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.