Councillor Chris Beach and Former Fire Chief Jim McBride are vying for the position of mayor of Burns Lake in the upcoming by election
McBride was the chief for nearly 17 years in the village, served on Tofino council for two years, and was an environmentalist against the logging industry.
“We went through a pretty rough time. that was back in the late 80s through the
Clayoquot Sound controversy,” says McBride.
He says infrastructure improvements tops the list for his campaign.
“Our road network here is deplorable…having worked with the fire department and public works for a number of years, I’ve seen the deterioration of our infrastructure – primarily our water system.”
Councillor Beach studied political science writing his M.A. on the flooding of the Ootsa Lake communities, and has served on council since 2013. He’s running on economic stability and growth, expanding relationships with First Nations and infrastructure improvements.
“I’ll probably take it one step at a time, and if I am successful at becoming mayor, then I’ll meet with my Council…and then we’ll work together to prioritize and strategize for the remainder of the two-year term,” says Beach, who was raised in the community.
Beach also offers his take on how the village needs to handle foretasted cuts to the annual allowable cut. He says it’s something council is already working on.
“We want to start planning for it, but we also want to do whatever we can to maintain and maybe even expand and to make more out of the forest that we do have.”
McBride also agrees those cuts pose a serious problem for the village.
“We can’t do it if we can’t get out there and vocalize about it…I have a good number of relationships with the Ministry of Forestry here locally as well as provincially,” says McBride.
so far Beach and McBride are the only two running ahead of the nomination period ending Friday. The election date is Dec. 10th.