Daniel Helmer wants to be Duncan’s next mayor. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Helmer identifies drug use, homeless, as top mayoral issues

Cowichan Bay’s Daniel Helmer has done a lot of jobs in his life and he wants to add mayor of Duncan to that list.

Helmer has filed his papers with Elections BC and is campaigning to fill the role left by departing mayor Phil Kent.

Born and raised in Lethbridge, Alberta, Helmer earned his building operator certificate and worked for a variety of contractors to start his career. He then managed a resort in Tofino before opening a home repair business serving the west coast of Vancouver Island and did a multitude of other related jobs before settling in Duncan in 2004.

Helmer has worked at the Cowichan Health & Wealth Centre since 2014, spending the first two years as the building operator and then moving up to property manager.

It’s the work at that Duncan building, which he called “the hub of intravenous drug areas”, that spurred Helmer to want to run for mayor.

“It’s dealing with these intravenous drug abusers that we have to do something about,” he explained. Working together with council, the community and the RCMP on a solution to deal with these people and the dirty needles, the damages and the stealing they do. Every day I deal with a lot of these people. I see it everyday and you shouldn’t be seeing it in the city.”

Helmer said not one tent should be permitted on city property and he wants to remove the homeless population’s ability to gather.

“When they congregate that’s when they create all their crime, that’s when they create a mess and everything like that,” he said.

Helmer would also like to address Duncan’s parking problem by building a parkade downtown and work to have affordable housing “for those who are working and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

“I figure if I do anything I just go right to the top,” Helmer said. “If you don’t go right to the top then what the heck, you know.”

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