With the upcoming municipal elections in October, the 100 Mile Free Press will be talking to each mayoral candidate.
Rita Giesbrecht, since moving to 100 Mile House permanently in 1990, has served on multiple volunteer boards at local and regional levels. This is Giesbrecht’s first attempt at running for mayor for the district.
Question: When did you initially get involved with politics?
A: I formally stepped into politics four years ago by standing for Councillor here in 100 Mile House the last election; I was then the BC Green candidate in the provincial election last year. Of course, I’ve been a political animal my whole life, always as an activist seeking to work politically in the community.
Q: What made you want to run for mayor?
A: I’ve gained insight into the role of local government as an advocate and community builder in sectors including food and agriculture, the arts, social services, and as a business person in a service and tourism business; and recognized how it can be either a barrier, or a facilitator, for changing and improving the situation. So I took the decision to be an agent for change from that position, rather than to continue to try and convince someone else to be proactive and creative in the community.
Q: What are some of the more important issues in the 100 Mile House District?
A: We have to understand how money flows into rural towns in B.C., and that is that the province, the federal government, and other non-government funding agencies, all look for strong administrative support from local government.
Emergency readiness is another key issue and the one we are staring in the face currently.
Very close to home, and unique to 100 Mile House as well as being personal to me, and the literal origins of the town, is the Lodge complex [the Martin Exeter Hall and Valley Room area]. That is an unbelievable asset that at the time it was gifted to the area, other jurisdictions could only dream of having, and still only can. The lack of utilization and the waste of that asset is in my mind shameful.
Q: Why should the people of 100 Mile House vote for you?
A: We are not an isolated community anymore, and these changes in demographics, economics, use of our land-base, reconciliation requirements, our social environment; all require big-picture planning and an understanding of where we fit not only in the province but in the world.
In me, you will have a mayor that is present, active, ready to articulately and intelligently represent the interests of the South Cariboo at upper government levels, and regionally.
Q: How can supporters get in touch with you or find more out about your platform?
A: People can call me direct; 250-706-5577. They can visit my Facebook ‘Rita Giesbrecht for Mayor’ page and they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.