Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Levee

On Thursday, January 1st from 1-2:30pm, the township of Esquimalt will be hosting its annual New Year's Levee in Council Chambers. Light refreshments will be served.

I hope to see many of you there!

Children's Art Show

Beans and Greens in Esquimalt is hosting a Children's Art Show in January. Each month, our local coffee shop has featured local artists on its walls. This month, those artists will all be children!

If your child would like his or her artwork included bring it down to the shop on Saturday, January 3rd.

After that, come back and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where Treetops Glisten and Children Listen...

Happy Holidays!

May you marvel at the joy and wonder of children. May you share the season with loved ones. May you be warm - inside and out.

All the best,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Esquimalt Roads

Today I went for Coffee at Beans and Greens. There was one topic of conversation - snow. Everyone I spoke to agreed on one thing - Esquimalt has done an incredible job of clearing the roads! Callers on CFAX were saying the same thing at noon.

Thanks so much to our Esquimalt crew for keeping us all safe! You make this a great place to live!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day

A couple of years ago I discovered something rather unpleasant. I woke up. I sensed the quiet fall of snow. I gazed out the window and I froze. As visions of snow tires and schedules danced in my head, I realized that I was an adult.

That morning, much like this morning, I awoke to worry...it was all I could see as I looked out the front window. Fortunately for me, my children care very little for the plans I have in my daytimer or the items on my to-do list. They are filled with an infectious joy.

There are some simple pleasures in life. Catching snowflakes and building snowmen. Discovering snow angels. Talking to neighbours while shoveling the walk. Following footprints just to see where they go. Warming hands with a mug of hot chocolate. Today was a day for all of those things...but if it weren't for Grace and Oliver I might not have noticed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hockeyville 2009

Thank you so much to everyone who entered Esquimalt in Kraft Hockeyville! We have over 100 stories posted! I LOVED reading them and I hope you will too! Check it out at: www.cbc.com/hockeyville We'll know by January 14th if we've made the first cut!

Gingerbread Smiles

The other day, my colleagues and I were struck by the wonderful smell of baked goods wafting up the stairs. Upon investigation, we discovered this incredible work of art sitting in the cafeteria.

I don't know who the artist is or how it got there...but I am absolutely delighted every time I look at this amazing gingerbread creation. I just had to have a photo to share with the kids!

We're Official!

Monday night the new Mayor and Council were sworn in. We're official!

Our Mayor's speech is online at www.esquimalt.ca The external appointments are also listed.

I am deeply honoured and truly looking forward to the future and the challenges ahead!

Many thanks as always to my friends, family and neighbours for the support and the love!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Inaugural Meeting of Council

The inaugural meeting of Council will be held on Monday, December 8th in Council Chambers. Please come to see our new Mayor and Council sworn in. Tea and Cookies will be served.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


"Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles." - Unknown

My kids are settled in their beds, so I must take a moment to rave about Esquimalt. We just got home from the Celebration of Lights, and as always, it was a night to remember.

For my kids, this night is nothing short of magical. They get to see friends from school, sing and dance on the stage, and march in the parade. They visited with Santa, received a wonderful goodie bag and munched on hot dogs and hot chocolate made for them by the Lions. The organizing committee, the Esquimalt Neighbourhood House, the merchants of the Plaza - they all did an incredible job.

What makes this evening so special is the amazing people who live here. I am so lucky to live in a community where we are surrounded by smiles from familiar faces! My kids saw their elementary school teachers, their preschool teachers and their coaches from various activities. It is a powerful thing when these trusted adults come to watch the kids perform in the choir or walk in the parade. It says, "you matter to me." As a Mom, I simply can't thank them enough for the positive influence they've had on my kids.

Thank you Esquimalt for getting me in the festive spirit!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Celebration of Lights

Tomorrow is our Celebration of Lights in Esquimalt! Tuesday, December 2nd from 6-7:30pm.

It starts with a parade that begins on Lyall Street at Canteen Road. It travels down to Admirals Road, then turns right on Esquimalt road and ends in the Esquimalt Plaza. After that, enjoy musical entertainment, refreshments and a visit with Santa behind the Archie Browning Sports Centre!

There is also a free public skate at ABSC from 6-7:20pm.

Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hockeyville 2009!

Esquimalt has been entered in the Kraft Hockeyville 2009 contest! If you've got a story about playing or watching Hockey in Esquimalt get online and enter it before Dec. 6th!

Rebecca Aldous from the Vic News just published this article with details:

Is Esquimalt Hockeyville?

Bob Sears and Warner Sanderson get settled in their regular seats to watch the Victoria Cougars play on Thursday night.

Neither is a stranger to hockey at the Archie Browning Sports Centre. For seven years Sanderson has cheered the Cougars and Sears has three years under his belt. Tonight, as the crowd starts to gather in the warmth of the Crow’s Nest, there’s a buzz of excitement – Hockeyville.

Esquimalt, home to the Victoria Jr. B Cougars and the Victoria Minor Hockey Association, is vying to claim the 2009 Hockeyville title. The cross-country competition, hosted by CBC Television, Kraft Canada, the National Hockey League and the NHL Player’s Association, challenges communities to prove they best embody the spirit of hockey and hometown pride.

Last year, Salmon River, N.S. seized the title and never has a Western community won the competition. But it’s time for change, said Cougars president Gary Boyer, adding hockey is the heartbeat of Esquimalt. With the rink located downtown, the arena and the sport itself draws residents to the stands, he noted.

“The spirit, the desire and the want (to be Hockeyville) is there,” Boyer said.

Back in the Crow’s Nest, Sanderson agrees. He managed the maintenance of Archie Browning for 12 years and has lived across from the facility for 37 years. He watched his two sons and daughter slap the puck and later his son-in-law, Bruce Cowick, played in the NHL.

Up for stakes is $100,000 to upgrade the Hockeyville winner’s hometown arena, an NHL pre-season game hosted in the community and a CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from the arena.

But before Esquimalt takes a step forward, the community needs the help of its residents. By Saturday, Dec. 6, Esquimalt has to prove the bid’s support by sending letters to CBC. Anyone wishing to back Esquimalt should visit www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeyville and submit a letter with a photograph about hockey, the arena, or community spirit surrounding the sport.

There is also a Facebook group – Esquimalt for Kraft Hockeyville 2009. For more information please contact Alison Gaul at 250-383-1703 or email aligaul@shaw.ca.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Signs of the Times

Andy, my amazing husband, has been driving around Esquimalt trying to pick up all my signs. We think he got most of them, but if we missed one please let us know!

A lot of my signs were already picked up before Andy could there. As I suspected, the greenest guy in Esquimalt has been picking them up, taking them apart and getting them ready for recycling or reuse. These photos are from his driveway.

Fortunately for me, he's too busy working on this project to read this blog. If he found out that I was calling him thoughtful, kind and environmentally friendly he'd probably tell me off during the public input session at my first Council meeting. I'm personally hoping to stay in his good books - at least until I get a few meetings under my belt...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We did it!

Thank you all so much! I am still a little in shock....but I was elected to Esquimalt Council last night!

I will post more with photos later....but I'm off to work today.

Before I go, I have to start "naming names". Boualay and Krisna the incredible couple who were with me right up until Friday afternoon getting message out. The unstoppable Lorie who volunteered to do anything and everything (as usual hey Lorie?), Heidi the scrutineer...and of course - the amazing husband. Thank you guys so much!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rusty Buttons and All...

As I handed out my last flyer today, this quote sprang to mind:

"Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This campaign is over now. There were blunders. There were absurdities. There was certainly nonsense. Most of all though; there was laughter, there was friendship, there was unwavering support.

I hold so many moments in my heart:

Standing on the steps of municipal Hall on April 23rd, 2007. Waiting to address Council. Taking turns watching the children as parents took their turns at the microphone inside.

Laughing over coffee in Beans and Greens as the suggestion of me running for Council was discussed.

Announcing my decision there a year later.

Hearing my announcement on the news. Reading it in the paper. Seeing my own writing in a magazine.

There are moments I know I will always remember. There are people I know I can never forget.

The man who gave me his old signs to recycle as my own.

The man who salvaged wood and hardware to put them together…and volunteered to take them apart.

The people who called to ask for a lawn sign.

The people who delivered flyers.

The people who knocked on doors with me.

The friend who knocked on doors with me on the wettest day of the year. Who stood beside me for so long that her “Vote Alison Gaul for Esquimalt Council” button rusted in the rain.

The people who opened their doors and invited me in.

The people who opened their doors and hugged me and said “I already voted for you at the advance polls.”

The long time Esquimalt residents who shared their stories and their wisdom with me. To have the generous gift of their time has helped me foster an understanding of where we’ve been and where we hope to go.

As we creep closer to midnight, and election day dawns, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am struggling for words to adequately express how I feel. I only know this: I love my husband more today then when we started on this campaign. I am more proud than ever of my incredible children. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing friends. No matter what the polls say tomorrow…I am glad that I did this.

Thank you all so much for sharing this adventure with me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

In a short time, I'll be walking to Memorial Park with my family for the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph. My husbands Father was a veteran of World War 2 and this day holds personal significance for those of us who loved him and miss him.

Yesterday, our elementary school had its Remembrance Day assembly. It is always a very emotional event as many of the children there have family away at sea. We are always joined by Veterans who form a Colour Guard with the children who are in Brownies, Scouts, Cadets etc. As always, it was beautiful. This year, the Grade 4/5 choir sung a song that was particularly touching. I don't think that these are the exact lyrics that the children sang yesterday...but much of it is the same. I hope you'll find it as meaningful as I did.


I believe in the sun,
even when it is not shining,
And I believe in love,
even when there's no one there.

And I believe in God,
even when He is silent,
I believe in every trial,
there is always a way.

But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair,
My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone's there.
A voice rises within me,
saying "Hold on, my child,
I'll give you strength,
I'll give you hope,
Just stay a little while."

May there someday be sunshine,
May there someday be happiness,
May there someday be love,
May there someday be peace.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quote of the Week

The All Candidates Meeting was held in the Esquimalt High School Theatre. Before the meeting, a friend and heritage advocate pointed out a quote in the display case. I found it meaningful and went back to the school yesterday to write it down so I could post it here.

"Traditions are voices from our ancestors telling us to respect old ways. they are important in making us feel good about ourselves. Innovation is the new way. It calls us to the future. It tells us to walk new paths, to explore new things, and to experience ways that are different. But we cannot do this with comfort if we do not know and respect the things that have come before us. It's the brave person who walks in new directions" - Maukskumben


More surveys of Esquimalt Candidates are now online. One that touches on many issues can be found at: http://members.shaw.ca/renaissanceservices/esq08/ This was a particularly interesting survey as it was very open ended. It simply asked candidates to comment on a list of subjects.

The other survey is on an issue close to my heart. The Archie Browning Sports Centre. It can be found at: www.friendsofabsc.com

Mystery Solved!

The man I was attempting to respond to via email has contacted me. Thank you!!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please Try Again!

Tonight I received an interesting email through my website. When I get emails this way, I can only respond to the email someone types in. I can't respond directly.

A man sent a very good question about roadwork and taxes. I responded but it has come back to me as an unknown address. I'm thinking that there has been a typo on the "contact me" form, and there is no phone number or other contact info.

If you are the person who emailed me tonight, PLEASE TRY AGAIN! I am committed to responding to everyone! I feel terrible that I haven't answered your question and I hope we can connect soon!

aligaul@shaw.ca or 383-1703

Thursday, November 6, 2008

All Candidates Meeting

Last night was Esquimalt's All Candidates Meeting. I've attended many...but never as a candidate! I have never seen such a large crowd at one of these - let's hope we get a record turnout at the polls too! It really was inspiring to see so many people come out to find out more. I saw a lot of young people and I also saw a lot of people taking notes. Several people brought their Vic News candidate profile (printed last Friday) and took notes right on that.

The Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce, The West Bay Residents Association and the Esquimalt Residents Association worked together to put on a very professional, well run evening. My thanks to everyone for making this happen!

It was a little nervewracking but it was also fun. I learned quite a bit about all the candidates and I got to meet more interesting residents.

Best of all, I've received 3 or 4 more email questionnaires from residents today. People are really taking the time to ask informed questions. Thank you everyone! Keep the emails and the phone calls coming - I love it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Andy Hogs the Media (without even trying)

Last Sunday, the Times Colonist published a couple of letters discussing the upcoming municipal elections. Included with the letters was this picture of a man in shorts heading off to vote in 2005 at Esquimalt Municipal Hall. I only know one man who wears shorts in November. That man is my husband.

Kooky twist of fate huh?

This year, the man in shorts is voting for me!

Early polls are this Wednesday, Nov 5th 8am-8pm and next Wednesday, Nov 12th 8am-8pm. Come on down to Esquimalt Municipal Hall and make your vote count!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Focus Magazine November 2008

In September, I was asked to submit my vision of a "dream city" in 150 words or less. I was excited....but terrified. I can't say ANYTHING in 150 words!

I started writing and at least 10 thousands words came out. With some cutting and snipping I arrived at something just under 150.

This month, Focus published it. Here is what I submitted:

My "Dream City"

People of all ages are active and engaged citizens. Committees and commissions never lack for volunteers. The work is valued, respected and meaningful. Public consultation is frequent. Voter turnout is over 70%.
Development reflects the diverse cultures and values of the community.

Small businesses are places of lively conversation. They prosper.

Sports facilities, schools and parks are focal points. They foster connections and life long friendships. They are never considered “surplus to need.”

Music and the arts are affordable and accessible for everyone.

Public Transit, walking and cycling are the most popular options for travel. Residential streets host more road hockey than traffic.

Local food is abundant. All children have the opportunity to tend the soil.

Local newsletters welcome newcomers. The stories of our history and the possibilities of our future are shared.

We have more than a sustainable city. We do more than just sustain. We thrive.


Last night, I also proudly accepted endorsements from both WonderWoman and Optimus Prime.

A big thank you to all the Esquimalt Firefighters and the Esquimalt Lions for putting on the bonfire. Its always the highlight of the year!

Victoria Labour Council Endorsement

I am honoured to announce that I have been endorsed by the Victoria Labour Council. I am the only candidate in Esquimalt endorsed by VLC. To earn this, I completed a lengthy written questionnaire and interview process. I have been a member of HSA since 1997 and before then, I was a member of HEU and CUPE. You can find out more information on their newly launched website: http://victorialabour.ca/

This endorsement does not imply any affiliation with a political party. I have never been a member of a political party...and as long as I am involved in municipal politics, I pledge never to belong to a party.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Just a reminder to everyone to stop by the Bonfire in Esquimalt. As usual, the Lions will be working all night to serve up some tasty treats for the kids! These folks make me proud to be from Esquimalt - volunteers build community! All the fun happens behind the Archie Browning Sports Centre! See you there!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Times Colonist Election Notes

More info on the municipal elections is available on the web. The Times Colonist website is running "Election Notes" You can find it here:


They've just posted an article on candidate websites. My website is even mentioned! Just a reminder that if you ever need someone to build a website for you Louise from Dreaming in Colour is absolutely amazing. I don't think you'll find someone nicer or more talented!

Monday, October 27, 2008

All Candidate Meeting

There will be one All candidate meeting in Esquimalt. Its next Wednesday from 7-9pm at Esquimalt High School.

Thanks to the Esquimalt Chamber of Commerce, the West Bay Residents Association and the Esquimalt Residents Association for hosting this event.

Hope to see everyone there!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Updated Links

I've added some new links. Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has posted a questionnaire that they sent to all municipal candidates. Plan Victoria has a spot for all municipal candidates to post their platforms and their bios. Citizen Canine also sent a questionnaire out to all the municipal candidates and will be publishing thier results shortly.

Victoria Vision is a great spot to gather info too.

In addition to those...I've had several from interested members of the community. Another one today! Don't hesitate to send me your questions...I love it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gratitude Tree

Each year around Thanksgiving, since my oldest was really little, we've drawn a bare branched tree on a big piece of paper. Then we write something we are grateful for and glue on it on a branch. The last couple of years, we've shared this tradition at the Beans and Greens storytime.

It is always a surprising, humorous and touching experience to hear what the children have to say. This year we had leaves that said, "superheroes" "hugs" "mum" "peace" "daddy being home" "clothes" and even "pink monkeys"

My own personal tree "runneth over" with leaves. The health and happiness of my children, the strength of my marriage, the love of my family and friends.... I am so grateful for you all.

There are also things to be grateful for that I never imagined this time last year: the kindness of strangers who volunteer to put my signs up on their lawn. The incredible opportunity to meet so many new people in my community - residents and other candidates for Council. The incredible team of volunteers that are keeping me on track...

Although it has been stressful at times...I know that this experience of running for Council has already enriched my life. Thank you Esquimalt - I am so grateful!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Q and A

I am suddenly inundated with email questionnaires...and I LOVE it! Several groups are sending out surveys of the local candidates and posting them online. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Citizen Canine and Plan Victoria to name a few. I've also received some email from individuals and I LOVE answering their questions and getting to know them a little bit better.

If you have questions send them my way! LOVE it!

I'll post links to all the published results soon.


We have a waitlist for signs! Can you believe it?

Keep the requests coming though and we'll get them to you as soon as we can! We were holding some back for the post Hallowe'en time period....but let's get as many on lawns as possible!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sign Sign Everywhere a Sign....

My wonderful husband has been driving all over Esquimalt this week putting up my election signs! I think that they look great! Boualay has created another gorgeous design. I am so lucky to have such talented people on Team Ali.

One of the things that I love best about my signs is that they are recycled. I hate to see all the coroplast from political signs head to the landfill after each election. I'm also operating from a tight budget. Recycling makes good environmental and good fiscal sense. Unfortunately, it can be a real challenge. I had to call a lot of places before I found one that would screen print on the back of old signs. Cheers to CREST for agreeing to do it and doing a really nice job.

In addition to that, each sign is a little unique. The lovely design stays the same but the wooden stakes are all bits of wood previously used on other projects. I am very fortunate that a really kind neighbour volunteered to put the signs together with wood he salvaged.

If you'd like one of these for your home please let me know! I'll send Andy over!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Every Vote Counts

68 votes.

That's what Dr. Keith Martin won by on Tuesday.

Just 68 votes.

I know at least 68 people who didn't make it to the polls. I have met at least 68 people who don't vote because they say it doesn't matter.

EVERY vote matters.

In the last Esquimalt municipal election, the person who came in 7th, and therefore didn't get a seat on Council, lost by approximately 25 votes.

This November 15th, please make sure you get out to the polls. Every vote counts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Son's Thoughts on the Federal Election

Earlier this evening, I was a little surprised that my 5 year old son responded with so much enthusiasm when I called out, "Time to Vote!"

He put on his boots and he raced to the front door.

My heart swelled with pride that he was taking such a keen interest in the democratic process.

Moments later, we arrived at the polling station. "Where's the ocean?" he said. "Where's the ocean? I wanna boat!"

Hurray for all the people who didn't boat tonight and managed to vote instead. It counts.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Advice From My Daughter

Yesterday I confronted one of my biggest fears. The shopping Mall.

I don't mind public speaking. I'm happy to scuba dive to 100ft. One day I will most definitely jump from a plane. I absolutely hate shopping for clothes.

I need to have some sort of outfit for the All Candidates meetings. Apparently my yoga pants/oversized hoodie combo won't be appropriate.

I brought my 7 year old daughter with me. She LOVES shopping. It worries me a little. She not only knows the difference between taffeta and tulle; she cares.

I kept picking out plain outfits in basic neutrals from the sale rack. She kept picking out items with sparkle, colour and expensive price tags.

"That's not the kind of outfit people are expected to wear to this kind of meeting" I said to her as she pointed out a particularly flashy number.

"Mom" she sighed, clearly exasperated. "You're not LIKE everyone else. Why do you want to LOOK like everyone else?"

Maybe I shouldn't be so worried about her after all?

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We just got home from our annual early Thanksgiving dinner. My husband's family is quite large, so this one holiday meal we all take a break from cooking and cleaning. More than 3 generations of Esquimalt families gather to celebrate and that takes up quite a bit of room. So...we have our Thanksgiving at the Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Yup. Dinner at the rink. You might think I'm just using my blog as yet another shameless plug for ABSC. I am...but its absolutely true that ABSC is a great place to have an event.

For a number of years now we have rented the Crow's Nest and had them cater a big buffet dinner. Its reasonably priced, the food is great and the staff are amazing. Best of all, we can watch live sports and the the kids can play in a way that is just not possible at a typical restaurant. If you are thinking of hosting an event - consider ABSC in Esquimalt. I highly recommend it.

Happy Thanksgiving every one!

Time for a Change

Nominations for the municipal elections closed yesterday. As of 4pm, there were 2 people running for Mayor in Esquimalt and 14 people running for the 6 Council seats.

Clearly, its time for a change here in Esquimalt. I am so impressed that 14 people feel strongly enough about our township that they are willing to step up and work hard on Council. Even more impressive is the fact that 6 of these people are categorized as "under 40."

I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the people I haven't met yet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Women In History Month

In the mid '90s, I clipped out the back page of an Utne Reader magazine. It had a black and white photo of an infant crying and these words:

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men
as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer
in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and
behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

Helen Keller

I kept that clipping with me through University, through different relationships, through job changes... I took a moment to read it again today. Then I walked up to Municipal Hall and handed in my nomination papers.

These words from Helen Keller are rich enough to have meaning on their own. Many will find them even more stirring because Helen Keller overcame her disabilities to learn to read and write and speak. In the '90s, when I first read this quote, I was inspired to learn more about this remarkable woman.

Like many, I had read stories and seen The Miracle Worker. What I hadn't realized, was that this represented only a fraction of her remarkable life.

Helen Keller was an activist for social justice.

She was outspoken about peace and changing the economy to better support the poor.

She was a suffragette. She campaigned hard so that women could have the right to vote.

She travelled around the world raising funds for the blind.

She donated funds to the NAACP and worked to promote social equality.

She spoke out against Child Labour practices and spoke out in favour of working people organizing unions.

In 1912 she advocated for women to have access to birth control.

In 1918 she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union to fight for freedom of speech.

Much of her time was spent working on political campaigns, publishing her writing and leading protest marches and rallies.

Helen Keller did a whole lot more than just learn to read, write and speak. Helen Keller was a well known public figure who angered some and inspired others. She was a political woman who spoke passionately for what she believed in.

I find her absolutely fascinating.

October is Women in History Month. I think I'll head down to the library and see if there is anything on Helen Keller I haven't read yet.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Novice Curling Program at Archie Browning Sports Centre

Here are the details on the Novice curling program that starts next Tuesday Oct 14th.

9 sessions, Tuesday nights 8:30-10:30, $35 with pizza and beverage at the last session.

Players register and pay at the rec or sports centre.

This is an incredibly good deal! I'm pretty sure I can eat $35 dollars worth of pizza....to get 9 weeks of curling with lessons too is amazing!

Esquimalt Village Project

Lately I've had a number of people ask me, "What happened to the Esquimalt Village Project?" The timeline called for another public consultation in June 2008 and Sept-November 2008 was supposed to be implementation. The last we heard from the consultants was May 22nd 2008.

Last night, in the question and comment period in the Council meeting I asked this question. "Has work stopped on the Esquimalt Village Project (EVP) or have discussions moved outside the public view?" The Mayor responded that work on the EVP has paused until the new Council is elected. He assured me publicly that no work has been done outside the public view.

Bonspiel Promise

OK. I've been inundated with emails since Sunday. I hereby promise that I will organize a yearly novice bonspiel. First, let's elect a Council that is willing and ready to make a commitment to ABSC. Then, let's raise some funds for the facility! Let's keep building on the goodwill and community that exists here! Consider it a personal promise. Whether or not I'm elected November 15th, I will do what I can to raise funds to keep ABSC for the next generation!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Curling Bonspiel

I am still a little overcome with emotion...so this will be only a short message. I have so many to thank for tonight...and for helping me on this campaign.

Lorie is amazing. She could open a party planning business from her house. I am grateful beyond words. Buying the house next door to the Halls was the smartest move we ever made.

Krisna and Boualay are two of the most talented people I know. The photo above is their "surprise" for me tonight. Its a cloth banner with the logo for my lawn signs painted on it. Its been signed with great messages of support from friends. It will be hanging in my kitchen, cheering me on for the duration of this campaign. It will be treasured forever.

Ed and Dave once again were incredible teachers out there on the ice. Patient, kind and good humoured. They are a credit to the sport and to Esquimalt.

Everyone who came tonight brought their great sense of humour and adventure. It made it an exceptionally fun night for all! I promise that I'll post some info for people who are looking to learn to curl this week.

What a great group of people! Some of my oldest friends and some new ones too. Each of you added something and I am so glad that you came!

We didn't keep score tonight but there was one SPECIAL award that simply must be mentioned.... Best Team Name goes to: Team Gaulstones!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Esquimalt Website Improvement

I just came back from Municipal Hall and I have some good news. It looks like I won't have to stop by there on Friday afternoons anymore. The Agenda packages are available online! Check out: www.esquimalt.ca Sometimes these packages are more than 200 pages long...so this is a really positive way for the township to reduce paper as well.

Thanks to our Esquimalt staff who worked hard to make this happen!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


"Not determined or influenced by someone or something else" is one of the definitions I found for "independent". Also not committed to a political party.

Both describe me.

I have been asked several times this week, "which party are you?" Often, the question is followed with "..but I saw you having coffee with so and so!" or "aren't you friends with..."

I have friends that are members in a number of different political parties. There are great minds and good people in every camp. My life is more full for knowing them. Conversations are more lively and rich with differences of opinion around the table.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nominations Open

Today is the first day of nominations for the municipal elections. Candidates have from today until October 10th to file the paperwork and officially run for Council or Mayor. I'll be putting my papers in next week.

I'm looking forward to seeing some announcements from new candiates. My guess is that there will be at least two more running.

Bonspiel update: all spots are filled for the curling fundraiser...but you can still come sit in the Crow's Nest. There is no cost for that! Also, if you'd like to contact Lorie at lorie.hall@shaw.ca you can register as a "spare" and/or you can be added to the waitlist.

Hope to see you at ABSC on Saturday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Coffee Talk

In the last two days I've had a lot of coffee. Today alone, I've been for coffee at three different coffee shops. Fortunately, its not just the caffeine that is sending my head spinning...its the conversation too.

Recently I posted about the community visioning process that Ladysmith has been taking. I was particularly intrigued by their attempts to engage youth in the planning process. I am grateful that an incredibly interesting woman named Sarah has taken the time to chat with me over the phone about some of their innovations. She is not only a fellow storyteller, she is also a lover of quotes. The website, www.definingthefuture.ca opens with this one:

"A strong sense of place begets a strong sense of community. In an ideal situation the community pulls together, cooperates, takes care of its people, develops its village pride, its cuisine and accents, tolerates and supports its local eccentrics and characters, and has in some cases an indigenous music, or a literary style – and, above all, a sense of itself." - John Hanson Mitchell from Walking towards Walden: A pilgrimage in search of place.

I am fascinated with their use of strategic storytelling to engage youth and I'll be following along with keen interest.

Today I had the opportunity to sit down with someone whose work I have read and admired for a very long time - Bernard von Schulmann. His writing can be seen in several places on the Internet. I check www.victoriavision.blogspot.com daily. It is the most comprehensive source of information on the different municipal candidates that I have found.

He generously cleared a little time on his busy calendar to meet. I really enjoyed it. Like all good discussions I left with much "food for thought" and inspiration to dive into more research. Learning, exchanging ideas, meeting new people....this is what I love most about running for Council.

What I loved most about this day though, was starting it off at Beans and Greens with a few of my closest friends. I am so fortunate to know real friendship and feel real community.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Talking 'bout "My Girl"

We just returned from a weekend visiting family in Washington. My brother-in-law's retirement party was held at a place called "My Girl Drive-in and Car Museum" in Kingston.

At the end of a very long dirt driveway, that twists and turns into the woods, sits a home that has been converted into a '50's diner. This home has a room full of cars from that era. It also has a room full of pinball machines, air hockey, Foosball and pool tables. My favourite though is the room full of magazines, books and advertisements from the '50s. It is quirky and weird and wonderful.

Please check out the link: http://www.geocities.com/s.aandy/index.html

It got me thinking about what makes a place special. Is it the hula hoop contests or the bubble gum blowing competitions? Is it the decor or the collection of original toys and memoribilia? Is it the friendly DJ and staff?

Whatever it is, "My Girl" is a checker floored, neon lit time machine with a glow all its own.

Here's to the unique vision of "My Girl". Thanks for the memories!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Plastic Bags

The CRD has launched another "take the pledge" campaign. This time they are encouraging people to use cloth bags instead of plastic. They are even handing out free ones! Check out this link: http://www.crd.bc.ca/takethepledge/plasticbags/ or go down to the Esquimalt Municipal Hall. I just picked out a bright orange bag for participating!

Rec Centre Passes

Here is an interesting article from Vic News online today:

New rec passes cross borders
Published: September 19, 2008 2:00 PM
Updated: September 19, 2008 2:51 PM
Greater Victoria residents will be able to visit any local recreation centre using a single card beginning Jan. 1.

A regional annual pass is being introduced as part of a pilot project, says Agnes Szilos, of Recreation Oak Bay.

As a result of government departments constantly asking recreation centers for bulk group discounts, five of eight recreational centres in Greater Victoria got together to issue an annual pass.

“We didn’t really think it was fair for one organization to receive a break so this is an enlargement of that,” Szilos said.

The pass will cost $420.10. The amount is a play on the year 2010, the year that Vancouver and Whistler will host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Sooke is the only recreation centre so far to turn thumbs down to the shared pass.

The pass allows purchasers unlimited access to all the local recreation centers, including pools, fitness centres and weight rooms.

Passes in the pilot project will be sold until the end of 2009 and passes will be honoured for a full year from date of purchase.

The regional pass ties in with the province’s Active communities mandate introduced last year that challenges B.C. residents to be 20 per cent more active by 2010.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


A quick post while I prepare for the PAC BBQ tonight....where are all the Federal Elections Campaign signs in Esquimalt? Is anyone campaigning in this neighbourhood?

I have heard that Brian Gordon from the Green Party is knocking on doors, but is anyone else? Let me know if you hear from any candidates.

I find it a little odd. I work in Saanich, and once I cross the highway, I see all the big signs. Here in Esquimalt there are just a few on private property.

Any thoughts?

P.S. if you're interested in the bonspiel...call or email Lorie now. We'll be putting it all together soon and there are only a couple of spots left!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fundraising Events

In the past two days, I've had lunch at the CPO's Mess in beautiful Esquimalt twice. Looking out over the ocean, enjoying a meal, I've been acutely aware of how fortunate I am.

Yesterday, I attended an event put on by the FASD community circle. 9/9 was Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. Over the years I have worked with children, youth and families, I have watched awareness about FASD grow. I hope that in my career I will see understanding and support grow too.

The FASD community circle is doing some amazing things to support families affected by FASD. They have also set a goal to reduce the number of babies born prenatally exposed to alcohol on Vancouver Island from 1% to 0.5% by 2018. If you are planning on running the Royal Victoria Marathon this year, they are one of the charities that you can run for and collect pledges for. Every single week, a baby is born with FASD on Vancouver Island. The website is: http://www.royalvictoriamarathon.com/sponsors/charities.php#charities

Today I attended a Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock Fundraiser. Childhood Cancer is a terrifying thought to most parents. When my own children were little, I worked at Victoria General Hospital as a Child Life Specialist. On days when families had just been told that their child had cancer I would rush home just to hug my own children and check their temperature. Despite the horrors of this disease, progress has been made. In the past 20 years, survival rates have improved dramatically. Research has made life possible for many more children. Treatment is still very hard though. Things like Camp Goodtimes make life for children with Cancer better. Cops for Cancer aids both research and support programs for families. For the next event near you check out: http://www.kintera.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=270703&lis=1&kntae270703=002CAEB5EB5F403DACB8CB3A6EF616EC

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Shorty Bonspiel and Pub Night

We're having a campaign fundraiser! On the left is a picture of me listening very intently to Dave and Ed as they taught me to curl during the PAC spiel last February. Once again, incredible volunteers from the Esquimalt Curling Club will share their energy and enthusiasm for the sport!

Please join us for a very fun evening Saturday Oct 4th at Esquimalt's Archie Browning Sports Centre. Curling is from 8pm-10pm and the(cash)bar will be open until midnight.

This shorty is designed for beginners but all curlers are welcome! The focus is on having fun and promoting this great sport! People who don't want to curl are welcome to watch from the lounge. Tickets are only $30 per person or $100 for a team of four.

Your ticket buys:

a free curling lesson

two end games of curling


fantastic door prizes

For more info contact Lorie Hall at lorie.hall@shaw.ca or 250.386.5471

Friday, September 5, 2008

Taking the Bus to Shoreline

I just received an email from a very happy Esquimalt parent whose child goes to Shoreline middle school. Apparently the new BC transit schedule makes it possible for Esquimalt kids to take the bus!

In Esquimalt, students who are in the French Immersion program attend Macaulay for elementary and then go to Shoreline for middle school. Unfortunately, the bus schedule has traditionally given the students two options: arrive for school an hour early or ten minutes late. Neither option is feasible so parents have been driving their kids. It is a long way to walk in the morning and the bike routes aren't really "kid friendly".

Many parents have been strong advocates for a better bus schedule over the last year. They have written letters, appeared before Esquimalt Council, the School Board and the Transit Commission. They have worked very hard. I'm so thrilled that their efforts have finally been rewarded! Families finally have a way of getting to school on time without driving the car.

Many thanks to all the parents and to BC transit for changing the schedule!

Cougars Home Opener

Last night the Cougars had their Home Opener at Archie Browning Sports Centre. Once again, they let all Esquimalt Residents in for free. What a great night! They even had some Olympians come and help celebrate! We saw Brian Price (rowing), Kevin Light (rowing), Kyle Hamilton (rowing), Malcolm Howard (rowing), Ravinder Kahlon (field hockey), and Riley McCormick (diving). All six athletes were available in-between intermissions to talk to the fans and give autographs. My kids were thrilled with the entire event and even more thrilled to share it with many kids from the neighbourhood.

My favourite part of the night was seeing my friend Ravi - a two time Field Hockey Olympian. I've had the pleasure of knowing him since he was a teenager. It was a treat to have a visit and catch up on his travels. He is a guy that has given back so much to the community. He has volunteered many hours over the years, including coaching my Div. 1 women's team for a season. It was the year after I had my first child and I was sore, miserable and woefully out of shape. Ravi was always positive, upbeat and encouraging. He is an incredible athlete and an incredible person - I'm so impressed with all he has accomplished!

As usual, the Victoria Cougars put on a great show. They ran into trouble in the last period....but I think we'll see another championship banner hung at ABSC this time next year!

These Cougar games happen because they have a large group of dedicated volunteers. I was honoured to be a volunteer last night. They demonstrate commitment and it shows in the players. Last night, several residents shared their personal stories about how the Cougars attended their special event or helped out with their child's hockey practice. The Cougars are a part of what makes Esquimalt a great place to live. We need to save our arena AND our Cougars!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Its been a few days and I'm sorry for not blogging earlier! We've been to the Saanich Fair, the Labour Day picnic AND we've got the kids launched off to school for another year. Between writing names on tiny parts of pencils and comforting the first day jitters we've barely had a spare moment to breathe around here! I'll report more after the Cougars Home Opener tomorrow!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cougars Home Opener

The Victoria Cougars are gearing up for another championship winning season over at the Archie Browning Sports Centre. Once again, they are offering Esquimalt Residents FREE admission to the home opener Thursday, September 4th! This year it is going to be a big bash - some of Canada's Olympic team will even be in attendance! Bring proof of Esquimalt residency to enjoy the game for free. Otherwise, tickets are a very reasonable price.

ADULTS $7.00
CHILDREN 6-12 $2.00
ADULTS $140.00
ADULTS $60.00
On sale at all Cougars home games
or contact Debbie Boyer (592-0386)

See you at the games!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Team Ali

It is late at night....but I couldn't go another minute without saying how much having the support of my friends and family means to me. Tonight I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the "testimonials" that are coming in, and by all the people calling to offer their help on the campaign. Thank you! You are incredible - I couldn't do this without you! xoxo Ali

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hockeyville 2008

This month, the small town of Pilot Mound, Manitoba received $20,000 towards their arena for being a top 5 finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville 2008 competition. This community has pulled together to fundraise 2 million dollars. Even more impressive is the many hours volunteers have spent literally building the new arena complex. Their stories are very heartwarming and you can read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hockeyville/finalists/Pilot_Mound_Millennium_Rec_Complex

It is an incredible thing to see a community pull together. Pilot Mound reminds me a little of April 2007 in Esquimalt when people got together to keep the Archie Browning Sports Centre (ABSC) open. I'll never forget how people of all ages got to the microphone to speak about what ABSC has meant to them over the years. I'd like to see Esquimalt be Hockeyville 2009!

Congratulations Pilot Mound!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Victoria Fringe Festival is Back!

So far, I've only made it to one show but I have plans to see at least two more before this week is out.

Things have changed quite a bit since I first started attending the Fringe Festival back in high school. One major change is that you can check out the entire schedule and order tickets online at http://www.intrepidtheatre.com/ I will be bringing my kids with me to see "Into the Woods". It is one of my all time favourite musicals and its being performed by a cast of 25 teenagers at St. Michael's school. I'm happy to pay the small surcharge for advance tickets instead of asking my kids to line up at the door.

The Fringe remains one of the most reasonably priced ways to see great live theatre. Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tales of my Fleeting Youth

My children think that I grew up in a quaint and charming time. No home computers, no iPods, no microwaves and no DVDs. Yesterday, they were spellbound, as I told the true tale of the first video rental stores. Places where you rented not only the video, but the VCR as well. My kids are growing up in a different world than I did.

The point is...I am not young anymore. In fact, I think the only place where I am regularly the youngest person in the room is in Council Chambers. That concerns me. I would love to see a more diverse range of ages actively taking part.

Ladysmith has just announced that they are undergoing a "Community Sustainability Visioning Process" with HB Lanarc Consultants. This process includes launching a new website- www.definingthefuture.ca designed to maximize opportunities for public participation. In the press release, Mayor Rob Hutchins comments, "We also hope to engage youth through our presence on sites such as Flickr, MySpace and Facebook."

I'm really interested in seeing how this process engages youth in Ladysmith. I'd love to see more young people at Esquimalt Council meetings. I'd be happy to welcome them with my spellbinding tales of BetaVision and 8-tracks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lights, Camera = No Action?

Recently I posted about the City of N. Vancouver's website. I expressed my appreciation for the ability to watch Council meetings on live streaming video or as an archived video. Since posting that, I've had some emails and been asked a very thoughtful question:

"Would being filmed discourage members of the public from speaking at or attending a meeting?"

This is a valid concern. I firmly believe that we need to encourage people to speak...not scare people away. I personally have an aversion to being filmed so I truly understand the concern.

However,I think there is real merit to having totally transparent meetings. Reading the Minutes does not give a person the same flavour as watching the proceedings.

If you've been reading this blog, you might have guessed that I like to talk...and talk...and talk...so when I do speak as a member of the public at meetings I often use up the full 2 minutes. In the Minutes, my little speech, by necessity, has to be condensed to a few short lines. Although I would probably cringe if I watched myself on tape...I would appreciate that my entire speech was captured. For me, if I feel strongly enough to get up and speak about something, I want to make sure that there is a full public record of it.

For me personally, knowing that the meeting was filmed and archived, would actually be a comfort.

I LOVE that this has generated good discussion already! What do YOU think? Would having a Council meeting filmed encourage or discourage YOU from getting up and speaking?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Door to Door

I've spent a lot of time talking this weekend. I've spent even more time listening.

The two big topics of conversation: policing and development. Not surprising considering the big headlines in the past few days.

This week in Esquimalt we can expect to see more concerns about both. There are several letters to Council in Monday night's agenda package expressing strong emotions about both issues. Also, the Advisory Planning Commission is looking at the 17 storey proposal on Tuesday. It's going to be a busy week!

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to share their views and let me know what was on their minds. I truly appreciate it.

Please let me know if you'd like to talk about anything going on in Esquimalt. I can be reached through my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

City of North Vancouver Website

The City of North Vancouver issued a press release today about a new addition to their website. They have added a large section to inform and connect residents with current sustainability initiatives. I checked it out at: www.cnv.org/Sustainability. It is a nice resource and it directly links to all the other City of North Vancouver information.

I love some of the ways North Vancouver has made Council meetings accessible to the public. Minutes and Agendas are not only available online, they are available by email subscription. You can sign up to have the info delivered right to your laptop, cellphone or computer each week. Minutes online are archived all the way back to 1907! In addition to that, Monday night Council meetings are available to watch on live streaming video. The video is then archived and available to watch on the website the very next day.

At this time in my life, I am fortunate to work part-time with a fairly flexible schedule. If I want to attend a meeting, I can arrange that. However, a few years ago, I worked the afternoon shift. I could never attend a meeting unless I booked a vacation day to do it. I would have really appreciated the option of watching the video the next day!

The website also includes a short, but thoughtful, paragraph on "Matters of Protocol" for people wishing to give public input or speak as a delegation to Council. I think this is valuable. I know that I felt very nervous speaking in front of Council for the first time and I certainly didn't know to call the Mayor "Your Worship". I think that this kind of info encourages good public engagement.

I'm very impressed with North Vancouver's website!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Children Welcome

As a Mother of two, finding safe and inclusive places for my kids to play is important. As a woman who stays up way too late at night reading reports and studies, finding good places to drink coffee is important too. This is why Beans and Greens in Esquimalt is one of my favourite spots.

I am thrilled that Beans and Greens was just awarded an Early Years Community Appreciation Award by Play Victoria for best independent restaurant or cafe. I think Peg is doing an amazing job creating an atmosphere that really does welcome children. She welcomes people of all ages! Please check out www.playvictoria.org for more info.

On this website you can also find The Esquimalt-View Royal Early Years Report - December 2007. It is an interesting read (worth staying awake for - especially if you can make a trip to Beans and Greens in the morning)

The report gives us some demographics and statistics on children in Esquimalt. It lists some of our community assets. It shows us some strengths and some challenges families face in our township. I think that this is a valuable resource.

Below is an excerpt I found particularly relevant:

Factors that Promote Physical Health and Well Being:

• Lots of safe outdoor play areas, both formal and informal

• Pregnancy care (health care, social supports, smoking, alcohol and drug use prevention programs, nutritious food, healthy workplaces for pregnant women)

• A variety of accessible recreation programs

• Recreational opportunities in both urban and rural settings

• Limiting time spent with TV and video games

• Food security programs in places that are friendly to children and families (such as nutritional education for expectant and new mothers, community kitchens, free or low cost community lunches and dinners etc.)

• Provision of accessible health services such as public health and medical care

• Children are seen, and there are places where people knowledgeable about normal development observe children. This is important to ensure any delays result in early referrals to professional services. (Early Childhood Educators, nurses, family doctors, infant development workers etc.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

One More Launch Party Photo

I am so lucky that I married the kindest man on the planet.
Thanks for always being right beside me Andy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Launch Party Photo

It rained a great deal yesterday...but as the website launch party ended, the sky cleared and a brilliant triple rainbow stretched across Esquimalt.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beans and Greens "Where Community Grows"

Tonight there was a launch party for my campaign website www.alisongaul.ca at Beans and Greens in Esquimalt. It was a great night and I couldn't have done it without the help of so many friends! This is just a quick, informal thank you...but I couldn't head to bed without expressing how grateful I am.

Louise from Dreaming In Colour was the real star tonight as she designed my website. I'm sure you'll agree she did an incredible job. Right up until the last minute I was emailing her additional thoughts and she was always so willing to do whatever it took to make it work. She was incredible to work with and I am so fortunate to have gotten to know her during this process. Thank you!

John from Finding Charlotte Photography has accomplished the impossible. He managed to take photos of me that I like enough to publish. I'm usually the one ducking in the back row or hiding behind a tree in the photograph. I hate having my picture taken....but John made it fun. Thank you!

Boulay put together some beautiful business cards for me to give out. I had hoped for a small handful to give away...but he arrived with a box of 500. Thank you!

If anyone reading this is interested in a website, photos or graphic design; contact me and I will give these three people the highest of recommendations.

I would also highly recommend Krisna and Lorie...but I'm afraid you can't have them. We have so much work to do yet! I'm so lucky to have these two women in my corner. Lorie has planned dozens of PAC events with me and Krisna has been a huge support with the Esquimalt Residents Association and the Sewage Treatment Forum....so I knew I was working with exceptional people. However, I have no words to adequately express how great they were this week. They literally forced me to relax while they took care of all the details. Thank you!

I was literally overwhelmed with the support from family, friends and neighbours tonight. It was amazing to see Beans and Greens filled with so many people - old friends and new. I believe I got a chance to speak with everyone...but I would have loved to have spent more time with each person. It was wonderful. People have offered to help out by doorknocking, putting a sign on their lawn, distributing flyers, and even making donations to the campaign. Thank you!

I'm also overwhelmed by the number of kind emails and phone calls I received from those that were unable to attend. Thank you!

I loved that several candidates for Council also came tonight. We're all active in the community and I know that we'll be working together in some capacity for many years. It feels right to start this journey with the spirit of co-operation. I look forward to each of your announcements in the weeks to come. Thank you!

I also loved that people from all across the political spectrum came tonight. It was a really pleasant evening and I hope we'll have many more in the years to come! I love debating the issues with each of you and working together to find solutions. Thank you!

Last, but not least, I need to thank Peg from Beans and Greens for handing me the key to the shop tonight. I felt a bit like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when I stepped through the curtain and into the kitchen area. Seeing how the magic happens won't make it any less special when I show up tomorrow morning for a latte. I'm so honoured to be the first private rental of the shop. Thank you!

I'll have more to say soon...tonight all I can say is Thank You! Thank you! Thank you! I won't forget this night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Congratulations Nakusp!

Nakusp has just received a grant to upgrade their arena. They've also used grant money to upgrade their sewage treatment plant. I am impressed that they are saving the taxpayers' money on these improvements AND they are becoming more environmentally friendly. Well done Nakusp!

Friday, August 08, 2008
Provincial Funds Help Upgrade Nakusp Arena
By Ministry of Community Development

NAKUSP – The Province is investing $400,000 in Towns for Tomorrow funding to upgrade the Village of Nakusp’s ice arena, creating a greener, healthier community for residents, Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong announced. “Through Towns for Tomorrow, our government is providing B.C.’s smaller communities with the means necessary to act on infrastructure needs,” said Chong. “This ice arena is a central part of the Nakusp community, and its citizens will benefit from having a more eco-friendly and inclusive facility for everyone to enjoy.”The ice arena renovation will include a new refrigeration system and heat recovery system, as well as a new accessible washroom for people with disabilities. The upgrade will also include roof repair and the installation of solar panels.“The Nakusp and Area Community Complex/Arena is the lifeline of this community and without it, we would be left without a venue to hold the majority of our community events – including our weddings, funerals, graduation ceremonies, and more,” said Nakusp Mayor Karen Hamling. “Provincial support such as the Towns for Tomorrow program is absolutely necessary for small populations such as Nakusp.”“Towns for Tomorrow encourages B.C.’s smaller communities to improve their local infrastructure and become even better places to live and work,” said Community Development Minister Blair Lekstrom. “The Towns for Tomorrow program also builds on other supports that the Province has in place for smaller communities, such as Small Community Grant Program, which has resulted in $1.3 million going to Nakusp since 2004.”Nakusp is benefiting from other recently approved projects, including $320,000 in provincial funding through the Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund for a sewage treatment plant upgrade.Towns for Tomorrow is a three-year, $21-million program to help small municipalities enhance community infrastructure and create legacies for the future. The Province provides 80 per cent of the funding for approved projects, to a maximum provincial contribution of $400,000, with communities funding the remaining 20 per cent.Towns for Tomorrow is one of four Green Cities programs aimed at creating more environmentally sustainable communities, and helping the Province reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 33 per cent below current levels by 2020. The Towns for Tomorrow program is meant to encourage citizens to think differently about their communities, how they use them, and what legacy they want to build for today’s and future generations.For more information on Towns for Tomorrow and links to other local government supports, visit www.townsfortomorrow.gov.bc.ca.


Hello and welcome to my blog!

I'm hoping that this will be an easy way to connect with people and find out what they'd love to see happening in Esquimalt. I'm running for Council this November and I'd like to meet as many Esquimalt residents and business owners as possible!