The municipal election isn’t until November, but a pair of Alberni Valley citizens are already campaigning for spots on Port Alberni city council.
Denis Sauve and Seva Dhaliwal have organized their campaigns, established social media sites and continue to attend council meetings to keep apprised of local issues.
Sauve retired from the Port Alberni RCMP on Jan. 18, after nearly three decades of serving various com-munities. He declined his final move with the RCMP, deciding he wants to stay in Port Alberni.
Now he wants to serve his community with a seat on city council.
“This has been in the works since I arrived in Port Alberni 10 years ago,” Sauve said. “It’s always been a wish. I’ve worked general duty policing, VIP, UN duties; I’ve done everything I wished to do by serving my community or serving my country.”
Sauve will focus on financial issues and seniors’ care among other issues for his platform.
He has been vocal during the public periods of council meetings, especially when councillors voted in their own raises.
“I wasn’t for it,” he said. “Our taxes at that time were hovering at five per cent…it’s not that they’re not deserving; the fact is it wasn’t the right time. A lot of us are facing cutbacks.”
Sauve said council is in need of some innovation if the city is to progress. “We came back the last election that we wanted something new and we wanted to get rid of the old-school politics. Was it right? It doesn’t really matter. We do need experience on council; but we need fresh ideas.”
This is Dhaliwal’s second time running for city council; she also ran in 2011 but failed to gain a seat.
Jobs and agriculture are two important things that Dhaliwal is campaigning for in 2014. On her Facebook site, she advocates attracting different post-secondary education opportunities for Port Alberni, such as a satellite campus for the B.C. Institute of Technology (BCIT) here in Port Alberni. She is in favour of the port authority’s proposed trans-shipment hub and LNG export facility, as she feels these projects would create jobs in the region.
The Alberni Valley is a fertile agricultural region, and ag-based endeavours should be supported, she said. Dhaliwal would like to see a cannery built here, and said the area would be ideal to grow mustard plants.
The municipal election is slated for Nov. 15.