Hira Chopra has served five terms on Port Alberni City Council since he was first elected in 1996.
In that time he has served five years as chairman of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and three others as a director, representing the city on the ACRD board. He has served on the city’s financial, audit and personnel committees.
One of the things Chopra brings to the council table is the good relationships he has forged with different levels of government. He also gets along with his council, he said.
“I don’t hold a grudge because you have to work with the community. I’m brave enough to say what people are telling me. I’m not a yes man, but I’m a team player,” he said.
Chopra has a masters degree in history, and was a history teacher in Punjab, India before he moved to Canada in 1980. He has lived in Port Alberni for 31 years, and goes back to India every year to visit family.
He is a businessman, owning two different businesses in town, and also works full time at Alberni Pacific Division (APD) Sawmill. He is a member of the chamber of commerce, the IWA and Rotary club.
Because of his various business interests, “I can understand the position as employer and employee,” he said.
Chopra said council has created a business-friendly environment in Port Alberni. In his past position as director of the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T), he helped bring in $2.7 million in funding for both the city and regional district.
Whatever city council looks like after election day, Chopra said he will be able to work with it if re-elected.
“I know people want change, but you still need experience,” he said. “Change is there; there are three people not running. With my experience and leadership qualities and results overall, I help the community.”