Running for: Councillor, Islands Trust Trustee
Occupation: Retired economic geographer
How long have you lived on Bowen?: 15 years
Who inspires you? (Alive, dead, fictional, local, national, international – anyone): The unsung people who survive and thrive against the odds of their life circumstances.
Please list any current and past committees you've been a part of and how long you served on each (in list form).: Currently a board member of: Bowen Island Arts Council, Bowen Island Conservancy. Former member of: Update Committee for Official Community Plan, Advisory Planning Commission, Board of Variance
What are your priorities if elected (beyond housing or transportation.): Progress on extending and linking trails on the island. Building the multi-use community hall. Developing the arts, green construction and creative industries on Bowen.
Housing is emerging as one of the top issues of this election - what would you specifically do to address the lack of affordable and/or rental housing?: Promote projects to increase density and rental accommodation in and near Snug Cove. Use B.C.’s recently-enacted legislation that allows municipalities to zone for rental-only use to ensure an increase and ongoing supply of rental accommodation. Flexible approach allowing for limited development of multiple units on appropriate sites.
How would you address the animal control issues of deer and skunks on-island?: I am not in favour of culling deer and I see no practical way of getting rid of skunks.
What ideas do you have for managing Bowen's tourism tensions?: Small-scale tourism provides economic benefits and jobs. It has a role in sustaining the arts community and other businesses. A passenger-only ferry service would reduce the overloads from too many walk-ons. We have to address issues of noise and parking where these become a local nuisance.
Air BnB - yes or no? Why?: Most houses are not suitable for short-term rentals. Airbnb has contributed to a lack of rental accommodation, but it is also part of how some home-buyers are affording mortgages. A blanket ban is not the answer but we need better monitoring of where these are and the effects on neighbourhoods.
In a campaign (so far) characterized by candidates agreeing with one another-what do you feel is at stake in this election?: The island's character. We make piece-meal decisions. The Official Community Plan sets a population limit of 7000. How will this look and are we planning for it?
Why are you running for Islands Trust trustee?: I believe in the advantages of being part of a federation that provides us with a stronger voice when we need the province to stop the environmental threats to Bowen Island and Howe Sound, such as logging on the islands, derelict vessels, Woodfibre LNG and the Burnco gravel mine.
Facebook page: Peter Williamson for Council and Islands Trust