News

Why are you running for Mayor?

While campaigning on Michigan Street I was asked “Why are you running for mayor, are you crazy“? I had been asked this question before from people on Joyce and Dieppe Ave but not with the “are you nuts” tag on.

The answer is that I have lots of experience in government, business and community organizations that should allow me to be a very effective mayor. I have a track record of being able to work successfully with colleagues who represent a mix of political views. My focus is always on maximizing the good for the community rather than scoring political points. More importantly, I have the complete support of my wife and a hard working enthusiastic campaign team.

My team and I have been out knocking on doors having a wonderful time meeting Powell River residents from Wildwood, Cranberry and Townsite to Grief Point. To date we’ve knocked on over 900 doors with the opportunity to chat with approximately 300 people and to leave information for the others.  This has resulted in many emails and phone calls with excellent questions, wanting to thank me for running and others with suggestions of how Powell River could be improved. The enthusiasm has convinced me that we’e doing the right thing.

From my experience as president of a large rate payers association and a condo association I know that you cannot please everyone all the time. However, you can assure them that everyone is given the same information and the same opportunities.

I believe that every elected official in municipal, regional district, provincial or federal government should relate to John Kennedy’s take on elected office “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”  Simply substitute the word country for city and you have what I believe.

Opinions Based on Facts

On March 26 I received the following question on my blog I am interested in your opinion of the ALR mistake at the subdivision in lower timberlane track area?”

My opinion on this subdivision issue is that the citizens of Powell River, including myself, do not have enough information to have a reasonable opinion based on facts rather than rumour and guessing. This is the same situation for the Inn at Westview, the lawsuit against the city that was settled in 2017, the park on Marine Avenue that never happened or $213,000 given to a start-up for a climbing wall in 2016 that is still not available to the public.

Council should hold a public meeting to share with the interested public the information they have on these issues. Yes, The Peak has done stories on some of these issues, but those only provide an introduction to the issue. The public can attend Committee of the Whole meetings which are held at 3:30 on Tuesday before regular Council Meeting and ask questions at the end of the agenda but space and time are limited and does not provide Council and Mac Fraser the opportunity to prepare answers and compile background information on questions raised.  By holding a public meeting and assigning a Councillor to lead the discussion on each of these issues, the City would be putting teeth in its commitment to facilitate an informed, involved community. This was a priority identified in the 2016 Annual Report by the City on page 7:

Community Engagement – The City will facilitate the community being informed and involved in local matters and initiatives.

Yes, this would take some Council time but very little money. The reward would be an informed public, which should result in less rumour, accusations and threats of lawsuits.

I will be attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Cedar Room at the Recreational Complex on April 18th from 12 to 1. Council has been invited to discuss the past 4 years in a “Question and Answer” format. Perhaps the issue of the controversy surrounding the loop road will be addressed and I will then be able to state an informed opinion. If so, I will blog again on this issue right after that meeting. The Chamber meetings are open to the public but you must RSVP to the event and the cost of this event is $20.

February 12 – News!

We’ve added new information to the website!

Read more about the local issues about which I am passionate under the ‘PR Issues’ tab: https://ronwoznowpr.com/pr-issues/

I’m also excited to be answering the different questions I have been receiving from residents. Find these under the ‘FAQ’ tab: https://ronwoznowpr.com/frequently-asked-questions/

I continue to look forward to new engagement opportunities with Powell River residents. If you’ve got a question or an issue you’d like to discuss, send a note to me here: https://ronwoznowpr.com/contact/

PR Groundswell – Update!

Last November, members of PR Groundswell, were in attendance at the November 14 city committee of the whole meeting and voiced concerns about the treatment plant and the surrounding waterfront.

I had spoken to other members of the group and examined documentation provided by contracting engineers, and the consensus among our members is the proposed options are not good enough.

It appears as if they have taken a very traditional engineering approach to treating wastewater. They haven’t put it in the context of what makes sense for the long-term good of Powell River.

Read more in the Peak’s article here: http://www.prpeak.com/news/townsite-group-pushes-waterfront-discussion-1.23113851

And stay tuned for more updates on this important project!

New year, new wellness

I initiated the Powell River Wellness Project in 2016 to encourage and educate community members to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Our city has higher-than-average poor health statistics. One of the reasons that can be attributed to this is our aging population – which is higher than the overall age in BC.

But while there is a correlation but I think it’s a stretch to say that is the only reason. Whether you’re four or 84, there’s opportunities to do small things that will give you lifelong benefit.

chris-bolster

The project was focused on two components: a wellness exhibition and speaker’s forum, which ran at Max Cameron Theatre in Brooks Secondary School, and the Powell River Wellness Challenge, for registered participants, that began April and May and lasted for seven months. Each participant keeps track of their own lifestyle changes!

Read more about the challenge here: 

http://www.prpeak.com/community/powell-river-wellness-project-promotes-lifestyle-changes-1.2234951

http://www.prpeak.com/community/wellness-challenge-waits-for-spring-1.2218738

http://www.prpeak.com/community/challenge-aims-at-improving-health-1.2213248

Education for all

The Verna J Kirkness Education Foundation is an organization with the goal of increasing indigenous student graduating in science and engineering. I am proud to serve as Executive Director of this incredible and empowering program. I am also thrilled that in December of last year, our Education Foundation received an endowment gift of $500,000 from the Sisters of Saint Ann, Pacific Northwest.

students-attend-science-and-engineering-program
In May of 2014 Tla’amin Nation students Ryan Pielle, Drew Charlie and Brianna Baron from Brooks Secondary School spent a week at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg as recipients of scholarships through the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program. As of May 2017 a total of 10 Tla’amin Nation grade 11 students have attended Kirkness Programs at both University of Manitoba and University of British Columbia.

The gift represents the initial donation to an endowment fund the Foundation is establishing to allow Program continuity and expansion. It will supplement funding from universities, government agencies, corporate and individual donors. The Sisters of Saint Ann understand and support the efforts of the Foundation to ensure successful  educational outcomes for First Nations students. They expressed in a letter to the Foundation the hope that their donation “might encourage other potential donors to also contribute”.

The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation was established in 2008 with the primary goals to increase the number of First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students graduating in science and engineering and to develop young role models who will influence other students to complete Grade 12 and pursue post-secondary studies. It achieves these goals by bringing Grade 11 FNMI students to a University campus for one week where they live in residence, meet with Elders at Aboriginal student centres, and do independent research with faculty mentors and their research groups. The program is called the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program.

The Foundation’s namesake, Dr. Verna J. Kirkness, has been a leader in the field of Indigenous education since the 1950s. Her active involvement in the Program has been a major factor in its growth and success. To date, 288 Indigenous students have completed the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program and are proud to be recognized as Kirkness scholars. In Georgina Balfour’s words, a 2012 Kirkness scholar from Norway House MB, “the Program allowed me to gain a great amount of knowledge and experience which is going to help me push forward in furthering my education into a science field.”

For further information about the Kirkness Foundation please visit: http://www.vernjkirkness.org

More articles on the Foundation and it’s exciting work are below.

http://www.prpeak.com/news/opportunity-knocks-for-aboriginal-students-1.2209133

http://www.prpeak.com/community/students-attend-science-and-engineering-program-1.2210232

A local fundraiser we held to support the Foundation:

http://www.prpeak.com/culture/musicians-gather-to-support-education-foundation-1.2209716

A reading oasis

My mother, Anne Woznow, considered it essential to encourage young children to love reading as early as possible.

Which is why I am honoured to sit on the Powell River Library Board of Trustees and to have been a passionate supporter of the new library facility at Crossroads Village.

From buildafuturepr.ca:

We’re thrilled! The Powell River Public Library has received a $20,000 charitable gift in support of the new library facility at Crossroads Village. The funds were donated by Powell River residents Ron and Susan Woznow and Ron’s sisters, Beverly Woznow of Fredericton, New Brunswick and Susan Burnett of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Mr. Woznow’s connection to the Sunshine Coast began more than twenty years ago when he purchased property on Hardy Island. On a visit to Powell River in 2013, Ron and Susan took a house tour with their realtor and walked into what would become their first home in Grief Point. It was the start, Woznow says, of their “total commitment to Powell River.”

Read the full article here: http://buildafuturepr.ca/librarys-first-major-donor/

More information on my work with the PR Library is below!

http://www.prpeak.com/news/quick-peak-library-receives-donation-1.2218762

http://www.prpeak.com/news/city-reaches-deal-for-public-library-facility-1.2213092

http://www.prpeak.com/news/council-covers-library-appointments-1.2211475

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A great gathering

Thank you to everyone who came out to the public meeting on October 1st to discuss the future of Townsite’s former golf course lands. We had over 100 people attend, and it was heartening to have such an engaged and interested crowd.

townsite-land

It was also great to have councillors Karen Skadsheim and Rob Southcott attend, as they were able to answer questions about the process city council took to finalize the location of Powell River’s consolidated wastewater treatment plant.

The Powell River Peak has written a great article about the event and the different topics discussed and addressed. You can read it here.

PR Groundswell will be holding its next meeting to discuss the future of the old golf course lands on October 21st at the Evergreen Theatre Recreation Complex at 3pm. Discussion items will include:

  • A description of the lands including existing covenants and uses (trails and waste treatment);
  • A slide show of the current inhabitants of these lands;
  • Answers to questions raised at the first meeting; and
  • Options for the use of these lands.

The City of Powell River and Sliammon Development Corporation each own 50% of the old golf course lands. PRSC Limited Partnership manages these lands on behalf of them.

Nicholas Simons, MLA for the Powell River Sunshine Coast and Mac Fraser, CAO of Powell River will be in attendance. Councillors, City Staff, PRSC Limited Partnership and Powell River Waterfront Development Corp have been invited.

In the interim, if you have any questions or have feedback on this issue, please feel free to get in touch. I would love to connect.

I hope to see you on the 21st!

Upcoming Public Hearing!

I’m excited to help get the word out about an upcoming public meeting that will be held on the potential uses of the Old Powell River Gold Course lands.

The meeting will be taking place on Sunday, October 1 at 1:15pm at the Powell River Public Library in the First Credit Union Community Room.

Residents of Powell River have organized the first of a series of public meetings to provide an opportunity for our Mayor, councilors, city staff and representatives of PRSC Limited Partnership to discuss the old golf club lands. These discussions will include:

  • A description of the lands, including existing covenants and uses (e.g. trails).
  • Options for the use of these lands.
  • Which options are consistent with the Sustainability Charter for the Powell River Region and the Powell River Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP).
  • The economic benefit that the City has derived to date, from the sale of PRSC Limited Partnership lands.

The old golf club lands are held by PRSC Limited Partnership. PRSC is owned 50% by Powell River Waterfront Development Corporation (PRWDC), which is owned 100% by the City of Powell River and 50% by Tees’kwat Land Holdings Ltd (TLH), which is owned 100% by Sliammon Development Corporation.

Confirmed attendees as of September 23 include: Nicholas Simons, Maggie Hathaway, Karen Skadsheim and Rob Southcott.

Invitations have been extended to: Councilors Jim Palm, Russell Brewer, CaroleAnn Leishman and Mayor Dave Formosa. PRWDC board, Wayne Brewer, Ann Nelson, Kevin Sigouin, Guy Chartier; City of Powell River CAO Mac Fraser, Thomas Knight, Kathleen Day; PRSC Clint Williams and Scott Randolph.

We are pleased that our MLA, Nicholas Simons will join us to discuss how the province might assist Powell River in transforming these lands for the long term benefit of city residents.

I hope to see you there!