Peggy Bran, a retiree from Crofton, announced that she is seeking a seat on North Cowichan council in the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 15.
She’s been monitoring council for three years, and is a founding member of the Cowichan Tax Busters group, and said that she fears that without change, tax increases and over-spending will likely continue for the next four years.
Asked if she thought the economy of North Cowichan was failing, Bran replied, "Well, the economy across Canada, even globally, has been struggling. Stores are closing. Take a look at Chemainus. It’s really sad to see all those empty storefronts. Maybe it’s because the draw was always tourism and that isn’t what it was."
Asked how she might boost the local economies of communities like Chemainus, she said, "They have to do the same thing they did before, when they became The Little Town That Did. They need to find a focus.
"Holding these local area plan meetings is all fine and dandy but the government can’t bring the people to the stores. Those ideas have to come from within. For that you need to bring the people in and put up big easels with markers and let the ideas flow. See what people want," Bran said.
All of this means lots of work for the municipality as well as residents "but spending money on roundabouts and more parks is not going to bring more people to the area."
Bran wants to see fresh ideas at council. "Our taxes have doubled in nine years. Doubled. I don’t know of any municipality where that has happened and when I see one more roundabout go in, I say to myself, it just doesn’t make sense."
Her campaign will be different, based on her circumstances.
"As a result of polio I cannot walk from door to door to meet the voters in person. Therefore, I will be hosting meet-the-candidate events around the municipality where I hope to share a cup of coffee and hear the concerns of the voters," she said.
The first ones are being lined up for Crofton and possibly the Duncan Lodge on Moose Road. Details will be posted on her website, www.peggybran.ca