Column: please vote on Oct. 20 – the future of your community depends on it

Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson on the importance of making it out to the polls next Saturday

An unprecedented Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, two unprecedented wildfire seasons, a major shift in our population dynamics, increasing demands for more accessible and more modern infrastructure and amenities, complex social issues underlying increasing crime rates — these and a host of other significant community challenges demand clear thinking, strong leadership, principle-based decision-making, and a collaborative mindset from those elected to lead our area through the next four years (and beyond).

That is why it is so critical that citizens take the time to make informed decisions in all elections, and why I hope we get a great turnout during this civic election. The councillors, regional district directors, and school board trustees you select on Oct. 20 will face significant leadership challenges over the next four years. Who you select as your representatives will determine whether or not we rise to those challenges and face them courageously and collaboratively, or we merely take the path of least resistance and simply hope everything will turn out OK.

We particularly need council members and regional district representatives who will continue to work collaboratively to tackle our common challenges and take full advantage of opportunities as they arise. We cannot afford to go back to the days of division and acrimony that characterized the relationship between the Cariboo Regional District and the City under previous administrations.

The individual councillors and regional district representatives you select on Oct. 20 (or in the advance polls) will play highly significant roles in the council and North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee decisions that will shape our community over the coming decades. We need forward-thinking leaders who will not be afraid to make difficult decisions.

I hope you will take the time to get to know all the candidates and then make the time to vote on Oct. 20. The future of your community, literally, will be determined by the outcome of this election.

Bob Simpson is mayor of Quesnel.

READ MORE election coverage here.

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