Cariboo Regional District Area A resident Cory Delves has put his name in the running for director for the second time, after being defeated by Ted Armstrong in the 2014 election.
Delves was mayor of Port Clements in Haida Gwaii for two terms, and sat on a number of boards in that role, including on the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District and the North West Regional Hospital District. He also represented local government on the regional advisory committee for the Northern Development Initiative Trust and formed an Economic Development Committee in Haida Gwaii, chairing the committee at its inception.
He has worked in the forestry industry for a long time, most recently with the Nazko First Nation, managing the band’s forestry businesses. He’s now semi-retired.
Delves moved to the Quesnel area in 2011, following his son, who had moved here in 2003.
“Once [our son] had been here for a while, we visited and came to like the place. We bought a property that he rented from us and eventually as things changed on the island in terms of employment opportunities for people in the forest industry, we moved here.”
Delves says if elected, he’d like to focus on issues including rural property crime and the understaffed local RCMP; fire prevention strategies; road maintenance, including snow clearance and speed bumps around local schools; and communication from the CRD.
“As we’ve seen in the past two years with the fires, there’s a great need to do some preventative work in terms of treating stands that are dead and dying that are on Crown land adjacent to private properties, to create a fuel break so it’s not a whole bunch of dead trees that can easily catch on fire,” he explains, noting that such strategies would require good communication with First Nations in the area, including Lhtako Dené Nation (Red Bluff) and ?Esdilagh First Nation (Alexandria). He says he has a strong understanding of First Nations opportunities and challenges, due to his work with Nazko.
In terms of wider communication, Delves says he wants to make sure CRD directors have positive dialogue with the City of Quesnel.
“If you are at loggerheads and constantly battling, the federal and provincial governments love nothing more than not to be giving out money because nobody can come to a consensus. So you miss out on opportunities and some potential funding if you are not working together. That’s a very common thing,” he says.
And Delves believes the CRD also needs to work harder at communicating with constituents.
“Visually, everyone understands the mayor and his council in the big building down the road. There doesn’t seem to be the same understanding of how the regional districts work. They call the City with a problem, they get told, ‘You have to call Williams Lake. … There’s not enough transparency and communication, or the right type of communication, in terms of the things that are going on,” he says, noting that the upcoming CRD referendum on a Quesnel Airport Tax has not been well-publicized.
“People are going, ‘What’s this all about?’ That’s pretty poor.”
Being semi-retired, Delves says he has all the time in the world to advocate for and listen to Area A constituents.
“I think it’s time for some new blood with out-of-the-box thinking and open-mindedness to take over the reins.
“I live in the area, three generations of our family are here now, and all live in Area A. I’ve got a vested interest in this place.”