputy Minister’s Award for my part in a groundbreaking land use agreement for the southern Rockies between motorized recreationalists, non-motorized backcountry users, hunters and wildlife biologists. I also worked as support to forest fire crews and many other projects as well.
Now I own my own business and work from home. I work for forest licensees including the Kaslo Community Forest and also for biologists and engineers.
- I believe in this town. My wife and I buy virtually everything here in Kaslo.
- With three kids born and raised here I am well acquainted with the challenges of a small population for the school and for recreational facilities.
- For the last years of her life, my mother lived with our family, so I also became familiar with health and social issues of especial concern to less mobile seniors.
- I do my research and I “get” government systems.
- I am an independent thinker and am not afraid to make a call.
In closing, I wish all the other candidates well and I am happy so many have decided to run. I hope this proves to be a good experience for all of you. If elected, I would be very pleased to work as part of a team with any one of you.