are always at crossroads at election time. It’s no doubt cliché to say that
during a municipal election. There’s not, however, a better way to describe the
Village of Pemberton, which is poised to become bigger on November 15, the same
day that it will elect a new mayor and council.
with its municipal election, in which two people are seeking the mayor’s chair
and six others are seeking four council seats, the Village is hosting a
referendum on boundary expansion. If successful, it will add approximately 20
new areas to the Village boundaries and remove them from Electoral Area C of
the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).
referendum’s timing is impeccable, given rising concerns over governance issues
within Pemberton and the surrounding valley. It’s been one of the biggest
issues in this municipal campaign.
issue works something like this: if someone says they’re from Pemberton, it
doesn’t necessarily mean they live in the Village. They could just as easily
live in Area C, which includes areas such as Walkerville, Owl Ridge, and
Mosquito and Ivey Lakes, areas that lie north of Highway 99.
those aren’t the only parts of Area C that don’t belong to the Village. There’s
also properties along Airport Road to the south of the highway, as well as BC
Hydro Lands just adjacent to the Village.
whole area accounts for around 2,600 people, and none of them can vote in this
that’s not all. North of the village there’s also Mount Currie, a Lil’wat
community that accounts for at least 1,181 people, according to a 2006 census.
Mount Currie’s elected council oversees administrative matters.
you include the 2,192 people who live in the Village, that’s a population of
5,973 people. Nearly 6,000 people governed by three separate jurisdictions. And
only the Village residents can vote.
brand new council will be taking on this issue after November 15.
that’s not the only issue. Pembertonians are hungry for a new recreational
facility, whether a pool, a skate park or an ice rink, all of them ideas that
have been tossed around the Village, Area C and Mount Currie for years. The
desire is one thing – paying for it is another.
currently seeking council seats have served on a previous council, though at
least two have had experience with others. The mayor’s seat is being sought by
two people –incumbent Jordan Sturdy and challenger David MacKenzie, who has
just completed his first term on council.