Lia Versaevel says her experience in many areas will be important factors that translate well into duties as Area G director for Saltair/Gulf Islands. (Photo submitted)

Versaevel feels her abundant experience will be beneficial in election bid

Candidate for CVRD Area G director identifies community building as paramount in the campaign

Lia Versaevel says a solid group of people representing several groups asked her to run for the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Area G (Saltair/Gulf Islands) director.

“This was based on their knowing my strengths, as an advocate, a calm and sensible person with a background in research and analysis, that can truly take Area G into the future in a cohesive community wide sense,” she noted.

Our voices from the Gulf Islands, particularly Penelakut and Thetis, but also Ruxton, Reid and Valdez, must be heard at the CVRD.”

Lynne Smith and Sean Jonas are also running for the position, creating a three-person race. There will be an all-candidates meeting at the Saltair Community Centre on Oct. 4.

Versaevel indicated she’s encouraged members of the community came to her to ask for her expertise in governance and research, community building and conflict resolution.

“This campaign is about community building, in my view,” Versaevel assessed. “I’m standing for office with the clear intention of bringing people together, with a strong voice. The people who asked me to run have a vision. They’re excited about the potential of a great community centre in Saltair, hopeful that First Nations voices will be heard at the CVRD, and passionate about protecting the incredible jewel that our seaside communities is now, into the long range future. They want action, knowledge, bold representation. Their values are paramount and their voices must be heard at the CVRD. People are looking for a fresh, bold approach. I will be that voice.”

Versaevel noted in her mediation practice she embraced empowerment “and it is this skill, bringing out the best in everyone, that will take Area G forward, past the drama of old grievances that have plagued residents for too long.”

Trust must be established in a representative, she added, and accessibility is paramount.

“I have and will continue to engage with this community, and recognize that what matters on Penelakut or Thetis may not always be the same as what matters in Saltair,” Versaevel pointed out.

“I embrace justice and fairness. I am extremely happy to have such a strong base of support throughout Area G, and look forward to working hard for the next term with all of the voters and representatives on the CVRD as well as the dedicated staff.

“Area G is home to one of the most immense watersheds in the CVRD, reaching up into the heart of Vancouver Island, across Stocking Lake and the surrounding Insular Mountains. We hold a Provincial License to this resource. Referendum question (4202) about drinking water and watershed protection will be put to us in this civic election.”

Versaevel noted during this election residents will also be asked to vote on the question of new taxation to support the Cowichan Housing Association in preventing homelessness, supporting those in fragile economic circumstances and educating people about housing. Several events will happen through September and October to garner more information regarding the financial implications of this question, she pointed out.

“We cannot proceed with 20th Century thinking, and expect different results. We need to practice futuristic thinking. Our droughts are longer, our air quality is at risk and more species are in danger of extinction. We have ships stacking up in our Stuart and Trincomali Channels, developments encroaching all around us and we need to stand up for the planet, as well as for ourselves.”

Versaevel stressed she’s a member and strong supporter of the Saltair Community Centre as well as the Thetis Island Community Association and Forbes Hall.

“As your director, I will work with everyone in all the Area G communities to take us forward as a unified force,” she explained. “I will work with all levels of governance to ensure that our fragile coast and our abundant waters remain usable for many generations to follow.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Teddy’s Trial’ adjourned until Dec. 4 to give Joe time to get new lawyer

Lawyer leaving for personal reasons led to postponement of pre-trial conference in Duncan

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan’s new town council sworn in at impressive ceremony Nov. 6

Mayor Rod Peters addresses the community for the first time in his new position

Just one fresh face for Cowichan Valley school board

Cathy Schmidt, who opted not to run again, has been replaced by… Continue reading

Business notes: Sidewalk celebration deemed a success

Approximately 26 stores in the downtown core took part

Brentwood boys finish 13th at provincial XC meet

Keaton Heisterman 12th overall to lead Brentwood

People flocking to Cowichan Bay to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over the floating breakwater

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Most Read