Jen Fisher-Bradley, 57, is a mother and a grandmother. Of Irish-Burmese heritage, she came to Canada from Britain at age 2.
A passionate Vancouver Islander for 40 years, Fisher-Bradley’s experiences range from canoeing Clayoquot Sound, being a single mother, an entrepreneur, and a human rights activist. She and her partner Stephen bought a house in Port Alberni in 2004.
“We are committed to helping our town make the most of its incredible location,” says Fisher-Bradley.
She founded the Women’s Food and Water Initiative, a locally-based non-profit dedicated to food and water security on Vancouver Island. In 2007 she asked city council to convene a climate change committee, then was part of the board that made seven recommendations.
“I have several years’ experience interacting with many of the city’s department heads, through inquiries and outreach for Women’s Food and Water Initiative,” she said.
“I have attended many First Nations events and Nuu-chah-nulth public meetings. I’ve chaired meetings, for non-profits and NGOs, according to Robert’s Rules, and using consensus.”
Fisher-Bradley stands for a sustainable Port Alberni. She campaigned to bring Safe Harbour – Respect for All diversity training to Port Alberni.
“Systemic discrimination is holding us back,” she said. “I will lobby the B.C. government for direct democracy and implement digitally-recorded council meetings, archived on Internet. I will record and post to my website, monthly expenses, and a log of who I meet with.”
Fisher-Bradley views the science of climate change in the context of a fragile global economy. The secret to winning the battle against climate change, she says, is transitioning from forestry to farming.
Several factors played into her decision to run for mayor in the 2011 civic election.
“In 2005 I offered an alternative to the incumbent, who’s in favour of offshore oil and gas, and dreamed of an aluminum smelter,” she said.
“In 2008 I was outraged at the handling of the public consultation on where to build the new high school and the rumour that we could not get the money to build it without selling the old high school site.”
A local poll showing 46 per cent of people saying yes, they are concerned about food security in a changing global climate was another factor in her decision to run.
“I would like to have the opportunity to address food security from the mayor’s chair at city council,” she said.