Fletcher aims at jobs to keep young people here

Paul Fletcher says his experience as a councillor for the City of Duncan is an asset he can bring to the table as a councillor for the Municipality of North Cowichan.

"I bring my passion for Duncan to North Cowichan," Fletcher said.

That’s not to say he’s an advocate for amalgamation. He once favoured the move, but said that now he’s interested in a process that gets everybody working together, "particularly on economic development." Fletcher said his focus is on encouraging growth in the economy and getting everyone working, especially young people. "The fact that our children have to move away; I’ve got a lot of kids and a lot of grandkids and it really worries me that they’re going to move away to jobs," he said. "You need that balance between older society and younger society to make a community really work well."

Other issues include taxes, ("It’s a serious issue that has to be addressed because it’s been a lot of hardship on a lot of people in North Cowichan"), incorporating more environmental considerations into regular decision-making, and starting a better public review process.

"North Cowichan dives into these issues and all of a sudden it’s polarized and they’re alarmed by these special interests and the activists and that just puts everybody on each side of the room," he said.

Fletcher also has a long-term vision for the community. This includes such things as taking Quamichan School, which he sees as eventually being left empty, and turning it into an agriculture and culinary college, with the fields around it used as part of the facility.