Seva Dhaliwal is running for Port Alberni city council.
JOBS & THE LOCAL ECONOMY:
For the past three decades, Port Alberni has experienced a continual decline in the forest industry. The loss has been hard on this one-horse-forest-resource-based town. Many people lost their livelihoods.
Port Alberni has put a great effort into diversifying the local economy—however, the emergence of new alternative economic activities has not been strong enough. A report from Statistics Canada shows Port Alberni has the highest proportion of low income people in B.C.—one-fifth of the population is living in low-income status.
Employment opportunities are central to the stability of Port Alberni. When my husband lost his job in the forest industry, we had to come with an alternative. Now, after many years of hard work, we own and operate a successful blueberry business. I know what it takes to create jobs and stability – true grit and perseverance. If elected to city council, I will use my experience to help create jobs and shape a healthier economy.
An August online 93.3 The Peak news report, written by David Wiwchar, stated that local RCMP Inspector Brian Hunter said “many people with drug addictions and mental health issues have been coming to Port Alberni partly because of a wealth of services here, but are stealing to feed their addictions.”
The report also said that “police and courts try to get them into rehabilitation programs, but most often they’re released from jail only to go straight back to drugs and crime.”
Like Inspector Hunter said, we need to get people into rehabilitation programs. We need to address the root causes of crime.
If elected to city council, I will seek fellow council members’ support in creating a plan to build a rehabilitation center in Port Alberni. Government grants are available for such projects. Then we can lobby the provincial and federal governments to pay for it.
If elected to city council, I would focus on maintaining well-functioning core infrastructure and services. I know that many people can’t afford to pay more taxes. A taxpayer’s “ability to pay” counts and would weigh heavily in any decision to increase services.
Something you may not know about me is that I speak three languages. I was able to learn new languages by listening closely to what people say. If elected to council, I will listen intently to everything you have to say. My voice will be your voice.