NANCY EGELY BIO (as submitted by Candidate)
I was born in Calgary, Alberta . As a child my family and I enjoyed many vacations in B.C. (the Shuswap area in particular). Forty years ago I moved to BC; it was a dream come true. To this day I still feel as though I am only beginning to appreciate all the beauty this province has to offer, when driving and from the air, during all four seasons.
I learned to fly a plane in Kamloops, became a commercial pilot and flight instructor here as well. I saw more of the beauty of this province from the air, at more times of the year, doing incredibly challenging things such as flying advertising banners and teaching students how to enjoy flying, helping them in the air and in their ground school studies.
Following this, I joined the BC Coroners Service where, after 13 years, I was appointed as a Coroner and provided that service in the Monte Creek, Pritchard, Chase, Sorrento corridor and the Adams Lake, Scotch Creek, through to and including St. Ives and Albas Falls. I contributed to changes in highway monitoring and introduction of new no-post barriers. During this time my husband and I also ran a cattle ranch on close to 6,000 acres.
Eventually the government made a decision to amalgamate services elsewhere, my office was closed and I was moved to another office where in Small Business and Revenue I learned the ins and outs of stumpage fees and grazing lease payments. After a few years, the government once again decided to amalgamate services elsewhere and I transferred to Court Services to learn yet another career.
I became a Court Clerk and had the privilege of sitting in courts with Provincial Judges and Supreme Court Justices. I also ran the day to day functions of the Kamloops registry’s Small Claims Court. In 2014 I retired from government service to look after my husband, whose cancer had returned. My husband (Terry) eventually succumbed to his long battle with cancer in August, 2014 . I was approached by a few close friends and neighbours and encouraged to run for a seat on the Village of Chase council. I later won that seat and embraced my council duties over the next 4 years. After two and a half years I moved from Chase to Sorrento, to be closer to the lake my husband and I cared so much about and boated on regularly. I continue to serve the community of Chase, and will do so faithfully, to the end of my term.
I have almost fulfilled my term with the Village of Chase and am now seeking my next opportunity, as Director for Area C, CSRD.
The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce is committed to ensuring that voters in CSRD Area C have as much information as possible about each of our candidates. The Chamber is a non-partisan organization, meaning that we do not endorse one candidate over another during election time and in fact, we will strive to ensure that all candidates have a fair and equal process to garner votes during the election period.
Beginning on October 10th for the ten days leading up to voting day on Saturday October 20th, we will pose a Question of the Day and post the candidates' responses to those questions. These questions and responses are found by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.
For now, let's find out a bit more about the two people running for CSRD Electoral
Area C Director, Incumbent Paul Demenok and Candidate Nancy Egely.
PAUL DEMENOK BIO (as submitted by Candidate)
I have been the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area C Director over the past two terms dating back to 2012, and have worked very hard to improve the quality of life for residents of the South Shuswap. In 2012, l was the President of the Shuswap Lake Estates Community Association when friends and colleagues urged me to enter into local government.
Prior to this I had a interesting career as Managing Director and then President of Science & Medicine Canada, a medical education company, Managing Director of ADS, an advertising agency, Account Supervisor at Medicus Intercon, an advertising agency, and Sales Manager and Group Product Manager at a division of Johnson & Johnson. I have conducted contract and collaborative work for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, The College of Family Physicians of Canada, The Canadian Medical Association, and most of the medical associations and societies in Canada.
In these roles I established a reputation as an energetic innovator, as an expert in communications, adult learning and behavior change, and as a leader with high standards who delivers on objectives. Over the years, I continually upgraded my skills and knowledge by taking courses on communications, marketing, adult learning, medical education, finance and financial statements, media training, meetings facilitation, technical writing, and local government.
I have been involved with various Boards of Directors since the age of 28. I have served as a strong voice on behalf of the South Shuswap for the past six years. I am currently the Chair of the Shuswap Watershed Council and the CSRD Electoral Area Directors Committee, and I sit on the Shuswap Community Futures Board. I also actively participate on the Area C Parks Commission, the sub-regional Fire Suppression Committee, Shuswap Tourism, Shuswap Economic Development, Shuswap Emergency Program Committee, Shuswap Airport Committee, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, Milfoil Committee and the North Okanagan/Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital Board.
In my spare time, I volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society, and enjoy family, friends, travel, reading, outdoor activities, golf, curling, music and theatre. Together with my wife Sue, we enjoy our view of Blind Bay every day.
QUESTION OF THE DAY - October 11, 2018:
Q1. Would you welcome or oppose a speculation tax in Area C?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok Received: I am strongly opposed to the imposition of a speculation tax because it’s little more than a tax grab. It’s a tax on assets and will do nothing to curb speculation. While the details are still to be confirmed, the proposed tax will result in owners of vacation properties being taxed 0.5% to 2% of their total assessed property value, every year! It unfairly taxes people from Alberta and elsewhere and will result in thousands of vacation properties goingon the market in BC, thus depressing real estate prices. This will have a devastating effect on seasonal residency in BC. Given that most of us who moved here from outside BC vacationed here first, the long term consequences could be a significant negative impact on emigration to BC from the rest of Canada. Is that what we really want?
In Area C, we have about 1500 seasonal properties who are already paying their fair share of taxes. How is it fair to impose a second tax on these fellow Canadians?
It’s a poorly conceived tax because vacation properties, especially multi-million dollar properties are not suitable for low income or rental housing, which is the need that the province is actually trying to address. I fully agree with addressing the need for low income and rental housing, but this isn’t the way to do it!
QUESTION OF THE DAY - October 12, 2018
Q2. Do you feel a recreational complex is needed in our area?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: Yes I do. We have a population of 8000 people in Area C who are not locally serviced with a recreation centre. Many are forced to take that hazardous drive to Salmon Arm, especially dangerous in the winter, to participate in recreational activities. Others end up limiting their participation in recreational options because of a lack of local indoor facilities and choices. Yet, Area C has a tax base that is larger than many municipalities in BC with recreation centres, so we do have the capacity to cover this expense if we choose to do so. Area C is larger in population and tax base than 100 of 169 municipalities in BC. In addition, there are many opportunities to obtain senior government grants to help fund new recreation facilities, so we do not necessarily need to bear the full cost burden through local taxes.
Last winter we had many seniors basically stranded in their homes as there was nowhere close they could go to enjoy a simple and safe walk. We all know about the many benefits of regular exercise. A recreation centre would add immeasurably to the quality of life for all residents of Area C.
We are looking to attract young families to this region. A key consideration for young families when they choose to pick a location to reside in, is the recreational opportunities available there. A rec centre would definitely attract young families here. Our current lack of indoor recreation is also key reason why young families leave Area C.
I am very supportive of conducting a community consultation including a needs assessment to determine the opinions and needs of this community on this question.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 13, 2018
Q3. Do you agree there is a shortage of affordable housing to buy or rent, in our community, and how would you remedy that?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: This is a challenging problem. The Labour Market Plan clearly identified that affordable housing for seasonal workers is a critical factor negatively affecting our local economy.
A number of factors must be addressed before the local housing problem can be solved. First, we need to be able to accommodate higher density housing in Area C, and to do that, we need sewers. Which is one reason why sewers is my top priority.
The rental housing market is unattractive for many developersbecause returns are lower and costs are higher than other forms of development. The province has embarked upon a number ofprograms to address this, and one method being used is higher than usual densities, again pointing to our need for sewers.
I have initiated discussion with the CSRD Electoral Area Directors around the need to conduct a regional housing needs assessment. This need is amplified as the province is linking housing program funding to the completion of regional district needs assessments. In the next term I plan to strongly advocate for a needs assessment being conducted soon, so that the CSRD has the opportunity to take advantage of available provincial funding programs.
The Shuswap Economic Development Plan outlines the need for a Regional Growth Strategy, and this is the document that is used to strategize housing development at a regional level. I will support moving forward with a Regional Growth Strategy in this area.
Finally, we need to encourage the development of new non-profit housing societies and cooperatives in this area. I will initiate this in the new term as well. There are many new and innovative ideas being circulated amongst non-profit groups, and Area C needs to be a part of that conversation.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 14, 2018
Q4. What do you feel are the strengths in our current Official Community Plan?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: The current Official Community Plan for Area C took some 8 years to develop and finalize. After a rocky start, there was a very extensive consultation process followed, so the OCP captured many different and divergent opinions about the South Shuswap. I think a very good job was done with the Sustainable Planning Principles. The definition of a sustainable community is one that is continually adjusting to meet the social and economic needs of its residents within the context of the finite carrying capacity of the natural environment, and climate change, to accommodate these needs.
The sustainable planning principles addressed such issues as the Shuswap Lake and White Lake watersheds, the encouragement of gradual, sustainable and moderate development, the support for a range of housing choices with more density being located away from the Lakes, the support for agricultural, tourism and forestry industries, the establishment of a business park, safe roads and public transit, opportunities for safe walking and cycling, relocation of the TransCanada Highway around Sorrento, improved safety at the Balmoral intersection, public access to the shorelines, parks and facilities for families and children, development of low-impact outdoor activities, a region-wide approach to correct inferior water and sewage treatment systems, a concentration of community facilities in the Sorrento and Balmoral areas including retail, cultural, health and emergency services, and active community involvement in planning decisions related to land use, housing, servicing, parks and transportation.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 15, 2018
Q5. What are the weaknesses of the current OCP?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: I think the current system of development permitting as outlined in the current OCP can be improved. Right now, the DPs we have in place may have the unfortunate consequence of sometimes discouraging needed development investments in our area. I believe that we can implement a system of permitting that protects our environment, our quality of life and our community with less cost, time and bureaucracy. I think we need to find ways to specifically encourage desired economic development in Area C; this would include retail, recreational and health care facilities to serve our population of 8000 people.
The OCP also states that the 100 year view is that our community will be much the same as it is now. I think that significantly understates the potential for economic development in our area.
The current OCP only refers to parks and trails as our recreational options. I believe that our community needs and deserves an indoor recreational facility, and we should look at the feasibility and costs of this so that the community can make an informed decision as to whether to proceed.
The current OCP does not identify an industrial area for Area C although industry and economic development are supported.
The current OCP does not specifically address the Balmoral corner as a village centre, due to the requirements of the Province at the time it was approved. If the corner is excluded from the ALR, it should be added to the OCP.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 16, 2018
Q6. If a liquid waste management (sewer) plan were to be approved and initiated, where do you see the first 'laying of pipe' (in other words, what areas do you see as priorities for replacing septic with sewer)? What strategies could you offer to ensure that taxpayers could affordably make the switch from septic to sewer?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: In my opinion, the priority areas for sewers would be the areas in Blind Bay and Sorrento along the lakeshore; so this would initially include properties along Eagle Bay Road, Blind Bay Road, Henstridge Road and connections, Dieppe Road and connections, and so on. This prioritization would be largely affected by the engineering specs which would determine the size and location of the service areas. We would very likely build out a sewage collection system in phases over a number of years, and this would definitely be influenced by the availability of grants from the provincial and federal governments.
The concept of assisting taxpayers with the affordability of connecting to the sewage collection system has yet to be examined and discussed, and again, the allocation of senior government funding would have a big influence on this question. Right now, infrastructure grant funding for projects like liquid waste treatment systems are up to 73 cents of every dollar cost, so it is a good time to apply for this funding support.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 17, 2018
Q7. Many residents have suggested that our area needs a place to recreate by the water. Do you see a need for a waterfront park or boardwalk in Area C and if so, where might that be?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: The recently approved Area C Parks Plan outlines several new projects that address this question. One initiative is to develop a boardwalk, community pier and search and rescue dock from Pebble Beach to Centennial Drive in Blind Bay. This project would require considerable collaboration and approvals from various ministries of the provincial government, and possibly the federal government as well.
Another project outlined in the Parks Plan is for a waterfront community park in the Sorrento area. Discussions have commenced on both of these projects. In addition to these major projects, the Parks Plan also outlines a series of improvements to existing parks, including our waterfront parks and boat launches.
I’m very excited about the new Parks Plan and would encourage you to access it online at the CSRD website. It outlines the plans for a number of significant improvements to our parks system for the next decade. These improvements are designed to meet the needs of our residents, including children, youth and seniors, and will enhance our quality of life.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 18, 2018
Q8. If changes were to occur to our current governance model and Area C (or portions thereof) and a new governance structure was adopted, what model would be your preference? Incorporation of Area C or a part thereof or splitting into smaller electoral areas and remaining within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: From the completed governance study, we know that the areas that are less densely populated, places like White Lake, Carlin, Sunnybrae, Tappen, Skimikin, Notch Hill and Eagle Bay are quite content with the status quo and really aren’t that interested in incorporation. On the other hand, the more densely populated areas of Sorrento and Blind Bay clearly indicated that they were interested in looking at the various governance options available to them.
I think it’s too early at this time, to choose any one model over another. The next stage in the process is the restructuring study, as unanimously recommended by the governance study committee. That study should provide us with the information we will need to make an informed decision. Because of the critical importance of this decision, I think it’s imperative that we all are educated on the facts, and fully appreciate all of the pros and cons of each governance model.
QUESTION OF THE DAY October 19, 2018
Q9. What would you consider your top three accomplishments while serving your community in that past term?
RESPONSE received from Incumbent Paul Demenok: I think my three top accomplishments over the past term are the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC), our low taxes, and the completion of the Area C Governance Study.
Those of you who have resided here for the past 10 years will recall the considerable controversy that surrounding the SLIPP program. I was the last Chair of the SLIPP program, and was supportive of it being dissolved. After that occurred, we conducted a feasibility study to evaluate various models of governance for a watershed organization; we conducted an extensive community consultation program; we developed a new mandate which focused much more closely on the issue of water quality; we recruited new partners; and we conducted a voter assent process. This took years of work and much effort from many people. I am honoured and privileged to have been the Chair of the Shuswap Watershed Council since its inception. Through the reincarnation of this watershed group, I believe I played a key leadership role by helping us to stay the course and focus on the one thing that we all support, which is good water quality. We all want our watershed to remain pristine. The lake is a big part of the reason why we’re all here in the first place. We recently completed an interim review of SWC and it passed with flying colours. We are looking forward to the results of the University of British Columbia study on sources of phosphorous in the Shuswap and Salmon rivers, and to taking actions, as guided by the science to mitigate the risks of nutrient pollution in our watershed.
The taxes for Area C have been kept very low over the past six years since I first took office, and the increases each year have been minimal. In one year, we actually had a decrease. I think it’s important to key a close eye on expenses and to ensure that we are fiscally responsible with the public purse. I am very proud to say that I have helped out in the process, and have worked closely with CSRD staff to minimize tax increases.
The Area C Governance Study is another important accomplishment. This topic has been under discussion in the South Shuswap for many years, but no action had been taken by my predecessors, despite considerable community support for the study. With able assistance from the CSRD staff, we met with Minister Fassbender and were able to obtain provincial approval and funding for our governance study. Through the implementation of this study, I think the community has learned a lot about our system of local government and how our services are delivered and costed. I think this process alone helped many to better understand and appreciate the inner workings of the CSRD. The findings of the study helped to better define Area C and its residents. It sets the stage for a restructuring study which will help us all to make an informed decision about the model of governance we would like to see here for the foreseeable future.