My wife Jiskje and I have lived here in Port Alberni for more than 40 years. This is where our home, family and friends are and we wouldn’t live anywhere else. I starting working here at the APL (now APD) mill, then spent four years at Alpulp (now Catalyst) and from there worked the rest of my career at MacMillan and Bloedel’s Sproat Lake logging Division. After working in various departments, I trained as a fire warden and worked in that capacity for the next 25 years. As the industry changed I had additional responsibilities as environmental coordinator and in delivering training modules to our crews. I served as I. W. A. local union executive board member and recording secretary.
When Sproat Div. closed in 2005, I took my pension early and have been working since then as a security officer at West Coast General Hospital. I have since served six years on the Port Alberni Advisory Planning Commission.
I have always believed Port Alberni has a huge potential to do so much better economically. We have so much going for us here, yet we are struggling.
I think what is needed is a shared vision and a cohesive plan before we can move forward. I think the first step is for city council to get our financial house in order and then set priorities and take on projects one at a time as we can afford them.
We need more consultation with homeowners and the business community so we can agree on what those priorities are.