Monty Mearns, staff representative at United Steelworks, announced his city council bid at a press conference on Friday, Sept. 19.
The Port Alberni native said that as someone who has worked in the community his entire life and been “in touch with hundreds and hundreds of members of the community” through his union work, he believes that he is in a good position to lead the city forward into the future.
“The bulk of my employment has been in the field of industrial relation,” he said, citing his time both forest and steel workers industries.
Mearns touched on the “significant number of retirees in this community,” stating that he thinks that the city needs to make sure that Port Alberni remains a hospitable and affordable place for those seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes.
Among other issues that he hopes to raise if elected are the lack of well paying jobs that would attract younger generations into the community.
“I do think that there is a need for industrial activity in the community,” Mearns said, adding that he’s not sure that the tourism industry will bring in enough jobs.