Jim Smith is a longtime firefighter with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department who is looking to become the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area E director. (Ken Alexander photo)
Jim Smith is a longtime firefighter with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department who is looking to become the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area E director. (Ken Alexander photo)

Jim Smith is a longtime firefighter with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department who is looking to become the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area E director. (Ken Alexander photo) Jim Smith is a longtime firefighter with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department who is looking to become the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area E director. (Ken Alexander photo)

Two candidates running for TNRD Area E

70 Mile House resident and incumbent Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Area E director Sally Watson is one of two people running for the Area E seat on the TNRD board table.

Watson became an Area E Director in 2002 and has held the position ever since.

She said she has a lot of experience “and a lot of education.”

One of her issues for Area E is to improve fire protection.

“I believe fire protection is the most critical situation for Area E – fire departments, fire safe communities and working with different entities to help homeowners to create FireSmart properties and FireSmart communities and fire departments.”

She said this can be accomplished by working with Area E fire departments to get the education out to the community.

“We should apply to the province to get help for seniors who cannot FireSmart their own properties. We need to educate people that it doesn’t mean clear-cutting their property.”

Watson said there is a housing issue “throughout the land.”

“If we [municipal government] can work with First Nations and the provincial government to free up Crown land to build non-profit seniors housing near our established communities.

“We will work towards it and it will take an effort between the TNRD, First Nations, communities and the province.

“Even if it’s only 10 units, which is the lowest I would like to see it go in, that would free up 10 houses.”

As for her election campaign, Watson said she has been making her own signs and putting them up. She notes the candidate forums that took place Clinton on Tuesday and at the 70 Mile House Community Hall on the following night are important.

“I think [these events] are the best way for the candidates to get our word out.

“I don’t do door-to-door. It’s expensive and not a good use of my time … there are a lot of miles between places in [Area E]. It’s better to phone.”

South Green Lake resident Jim Smith has also thrown his hat in the ring to become the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Area E Bonaparte Plateau Director.

Smith said he offers the background, skills and work ethic to get the job done.

“Strong communities need strong leaders. I bring 35 years of business development and management background. I have a strong work ethic and the willingness to listen to the concerns and issues of our electors and advocate for a solution.

“Post COVID economic recovery is always top of mind in these challenging times.”

Smith said the TNRD should be advertising throughout B.C., Alberta and beyond so they know the benefits of setting up shop in Area E.

“We should strike an economic development committee with local business owners and citizens to develop a working plan to make it easier for businesses to relocate to our area.

“We should demonstrate the greater opportunities that exist here: lower housing costs, open spaces and available commercial space.

“We need more cell service and high-speed Internet throughout our communities to enhance business and people who want to work from home.”

Smith noted the essential issue facing the TNRD is the development of a comprehensive program to deal with wildfire preparedness.

“We dodged a bullet in 2017. It’s not if but when the next wildfire event will happen. FireSmarting and wildfire preparedness is a large undertaking. I need the full support of the TNRD and of all of the citizens.

“Setting up areas in neighbourhoods as we have done in the Green Lake area is the key.

“I think wildfire preparedness has to be elevated mainly through the FireSmart program. We really have to push that.”

Smith said he looks forward to working with the electors of Area E to improve communications and results.

“It’s been very interesting getting out there to meet the people who have concerns. The response from the electors has been awesome.”

As a 10-year veteran with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SGLVFD), Smith said he is definitely community-minded.

“I spent 61 days working with the BC Wildfire Service on structure protection and spot fire patrol [during the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire].”

The name of the game when he’s running against an incumbent like Watson, Smith said, is to get his name out there to the electors.

“It has been a bit of a learning curve. I have received a few questions from residents on my views on different issues.”

Important dates

The advance poll is at the SGLVFD Fire Hall on Oct. 7 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Voting day is Oct. 15 at the 70 Mile Community Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and at the Green Lake Snowmobile Clubhouse from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 15.

“I urge residents to get out there and vote and help me improve the growth and safety of our communities.”


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

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