The Cedar Farmers Market executive director vows to keep the RDN’s South Wellington-Cassidy-Cedar residents in the know if she is elected.
Kate Poirier, whose resumé also includes work on the Regional District of Nanaimo’s agricultural advisory committee, wants to represent the RDN’s Electoral Area A. Based on her committee work, she found that a lot of people’s voices aren’t being heard. One of her goals would be to improve communication both ways.
Many Area A residents don’t know what kind of projects are in the works and Poirier said she wants to bridge the gap. There are many issues, especially with parks and recreation.
“There was a loud group on the Cable Bay front who wanted to save the forest around there,” she said. “That didn’t happen, the trees did come down. Upcoming over the next year, there’ll be a lot of talk about the Cedar foot bridge and I don’t think that Cedar voices have been well heard on this topic.”
Area A is lacking in local services, such as bylaw enforcement, said Poirier, but a lot of issues that affect residents on a day-to-day basis are under provincial or federal jurisdiction. It can be hard to “navigate the bureaucratic processes,” she said.
“I’ve been in the middle of that. When we had a crime wave, I had to work with the RCMP to start a Block Watch. We had to do all sorts of things,” she said. “It was a lot of work, so I’d like to be able to be a central person to take those complaints and pass them on to the right party to navigate those channels, so that a whole bunch of random citizens don’t have to try to do that themselves.”
Poirier said people are also unfamiliar with permitting processes, something that needs to be remedied.
“I’m at site inspections for agriculture, and often people will be into the stages where they’ve already had plans drawn up and they’ve spent a lot of time and money … and it doesn’t meet any of the requirements of the development process. So they’ve gotten too far ahead without knowing the basics first, and you have to wonder why that is? Why have they wasted so many resources? So we need to communicate better,” Poirier said.