Earlier this month the 100 Mile Free Press sent several questions to the candidates running for local council. Annemarie Byers’ 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?
My husband and I moved to 100 Mile House a little over a year ago after I accepted a posting in 2020 as one of your full-time paramedics. Like many of you who moved here, we were looking for a quiet, beautiful and peaceful home to start our next chapter, and that’s exactly what we found!
I have been a paramedic for 15 years and served on the union board for 10 of those years in various capacities, including a regional vice president and provincial public education director, which allowed me to attend political events such as lobby days in both Victoria and Ottawa.
2. What has prompted you to run for council?
Now I look to the future as an empty nester, I’m excited to put myself out there to serve the community of 100 Mile. You’ll get all my energy and passion for this unique town, I’m a straight shooter and stand on truth, transparency and teamwork. I’m running because I believe the town needs A New Face, A New Voice and New Ideas for the people of 100 Mile. I’m passionate about you and your families, what YOU want in this community and YOUR vision for the future, not mine. Collaboration and teamwork are essential, along with a leader’s honesty and openness with voters are vital to a town’s strength.
3. What do you see as the biggest issue facing the community, and how do you intend to tackle it?
Without hesitation the biggest issue facing our community, like many around us, is healthcare. Without a doubt, our community deserves more in the way of doctors, nurses, assisted living facilities, care aids, paramedics and RMTs. As the population ages, more healthcare support is needed and at this point, it’s just not there. Many communities have taken the healthcare crisis into their own hands and for example, purchased a house for doctors to use temporarily while they settle their family into the community and look for a home. This becomes a financial asset for the community and makes 100 Mile hopefully more attractive to prospective doctors.
4. What type of development would you like to see in your community, and what steps would you take to attract it?
Future development is a tricky question as each and every one of us has our own ideas of what our families need. To be honest, I came to the Cariboo for peace, no commute, less traffic and the small town vibe. However, I’m open to change if the community wants it. For example, an indoor community pool, gym and community space would be amazing for all ages. At this time most of us travel to Williams Lake for this service. This would only happen if the increase to the tax base is passed, bringing in more revenue.
5. If elected, what is the most relevant skill or experience you can contribute to council?
Skills and experience I bring to council: I’ve been a paramedic for over 15 years, and on the APBC Union Board for 10 years. I served as public education director for seven, regional vice president for four and shop steward for two. Through all these experiences I was able to attend lobby days in Victoria and Ottawa on behalf of our profession. I know how to get our’ Ask’ across to the government with results. I’m persistent and will fight for the wishes of the community. I stand for truth, transparency and teamwork and will serve you with honesty.