Port Alberni resident Debbie Haggard wants to be part of a positive change in the community.
Haggard has announced that she will be running for city council in the Oct. 20 municipal election. Haggard, who worked with small businesses throughout the region prior to her retirement this year, believes she has the required background and experience necessary to make her an ideal candidate for city council. She is currently president of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, where she has helped to create new initiatives and write successful grant proposals. She and her husband also own a small business.
“As a small business owner, I understand the day to day struggles facing our business community,” she said.
“We are so fortunate to have a waterfront in our community. But we need to have a planned waterfront development process. I have a vision where industry, small business, retail, hospitality, tourism and residential are all part of our spectacular waterfront.”
Tourism, she said, is the fastest growing industry in the province and it creates small business opportunities, employment and amenities for local residents.
“Port Alberni needs to take advantage of those opportunities that are all around us,” she said.
Haggard also attended the town hall meeting organized by Gord Johns on affordable housing last week, and said the first priority of the new council should be to seek immediate solutions to address this issue. “I knew that the rental market was tight, but I had no idea that our community was in a crisis mode,” she said.
Haggard and her husband grew up in Port Alberni, raised their children and now have grandchildren growing up in the community.
“It is important to create a community where our children and grandchildren will be proud to call home,” Haggard said.