Sierra Acton has won the byelection on Sept. 30 to fill the seat for Shawnigan Lake on the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s board.
Acton took 427 votes in the byelection while challenger Bill Savage took 110 votes and Larry Jorginson won just 69 votes.
There are 6,137 registered voters in the electoral area.
The vote was called after former director Sonia Furstenau won the Cowichan Valley riding for the Green Party in the last provincial election, becoming MLA.
Acton was Furstenau’s alternate with the CVRD during her term, and has worked as interim director since Furstenau’s election.
She will serve as director until the fall of 2018 when the next municipal elections in the province will take place.
Acton said she will continue to work on her three top priorities for the area, as well as other important issues, now that she has won the byelection.
The three priorities are road improvements, making the village at Shawnigan Lake viable, and water protection.
“I intend to continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to find funds and tools to make local roads safer,” Acton said.
“As well, I’ve set up meetings this week with groups and stakeholders in Shawnigan Lake to discuss ways to make the village more viable, and I’m hoping to have these meetings on a more regular basis.”
As for water protection, Acton said she’s working hard to stop the endless number of dump trucks from Victoria that are dumping soil in at least 13 illegal dump sites near Shawnigan Lake.
The CVRD is in the process of developing a new bylaw to address the practice, which has become a major concern for many in the area.
In a previous interview, Robert Blackmore, the CVRD’s bylaw enforcement manager, said the potential impacts from large-volume soil dumping on private lands are prominent in the Shawnigan Lake area and can include siltation and turbidity in creeks and water courses, riparian area damage, leachate from contaminated soils as well as damage to roads and traffic safety.
“I’ll push hard to see that this bylaw is passed at the board level,” Acton said.
As for the low turnout for the byelection, Acton said she has heard that many voters didn’t know there was a byelection while others didn’t know where they were supposed to vote.
“I think there are some lessons to be learned here,” she said