Voters head to the polls on October 15 for the 2022 Municipal Election. MyBulkleyLakesNow reached out to the Mayoral candidates for Hazelton to answer each of the following questions:
- Can you provide a brief bio of yourself and a photo?
- Why are you running for mayor for Hazelton and what makes you the best candidate?
3.What are some issues that you would like to tackle?
- What are other pressing issues in Hazelton and how would you address them?
- Any final thoughts on any topic that you would like to share?
Here are their responses to the questions and a quick bio:
In alphabetical order:
Charlotte Linford, New
My name is Charlotte Linford. Since 1993 I have lived, worked and raised my children in the
Village of Hazelton on Gitxsan Territory. I work as a teacher for School District 82. I also work for the Wrinch Memorial Foundation as a Seniors activity coordinator. Over the years I have belonged to many community organizations. I am a founding member of the social enterprise Skeena Bakery and now I am a board member of the society that runs the Bakery. Currently I am Chair of the literacy society,Learner’s Opportunity Group, LOGS.
Julie Maitland, served as a council member
I was born and raised in the Village of Hazelton on Gitxsan Territory. I am part of a
multigenerational extended family with deep connections into all parts of the community. I’ve
worked as a forest technician and for the last 12 years as a Constituency Assistant at the Stikine
MLA office helping people access the services they deserve. I sit on several boards and volunteer
in many capacities throughout the Upper Skeena, which has given me rich and diverse
relationships and experiences.
I am a mother of two and have raised my kids in this beautiful place we call home.
2.Why are you running for mayor for Hazelton and what makes you the best candidate?
I am running for Mayor of the Village of Hazelton because I love my community and I feel that I have the right set of skills to help the Village meet its goals. I have connections to many different parts of the community. Building networks builds strength and I am well placed to help the Village build networks with other agencies. In addition, I have been very active and successful in the field of grant writing, bringing thousands of dollars to our area to support initiatives and make life better for our community members.
I love my community and care deeply for the people who live here. I want to fight for the services Hazelton community members deserve and I want to work with our neighbouring communities to create more opportunities for local people.I am a Hazelton Councillor and have a long history of witnessing the work of a Mayor attending local, regional and provincial events with my mother, Alice who was Mayor for 40 years. I know how to navigate different levels of government to get what we need. I am capable of finding creative solutions to achieve the goals and meet the visions of Council and citizens. I have the relationships to partner with other groups and organizations within and beyond Hazelton to make this happen.
3.What are some issues that you would like to tackle?
For many years now I have been concerned about the lack of help for individuals who need mental health support. We know that substance use problems occur frequently with certain mental health problems. As Mayor, I would help the Village of Hazelton put its energy into working with Northern Health, the local Healing Centre, the local housing committee and other organizations. Together I believe that we can find solutions that will eliminate stigma and promote health and well being for all members of our village.
I will continue to work on the necessary infrastructure needs such as upgrades to our streets; strengthen our dyke system; and keep our water system safe and strong. I will also continue to work on promoting tourism and finding ways to have affordable recycling in all of our communities. I am mindful we have a limited tax base and must lobby higher levels of government. I’ve been part of a long history of partnering with Gitxsan communities particularly Gitanmaax to address these continual infrastructure needs. I am deeply concerned about the health and well being of people living here. I address this in the next question.
4.What are other pressing issues in Hazelton and how would you address them?
As Mayor, I would work with my council to find creative and cost effective solutions to environmental issues. I would like to find a way to better support our residents to recycle and compost. Another pressing environmental issue is the limited access to a Thrift Store. Even if I am not elected, I plan to continue to work to solve these issues.I really want to have a chance to use my skills and energy to serve the Village of Hazelton as Mayor.
One pressing issue is a need to both respond to mental health and addictions crisis and create opportunities that build the health and wellness of people. Every day I walk around my community and meet people in deep despair. Trauma has led them to addictions, which plays out openly on our streets. I know these people and I know their families. I also know that addressing this issue requires sensitivity and a whole bunch of diverse responses. As Mayor I can bring people together so that responses to crisis are locally driven. As Mayor I can advocate for resources so local responses can be put into action. I believe we can also be proactive in creating opportunities for mental well-being. I sit on the board of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre and played a role in the development of this facility. The Centre focuses on physical and mental health. As a long-time volunteer in many sports and community activities I believe that the relationships developed; the skills and confidence gained and the sense of belonging that comes from being part of a group or team feeds our mental well-being. And so I will address the pressing issue of mental health by supporting opportunities for people to come together in whatever ways they wish that to happen.
Any final thoughts on any topic that you would like to share?
Had nothing further to add.
I fully understand the mandate of local government. And I have witnessed, and been part of, creative partnerships that allow Mayor and Council to play a role in helping their community thrive beyond the mandate of only infrastructure needs. If elected Mayor I will work to revitalize local partnerships and to direct and support our CAO and staff to successfully bring in the grants that will help us do the work that citizens believe needs to be done. I really do love my community. It’s where I’ve lived my whole life and where I plan to spend the rest of my life. I humbly ask that people vote for me as their next Mayor. I will work tirelessly for the benefit of all. Thank you.