The final candidate for the upcoming by-election is Brenda Holmlund. She is a Mining Technologist and a Geographical Information Systems Technologist (GIS) by trade. She says, “My background is mining, mapping and drafting. I’m a techy. There is a need for planning in a community. I’m a numbers person too. I pay a fair bit of attention to budgets and numbers.”
On top of her abilities with numbers, Holmlund feels there needs to be some serious attention drawn to the health care situation here in Tumbler Ridge.
“There are a number of issues that need to be addressed. We have a big health concern looming, and no one seems to paying much attention to it,” Holmlund continues, “We have high risk jobs here in our community. We have two producing mines, one coming online, one in the environmental assessment phase. Four mines, so we’re talking construction. Peace River Coal [Anglo American] if they continue on, are talking about doing their expansion. So we have all this stuff pulling on our services, health services. Plus, we have the oil and gas, plus we had construction with the windmill project. All of that pulls and tears at our health services. We have to come up with a strategy on how to improve our health services. Increase the doctors and nurses.”
Though this is a matter Holmlund feels council needs to address, she doesn’t think they can do it alone. “It’s not something council needs to work at alone, but we have so many people that are interested. We have the mining companies that would be willing to do what needs to be done. We at least have to have the vision to begin and start. That would be the big thing, to get that strategy going of what to do. How do we solve this?”
Holmlund thinks with the resources in place, we could be in trouble if a disaster was to happen. “This is important because if we have a disaster, goodness knows we’ve seen it in the north, we are all resource towns. Burns Lake had a fire at the mill, what did that do to the community? It’s possible it could happen here. We don’t know, and if we don’t have the resources to begin with…” she questions, continuing, “However, the mines are different in that they have mine safety.”
The other concern for Holmlund is burning out the health care staff we do have. She says, “How much longer can Dr. Helm continue on? How can they continue on with the hours they work? They can’t.”
The main platform for Holmlund is that council needs to be asking more questions and having more discussion about issues. “Discussion is where solutions come from, it’s a simple thing,” she says.
The other area in which Holmlund would like to focus is on revitalizing the downtown core. She says, “The other thing that concerns me as a resident is the downtown core not being utilized. The district has put out one report and made statements, one of the comments was to lower taxes. I think that would be a possibility.”