Tammy Burrows would like to see Quesnel residents vote in councillors with varied backgrounds and skills for the next four years. She is in the running for a seat for the first time.
Burrows was born and raised in Quesnel, and has been the cultural programmer for the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre for 4.5 years.
She is a member of a local group, Wild Women of Quesnel, which fundraises to provide food hampers and various other essentials to struggling residents, and also sits on the Coalition of Substance Users of the North (CSUN), which is a peer-based group that works locally and provincially to change policy to help stop deaths due to drug overdose.
“My hope for this year’s council is that it is made up of people with different strong suits, such as someone who is very educated in the economic development area, someone I can learn from and grow stronger as a city council member,” she says.
Burrows says her strengths lie in her ability to connect with community members.
“I’m that girl who will go to the people and ask for input and opinions. It takes a whole community to raise a good community.”
Burrows is Cree-Métis and, if elected, she’s been told she might be the first aboriginal woman to sit on Quesnel City Council. She says she doesn’t relish the spotlight, but is willing to take it on to bring forward a more diverse cross-section of views to the City.
“There’s something in me that’s saying I need to do this,” she explains. “I talk to a lot of community members and I don’t feel like they feel they have a voice of their own.
“The door is always open. As wonderful as that sounds, for some it is difficult to go through those doors, whether it’s a mentality of ‘who would care,’ or intimidation,” she notes.
The biggest issues Burrows thinks the City of Quesnel needs to address are hunger, addiction, theft and homelessness.
“I see those a lot where I work. They are our biggest issues.” Burrows believes they are connected, and require a linked approach. She admits that she would have a lot to learn to sit on council, but also has plenty to offer.
“I have a lot to learn and say, and need about four years to do so,” she jokes.
Regardless of whether she is elected, Burrows wants to see the community come together in a more meaningful way in order to continue to progress.
“What I’m hoping for is unity and people that want to come forward and volunteer, whether it’s to help with our food situation or even for our annual Billy Barker Days event. I’m quite certain we have community members out there that would want to help and just need a bit of guidance with that,” she says.
To that end, she tells me she hopes locals will join her post-election to come together.
“Win or lose, I challenge you,” she says, addressing Quesnel residents. “Sunday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m., cold, snow or shine, I will be at the Ceal Tingley Park to take a stand by taking a hand, no matter whose it is.”