Earlier this month the 100 Mile Free Press sent several questions to the candidates running for local council. Chris Pettman’s answers are as follows. Some have been edited for length.
1. Who are you and what do you do for a living in the community?
I moved to 100 Mile House in 1982 with my two siblings and our mom, and have lived in the South Cariboo ever since. I graduated from PSO and stayed in 100 Mile. I managed Tip Top/Radio Shack and operated Fascination Street toy store with my wife of 25 years and our two kids. I did an online university to obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, which serves me well in my role as the Executive Director of the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre for the past five years.
2. What has prompted you to run for council?
I am grateful to have been elected as a district councillor in the last election (2018) and have learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed my time on council. I am running again to continue our work together as a town council, increasing wellness opportunities, nurturing economic growth, and completing environmental improvements, co-creating a thriving community with an increased sense of belonging for everyone. In my role at the CFEC, I am grateful to be able to support the diversity of families and individuals in the South Cariboo and to bring that perspective, their voices, and concerns to council.
3. What do you see as the biggest issue facing the community, and how do you intend to tackle it?
A priority for our northern and rural communities is attracting and securing health professionals. This is an unfortunate trend that is negatively affecting communities all across Canada. As a council, we have been involved in discussions with the local health authority and the PHSA in order to address the lack of health professionals, gaps in services, and alternate forms of health services. At the recent UBCM AGM, Health Minister Adrian Dix stated that the province is in a “health care crisis”, and provided few details on how to address this crisis. It is our job to bring forward the unique challenges faced by remote and rural communities and advocate for services and supports that best suit our community.
4. What type of development would you like to see in your community, and what steps would you take to attract it?
Affordable housing is a must for our region. Over the past two years, we have seen an influx of people moving to the South Cariboo, and in order to accommodate this population growth, we need to invest in affordable housing for seniors, families, and individuals. Economic opportunities increase when new people move to the area, bringing their diverse skills, business acumen, and consumer needs. Over the past four years, the council has supported many new proposals for housing infrastructure within the District and will continue to do so.
5. If elected, what is the most relevant skill or experience you can contribute to council?
If elected to the council, I would draw upon my previous four years experience on the council to continue the many economic, social, and lifestyle initiatives that we have started. My role as the executive director of the CFEC is also relevant, as both my MBA and leadership skills have translated well into my role on the district council. I have a long tenure of being active in our community, contributing to many boards including the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, as a School District 27 board trustee, the Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre and the South Cariboo Community Planning Council.