Susan MacNeill is running for Quesnel City Council.
MacNeill, an advocate for seniors and former nursing assistant and mental health advocate, believes she can make a difference in Quesnel.
She and Ruth Scoullar started the Seniors Advocacy Service about 14 years ago, when the government dissolved the Senior Advisory Councils that previously existed in the province. MacNeill and Scoullar decided to fill the void, and now they help advise seniors in the area on where they can access the services they need. They also run health workshops and administer disability parking permits from their office.
“So we help people,” says MacNeill. “We’ll help seniors who perhaps don’t know about the SAFER grant program if they’re renting, or if they aren’t aware that they can apply for the Canada Pension Plan at 60.”
MacNeill says she would like to continue on with the work the current council is doing, and that she thinks there should be more women on City Council.
“I believe it’s important to have good balance in government and I believe that women bring a different viewpoint to politics,” says MacNeill. “Some of our community members appreciate and feel better talking to a woman about certain issues than they may about going to [male] councillors. So I just believe that council needs balance. To me, that’s all levels of government.”
MacNeill also wants to get youth more engaged in local politics and the community. “I really believe that we need to engage younger demographics [and] encourage them to appreciate what the government is doing and that’s one of my hopes.”
MacNeill has also spent time working with youth, as a “coach and mentor in many capacities.”
She says if anyone sees her on the street or around town and has questions, she encourages them to ask her.
“I think through my networking and communication with others, most people know what I stand for and what I do,” says MacNeill.