Q & A with Sue Ellen Fast, Islands Trust rep and Bowen Councillor

Looking toward the October 20 municipal election, the Undercurrent is asking politicians about their experiences running for municipal office. Our fourth Q&A is with councillor and Islands Trust representative Sue Ellen Fast

What do you wish you’d known before running for council?

I wish I had known about the excellent workshops available to elected folks who want to do the work well. There’s good support, for democracy and for those who step up to serve. 

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How has your perception of Bowen changed over the past four years?

My perception of Bowen has deepened, if that’s the right word, because now I have seen it from inside municipal hall as well as from outside as a community volunteer. Binocular vision? Depth of field? And with an Islands Trust Council perspective too, I feel even more fortunate to live in such a beautiful and protected part of the world.

What’s your greatest council (Islands Trust or Bowen) accomplishment?

I’m pleased that this council has updated our parks plan. And with our new collaborative projects policy, which has enabled community groups to get their projects underway, like the bike park. Many good things. In general this council has really listened to each other, and to staff, and to citizens who have participated, before making decisions. I think that might be our biggest accomplishment. It’s a group effort.

What’s rewarding about being a Bowen representative on Islands Trust? 

To be part of a federation of islands in the Salish Sea “entrusted” with the mission to protect this special part of the world? Wonderful. I see it as a sort of greenbelt between Metro Vancouver and southern Vancouver Island. It’s rewarding to serve on Trust council, helping to keep the islands beautiful.

What do you think Bowen will look like in 20 years?

Change is inevitable, especially now with climate change. I expect more solar panels and exciting technology. And I hope Bowen will look much the same, from the air at least. Lots of trees, nature and wildlife, including herons and whales; all sorts of people active in community life and on the trails and beaches. This vision is similar to the one in our official community plan, shared by many islanders. A small, friendly, caring community, sharing a unique island lifestyle and supported by well-protected natural ecosystems. That’s what I’m working toward. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring councillor or Islands Trust representative?

Go for it! From observing Bowen council over the years, and from meeting elected folks from around B.C.; all kinds of people run, all kinds of people win, and all kinds of people do a good job. Democracy is a beautiful thing that way. I encourage anyone who is wondering about it to get in touch: 604-833-2418 or sefast@bimbc.ca

Nomination packages are now available at Bowen Island Municipality and the nomination period is between September 4 and 14. 

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