Another Port Alberni city councillor will be running for mayor in the October municipal election.
Councillor Denis Sauvé announced on Tuesday, Sept. 4 that he was declaring his intent to run for mayor.
Sauvé made Port Alberni his hometown more than 15 years ago as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His experience includes three deployments with the United Nations Peace Keeping Missions in Haiti and more than 27 years in the field of law enforcement for federal and provincial statutes in various locations across Canada.
His final 10 years as a police officer were dedicated to making Port Alberni a safer place before being elected to city council in 2014. In addition to his duties on council, Sauvé integrates himself in the community, volunteering to help individuals in need and local non-profit societies.
“I truly feel to understand any community you must have boots on the ground to be able to appreciate what is needed,” said Sauvé. “Being a voice for others has made me very aware of our economic state and social issues that have not been addressed. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work and I know what to do. I understand the financial constraints and how hard it is for people.”
For this reason, Sauvé said, he will not be seeking any financial campaign assistance.
Sauvé waited to announce his intentions to run for mayor because he said he respects the office and wanted to focus on his council duties and support the mayor in his role as long as possible. He also wanted to learn who the other mayoral candidates are to see if there was anyone he could support, “but only found more unfeasible visions repeated from previous elections with no specifics on how to make these ideas a reality.”
Sauvé has developed a detailed action plan, “using common sense to spend taxpayer’s money wisely with a focus on meeting the needs of the community.”
His plan includes obtainable goals with improvement outcomes that will have real-life impacts on seniors’ vital issues, inspiring youth, accountable spending, public safety and security, city visual appeal, affordable housing alternatives, practical guidelines for aging infrastructure, economic rehabilitation, improved government relations and a new proactive “First Nations Inclusion Strategy.”
Sauvé said he is determined to unite council as a team by getting back to the fundamental ways of running a government, setting appropriate policies that create tangible, measurable results that benefit the people of Port Alberni.
“I am the type of person who respects the mayor’s office, and I see things I don’t necessarily agree with,” Sauvé said. “I’ve experienced a lack of transparency and lack of desire to be part of a team, where I’m here to unite. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I value trust and I just want to make the office better for the people of this community and I know I can.”
Sauvé’s motivation is for a family-oriented, inviting community that promotes affordable cost of living and high quality of life to attract a variety of industries, entrepreneurs and growing employers to increase local amenities and jobs.
“We have to stop getting caught up in big city issues and instead realize Port Alberni is a small community with a heart,” he said. “It’s all about working together as a team and building a team environment. It’s about making policies that truly benefit residents. I’m not interested in leaving a legacy, but leaving a united community with town spirit again.”
Sauvé is the sixth person to announce he will be running for mayor in the election, which takes place October 20. The other candidates are John Douglas, incumbent Mike Ruttan, fellow city councillor Sharie Minions, Kevin Wright and Gary Robertson.