Who am I?
While I call the Columbia Valley home today, I grew up in a family of 6 in Southern Ontario. I studied Business Administration at Bishops University in the Eastern Townships in the province of Quebec, graduating in 1993. I then decided to migrate west to teach and coach skiing; and, well, I am happy to still be here.
Glenn Findlay (Finn), and I founded “Columbia Rafting Adventures” in 1994 and, soon after, we also established a water sports gear importing company. Incidentally, Finn and I were married in the valley over 20 years ago. We have lived in Panorama, Windermere and Fairmont Hot Springs. We, as well as our black labs Lib and Ash, are so happy to call the Columbia Valley our home for decades.
What keeps me busy?
Keeping up with the Valley
Staying in touch with the Columbia Valley's communities are key to my work. I believe my constituents have a right to expect that of me, their elected Area Director. Therefore, I continue to attend meetings for many local groups, including the Fairmont Business Association, Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lake Windermere Ambassadors and many local Community Association groups.
Keeping your interests at heart
I attend regular meetings with several utility commissions as well as other local groups, including the East Kootenay Hospital Board. On a wider social, economic and environment front, I represent the RDEK on the Board of Columbia Basin Trust, currently Vice Chair, which, among other things, provides investment opportunities in the Basin area which includes our Valley. I am a founder in establishing the Columbia Valley Community Economic Development Commission, currently acting as Chair. The goal of this program is to strategically allocate funds for valley wide initiatives that are identified in the Community Priorities Plan.
Keeping the valley looking forward
I actively participated on the working committee that brought public transit to the Columbia Valley. I now serve on the Columbia Valley Transit Commission, and the Advisory Planning Commission. On the commercial side, I have also been an independent business founder and owner in my community. As such, I founded and was elected President of the non-profit Fairmont Business Association. My current directorial position with the RDEK was a natural step forward for me. I am proud to continue dedicating my efforts to the residents of the Columbia Valley.
What is the Columbia Basin Trust?
The Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin, and I have been an active member since 2012. In January 2017 I became Vice Chair, and also sit as Chair of investment the Investment Committee.
The CBT takes its lead from residents and communities. Whatever the situation calls for, we adapt our role: from providing resources, to bringing people together, to leading an entire initiative. The Trust is here to offer experience and support to all Basin residents.
The Trust was created in 1995 to support efforts by the people of the Basin to create a legacy of social, economic and environmental well-being in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River Basin. While our range of services, programs, initiatives and financial investments is extensive, our purpose is straightforward: we exist and act for the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Basin—now and for generations to come.
What is the UBCM?
The UBCM was formed to provide a common voice for local government. I am proud to have been elected president in 2017, and have been an active member since 2012. The UBCM reflects the truth in the old adages "strength in numbers" and "united we stand - divided we fall".
Convention continues to be the main forum for UBCM policy-making. It provides an opportunity for local governments of all sizes and from all areas of the province to come together, share their experiences and take a united position.
Positions developed by members are carried to other orders of government and other organizations involved in local affairs. Policy implementation activities have expanded from annual presentations to Cabinet to UBCM involvement in intergovernmental committees, regular meetings with Ministers and contact on a daily basis with senior government.
In today's ever-changing world, where shifts in senior government policies, or in economic, social or political conditions, can have an immediate effect on local government, UBCM stands as a "listening post". UBCM initiates, monitors, interprets and reacts where such changes could have an effect on local governments and the communities they serve.
The result is improved local government and BC's communities are the real winners. Through the UBCM, local government has achieved much, and the potential is always there to achieve even more.