Councillor candidate Russ Gingrich.

Councillor candidate Russ Gingrich

Candidate Russ Gingrich answers the questions put forward by the community of Fort St. James.

What is your vision of Fort St James in 5 years? In 20 years?

As a candidate for councillor, the following are some of the happenings in and around the District I see taking place.

Our hospital is in need of an upgrade if not a total renovation.  The Doctors and staff are doing a great job but could use, and should have a better facility with the latest in required equipment.

The Ladies Auxiliary to the hospital have done a fantastic job in providing equipment and essentials but can provide only what is within their reach.

I feel a Senior’s Care Home is required.   There are many seniors in our community that would be able to stay here if we had one locally.   .A new Seniors Recreation centre would also be an enhancement to our community.

A larger recreation centre including a swimming pool such as the one in Mackenzie would be another facility I would like to see.

Tourism promotion for our District is a must.  It brings additional dollars to our community which our businesses require and it allows us to show off our history as well as one of the best playgrounds in B.C.  The Chamber of Commerce and its’ members deserve and require the support of our community.

I see where a northern allowance may become a reality with the persistence of representatives

Several years ago, a study was completed and a location identified for a suitable alternative to water supply for the district.  I see going there sooner than later.  We may require this source for the development of new properties within the district.

I see continued upgrades to our existing sidestreets and a constant monitoring of our highways, in particular through town as well as outside.

Due to the increased volume of heavy traffic through town, a safety issue arises, a few controlled crosswalks could reduce, if not, take away a potential hazard.

I see the potential for a hundred and fifty new homes being built in the district in the near future and the stability of the district that this will provide.  Our existing businesses will benefit, as well, there will be new businesses so naturally it will make our community even more solid.

The future holds a lot of excitement for Fort St James, along with some major changes.

I encourage Thompson Creek Metals to consider making Fort St. James their headquarters and home to a large number of their employees.

How and what needs to be done to achieve the above?

First I would like to see the community forest allowable cut be increased substantially to help generate funds.  We must be aware and apply for the available grants.  Lobby Victoria for additional funding.  This community was built largely by volunteers and that would include donations from business.  Industry will play a major part.

What do you see as the key issues facing Fort St James?

We are in need of additional doctors and medical services.  My priority would be to lobby health services in Victoria to promote our community as a place to live.

Fibre leaving our area in vast volumes.  My action plan would be to receive compensation back to the district either in a monitory sense or by some form of trade off to benefit the district.  Also, a by-pass.

Economic Development is a key issue.  Priority would be to assist the officer through council and review old and new ideas.  With industry the District will grow half again over the next twenty years.

Where will your priority’s be when it comes to budget issues?

I will exercise fiscal responsibility to the fullest on budget issues and treat any funds as though they are my own.

What role do you see council playing with regards to youth & hunger & homelessness initiatives and issues? Active, supportive or none?

I see council playing a primary role as being supportive verbally and a matter of choice individually to become active.

How would you like to see the local district get get involved in meeting their carbon emissions reduction targets?

I would like to see the District get more involved in meeting their carbon emission reduction targets by:

Using biodegradable cleaning agents

By reusing environmentally unfriendly products such as paper and cardboard and then recycle same

Grass clippings and leaves can be mulched

Idle free zones would be another way to remove emissions

Using synthetic oils

Ensure that lighting and other electric mechanisms are shut off when not in use

Only use one vehicle when possible

Rural mail delivery to central points would eliminate travel by residents that live in outside areas

Car pools have been evident for a long time, so has cycling and walking but there could be additional incentives in these areas

Although a more costly alternative initially, use non-toxic agents in vehicles

To put it simply, just go green and mother nature will do the rest.