Gimse to seek Pemberton council seat 

Blundell will not run again

Boundary expansion is sure to be front and centre in the Pemberton election with the announcement that Susie Gimse will be seeking a seat on council.

Gimse, who has served as president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this year and director of Electoral Area C on the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District for nine years, has been a vocal opponent of the current boundary expansion, which will go to a referendum on Nov. 15.

The reason, she said in an interview, is that the boundaries between the Village of Pemberton and Area C aren’t defined clearly enough.

“The proposed boundary adds more piecemeal to the already piecemeal boundary of the VOP,” Gimse said. “I think it’s time to sit down with all of the parties at the table, not just the VOP and the developers, but with the Mount Currie chief and council… and start resolving the boundary issue… because the current boundary is wrong.”

Gimse is one of six candidates for the four Pemberton council seats. Other candidates are Cam McIvor, Peter Pocklington, Alan Leblanc, Ted Craddock and Lisa Ames. Mayor Jordan Sturdy is being challenged by councillor David Mackenzie.

If elected, Gimse will continue as Area C director and thus take on the responsibilities of both jobs. Though she agrees she’ll have a busy time taking on both positions, she thinks it’s important to give Area C residents a voice on village council.

“The bottom line is, we have one community and we have two jurisdictions and I think there is value in working more closely together,” she said. “Whether you live in Area C or you live in the VOP, we’re one community, yet they’re constantly having to deal with two governance structures.”

Boundary expansion and governance won’t be the only issues facing Pemberton’s next council, according to Gimse. There’s also affordable housing.

“We need to look at what kinds of policies we can implement to ensure that we have accommodation and some affordable housing available for members of our community,” Gimse said.

Another issue for her is community vision — she feels that Pemberton and Area C need to bring their Official Community Plans closer together and thus develop a more coherent vision for both.

“We need to, as elected officials and leaders, follow the vision of the community,” Gimse said. “Do we want to maintain the rural character and agricultural nature and values of our community, or do we want to look different?

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