Candidate feature for the City of Duncan


In the run up to the civic election, we have asked candidates in the City of Duncan some basic questions:

Describe yourself and your experience.

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?

Do you live in Duncan?

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?

Their answers are posted below, verbatim, in the order they were received.

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Bob Brooke

 

Describe yourself and your experience.

My name is Bob Brooke, for the last 25 years, before I retired I was a Realtor, owning my own company Superior Real Estate Services.

I have sat on numerous boards and committees, including Cobble Hill Improvement district, and as a director of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board. I currently sit on the Duncan environmental committee.

 

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

I felt that this would be the best way for me to help with the variety of tasks needing attention.

 

What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?

Duncan suffers from the same issues as other urban areas, Housing homelessness and crime.

One of the biggest issues, is I believe being able to best address these issues and stay within a financial framework which is sustainable for the city.  We must also create a long term plan looking at the needs and costs for the population

 

Do you live in Duncan?

Yes I live in Duncan having built my home here in 2011.

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Jenni Capps

Describe yourself and your experience.
A longtime Duncan resident, I have worked for small, locally owned businesses and nonprofit organizations in the downtown core for the past nine years. As a young adult, I volunteered with Safe Youth Cowichan, an award-winning, youth-led community group focused on inclusive community safety solutions. This opportunity allowed me to work with local government and community partners, and taught me so much about empowering yourself and others to affect change. As a youth I served 3 terms as Jr Mayor on the City of Duncan’s Junior Council. My enthusiasm for local politics was deeply enriched by this experience. I’m also an active volunteer for many causes and events, including the Cowichan River Clean-Up and the Islands Folk Festival. I am friendly, dependable, and open-minded, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve my community.
Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?
Engaging in socially engaged community projects throughout my teen years and early adulthood shaped the way I view local government. I see a seat on council as an incredible opportunity to contribute to positive progress in my community. I believe it’s time for more government representation from young people, especially young women. As someone who was raised in Duncan and is now raising my own family here, I am very invested in the future of the city, and look forward to contributing my skills to collaborative, forward-thinking decision making.
What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?
Community safety, affordable housing, co-operation at the council table and with other municipalities and levels of government.
Do you live in Duncan?
Yes
Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
Facebook.com/jennicappsforduncan
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Stacy Middlemiss

Describe yourself and your experience. 

I was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley and the closeness of this community and its rich culture are a couple of the many reasons I chose to stay here and raise my family. I am a registered psychiatric nurse, stigma educator, community action team coordinator, advocate, Caring with Cookies creator/organizer, mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Having a level of respect for all those I encounter is one of the reasons that I decided to become a nurse, especially in the field of psychiatry.  People normally think of respect as something that needs to be earned; however, there is something to be said about having the ability to respect people for who they are, where they’ve come from and the hurdles they have had to overcome.  Respect is about being considerate and gracious even in the darkest of times.  I am compassionate which really boils down to having the ability to care and support people at times when they need it.  I live my life through this lens, perpetually asking myself what I can say or do to support those around me and I do it because I have realized that even the smallest amount of support can make a world of difference.  Not only have I spent years serving my community in numerous ways, I have provided opportunities for others to do the same.

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

Above all else, I believe in Duncan and see what it is capable of.  I see my community struggling in many ways and know that I have the values and work ethic to help bring change.  I am known for my work with the homeless, but what people may not realize is how interconnected all aspects of our community are and how creating change in one area can affect many others.  I believe that I have the values required to really understand the people in my community and what where they are coming from, I am younger voice, and I am a woman.

What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?

Everyone that I have asked this question to, says crime, homelessness, and substance use fairly quickly, and I believe those are all the result of some of the other important issues in Duncan.  The Cowichan Valley has twice the provincial average of violence against women, we have had over twice as many children in care than the provincial rate, the most prevalent illnesses here are depression, anxiety and mood disorders, many people cannot afford adequate housing, and we have many people who do not have enough to eat daily. When you take the time to consider what this equates to, it becomes evident why we are seeing the changes in our community.

Do you live in Duncan?

I do not live in the City of Duncan but decided to run for council there because I see it as the hub of local business, entertainment, and services that serve the entire region and without it, the Cowichan Valley would be lost.  I may not live or pay taxes in the City of Duncan, but I am the kind of person that take great pride in saying that I’m from Duncan when people ask where I live.

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?

My website is stacymiddlemiss.ca and my Facebook page is Stacy Middlemiss for Duncan Council.  I can also be reached at stacymiddlemiss@gmail.com if people have questions or concerns that they would like to discuss.

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George Nielsen

I am a professional accountant and a realtor with RE/MAX. I have lived in the Cowichan Valley since 1990. I am the current President of the Duncan Kinsmen. In the past, I was the treasurer for the Chamber of Commerce. I have worked in managerial positions with a number of large organizations over the years including Country Grocer, Thrifty Foods, and Island Savings Credit Union.
Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?
I felt that there was a need for someone on council with a background in finance who could understand the issues Duncan is and will be facing regarding funding of infrastructure projects.
What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?
Homelessness/housing affordability; the problems surrounding escalating drug use in our community; and the pressure there will be on property taxes as a result of needed infrastructure repairs and updating.
Do you live in Duncan?
I live in North Cowichan but I work a lot in Duncan. I find this an interesting question as it assumes that I am the only one in my family making the decision on where to live. At the time of our last house purchase, my wife and my mother were also involved in the decision. A home satisfying the specific wants and needs we had for a residence simply was not on the market when we bought our home. The home dictated the decision, not whether it was situated within an invisible boundary line.
Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
My website is www.VoteNielsen.com.
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Roger Bruce – Incumbent

Describe yourself and your experience.

 

Born and raised  by Duncan Elementary School.    Currently the only sitting councillor paying taxes in Duncan.     Youngest of the Bruce’s Grocery Family (Preston Bruce – father).    27 years as a local  financial advisor.      Developed and implemented the “Stu Pitts” campaign which raised 4 million dollars in one year for the Sportsplex without raising taxes.

 

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

Too many spending decisions being made by elected officials that don’t actually pay any taxes in Duncan.

 

What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?

Policing,   homelessness,  needles, drugs, parking, traffic, water, sewer.

 

Do you live in Duncan?

As the only elected councillor that pays property taxes  in Duncan I’m extremely aware of the impact of spending local tax payers money.  Most community issues do not just involve Duncan and as a MNC resident and also a tax payer in Duncan I’m always trying to find the right balance between who should pay what portion  –  As the  only elected official that pays taxes in both regions  I will always be fighting for what is fair.

 

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?

Roger Bruce   —   on facebook.

Get to know Roger Bruce.   – short video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVs82qK6gZA

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Tom Duncan – Incumbent

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Mark Anderson

Describe yourself and your experience.

I retired a few years ago as a bus driver with BC Transit in Victoria. After my retirement from BC Transit I became a licensed driving Instructor (licensed to teach Class, 1,2,3,4,5, & 7) and I worked for Young Drivers of Canada in Nanaimo and Duncan until last Friday, when I resigned to concentrate on my own newly formed driving school, West Coast Driver Training & Education, based in Duncan.

During my working career I was active in unions, serving as a steward, Financial Secretary/Treasurer and Local Vice President. While working at BC Transit I was active in the union and took a special interest in worker safety and violence in the workplace issues.

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?


Earlier this year I became active in campaign against the proposed Amalgamation of Duncan and the Municipality of North Cowichan. During the campaign I became aware that most members of Duncan Council were not actually residents or taxpayers in the City of Duncan.

I believe Duncan residents and taxpayers should be represented on Duncan Council by other Duncan residents and taxpayers, or at the very least by people with physical business locations in Duncan.

What do you think are the most important issues in Duncan?


 – Taxation – I am against the proposed new CVRD taxes in Bylaws 4201 and 4202 which are going to Referendum on 20 October. I also want to ensure City of Duncan taxes remain at a reasonable level and that Duncan maintains its good financial position.

– Maintaining the historic character of Downtown Duncan and ensuring downtown Duncan is an attractive draw for tourism and for local business.

We also need to work on ensuring that downtown Duncan remains safe, attractive for business, tourists and shoppers. We will also need to do some work on fixing some sidewalks and ramps in downtown Duncan which are causing difficulty for people with disabilities and for seniors with mobility problems.

– Housing – there are many seniors and working people who cannot find housing in Duncan and we need to work on seeing whether Duncan’s existing bylaws can be tuned to allow infill and unconventional structure (like micro homes, for example) while at the same time maintaining Duncan’s low rise, low density character.

Duncan’s demographics are somewhat unusual in that it has a larger than average proportion of seniors living on their own. We need to ensure that these people can remain in their homes as long as possible and, if they need elder care, that such care is available locally.

We also have people who are homeless and we will need to work on that in collaboration with the CVRD, North Cowichan and the senior levels of government. Duncan does not have the capacity to deal with this effectively on its own. With winter approaching, a “warming station” will be required but that is something we will have to work on in collaboration with the CVRD and North Cowichan.

– We need a Controlled Substances Property Bylaw to deal with properties like 454 Garden Street which have been turned into uninhabitable hazardous waste sites through drug use and drug related activity.

– Discarded Needles – we will need to work with VIHA to create a better system than the current one for getting used, discarded needles off local streets and public spaces.

Do you live in Duncan?


Yes. I moved to Duncan from Victoria in 2007. I live in the Cairnsmore area and also have a rental property in the MacAdam Park area.

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more
information about you and what is it?


Website is www-DuncanTaxpayers.ca ; Facebook page is Mark Anderson – Running For Duncan Council (https://www.facebook.com/MarkAndersonDuncanCouncil/)

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Garry F. Bruce

I’m Garry Bruce and I’m living in the city of Duncan and have all of my life. I am 72 years of age and have owned a house in this city since I was 23 years old. The point is: I am a tax payer. It is time to elect some tax payers to city council.

In the past, council has been made up of people who do not live or pay taxes to the city. I am not impressed by a person with NO SKIN IN THE GAME making financial decisions for me and my family.

I come from a small business background, namely Bruce’s Grocery. I owned and operated it for over 35 years and my Dad before me. If elected, I bring managerial experience to the city council chambers. I am very good at getting along with people of all political stripes which is so essential in these nonpartisan politics. Yes – I have my views. I am also a good listener but I am no push-over.

I would like to work for “You” the Tax Payer to bring you better returns for your tax dollar. The good state of our city is essential to growth and prosperity. “Little Ole Duncan” is the jewel of the Cowichan Valley and I would be honoured to help polish that jewel. I am a Duncan fan.

 

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The following candidates have not responded to our request for information:

Gordon F. Heppell
Lura A. McCallum
Carol Newington
Glen E. Santics


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