Boundary expansion is sure to be front and centre in the
Pemberton election with the announcement that Susie Gimse will be seeking a
seat on council.
Gimse, who has served as president of the Union of British
Columbia Municipalities this year and director of Electoral Area C on the
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District for nine years, has been a vocal opponent
of the current boundary expansion, which will go to a referendum on Nov. 15.
The reason, she said in an interview, is that the boundaries
between the Village of Pemberton and Area C aren’t defined clearly enough.
“The proposed boundary adds more piecemeal to the already
piecemeal boundary of the VOP,” Gimse said. “I think it’s time to sit down with
all of the parties at the table, not just the VOP and the developers, but with
the Mount Currie chief and council… and start resolving the boundary issue…
because the current boundary is wrong.”
Gimse is one of six candidates for the four Pemberton council
seats. Other candidates are Cam McIvor, Peter Pocklington, Alan Leblanc, Ted
Craddock and Lisa Ames. Mayor Jordan Sturdy is being challenged by councillor
If elected, Gimse will continue as Area C director and thus
take on the responsibilities of both jobs. Though she agrees she’ll have a busy
time taking on both positions, she thinks it’s important to give Area C
residents a voice on village council.
“The bottom line is, we have one community and we have two jurisdictions
and I think there is value in working more closely together,” she said.
“Whether you live in Area C or you live in the VOP, we’re one community, yet
they’re constantly having to deal with two governance structures.”
Boundary expansion and governance won’t be the only issues
facing Pemberton’s next council, according to Gimse. There’s also affordable
“We need to look at what kinds of policies we can implement to
ensure that we have accommodation and some affordable housing available for
members of our community,” Gimse said.
Another issue for her is community vision — she feels
that Pemberton and Area C need to bring their Official Community Plans closer
together and thus develop a more coherent vision for both.
“We need to, as elected officials and leaders, follow the
vision of the community,” Gimse said. “Do we want to maintain the rural
character and agricultural nature and values of our community, or do we want to