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Feature - Squamish politics head in New Directions with coalition

Lack of action by current council a driving force behind new political organization



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Ray Peters

Born in North Vancouver, Peters received a high school education before landing full-time employment with North Vancouver City Hall as a laborer and then a firefighter. He retired as a captain in 1996 after more than 30 years with the Corporation of the City of North Vancouver. His volunteer work has been extensive, including chairing the Mayor's Committee of Parks and Recreation.

Inaction on many fronts is behind Peters’ bid for a council seat.

"Some of my friends have said this is the most beautiful community they have ever seen," said the retired firefighter who has had a hand in building most of the trails around Squamish. "But I’m not proud of the downtown becoming a ghost town. If they had followed the Downtown 2000 plan we would have a proud community and everyone else would be happy too, but council has done nothing. The downtown is the heart of the community, but through council inaction that heart is dying. The downtown is too pretty to become all industrial. There can be commercial and light industrial development in spots, and there don’t have to be clashes. There are already good plans, they just have to be implemented."

He also said there has to be a proper infrastructure for outdoor recreation.

"Even though council says it is behind that idea, they’re just not putting up the money. The Trail Society doesn’t get one penny from council, and the whole recreation industry is getting minimal help.

"And it’s not just for tourists. Even for locals, the lack of facilities and signage is a disgrace."