Councillor, Islands Trust candidate profile: Sue Ellen Fast

Sue Ellen Fast           

Running for: Councillor, Islands Trust Trustee

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Age: 60

Occupation: Consultant

How long have you lived on Bowen?: 25 years

Who inspires you? (Alive, dead, fictional, local, national, international - anyone): Gerald Durrell, Rachel Carson, Tony Benn, Douglas Adams

Please list any current and past committees you've been a part of and how long you served on each: "Internet Connectivity (2016), Emergency Planning and Executive ( 2015-present, chair 2016-2017), Snug Cove Sewer (2015-present), Environment and Climate Action (2018-present), On-Island Composting (2016-2017), Climate Action Team (2015-2018), Transportation (2015-present), Communications Team (2016-present), Library Board (2016-present), Parks Trails and Greenways (Chair 2015-present), OCP Steering Committee (2009-2010), Greenways Advisory Committee (Chair (2008-2012), Sustainability Framework Working Group (one year), Bowen Island Parks and Recreation Commission (five or six years), Ocean Watch Task Force - Howe Sound (2017-present), Islands Trust Programs committee and Service Integration subcommittee (2015-present), BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council (2016-present)

What are your priorities if elected (beyond housing or transportation.): Protect wildlife, forests, wetlands and shorelines. Work for public access and in public interest. Oppose logging. Pursue rural grants. Act on climate. Manage growth sustainably.

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?: Get data. We need an updated housing needs assessment with hard numbers that will enable us to plan and also to compete for grants. I also think we need an independent report on the number of Airbnb and similar short-term rental spaces advertised online for Bowen.

How would you address the animal control issues of deer and skunks on-island?: Education. I'm convinced it's our best bet as a municipality. Culls don't work and it's provincial jurisdiction anyway. I have lots of experience, call me.    

What ideas do you have for managing Bowen's tourism tensions?: Plenty. Part of my work is providing advice in visitor experience planning. Look at the data to start with–why are Crippen Park visitor stats down while others think numbers are up? Are the tensions different from other summers? Can AirBnB and similar short term accommodations be a factor?

Air BnB - yes or no? Why?: Yes, if we regulate and enforce and probably limit them. To create a fair and level playing field and to protect our community and neighbourhoods. Short-term rentals can replace long term rentals and they affect speculation so house prices go up. I think we should be proactive.

In a campaign (so far) characterized by candidates agreeing with one another-what do you feel is at stake in this election?: I think the public interest is at stake. Private interests should not trump public ownership and right of access to our shorelines, for example.

Why are you running for Islands Trust trustee?: To be part of the federation of islands in the Salish Sea "entrusted" with the mission to protect nature, unique island communities, and beauty is wonderful. I have also relished the opportunity to gain support for rural grant funding and more. I want to make the most of our belonging.

Facebook page:  

Twitter handle: @sueellenonbowen


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