Part of the solution

Lynsey Kitching


Not much has changed for Jerrilyn Schembri in terms of her platform since the last by-election, except she believes health care needs to improve in Tumbler Ridge.

“There is the medical side of things now that I am going to be sort of focusing on. We need to start being creative in attracting doctors and nurses to the community. I think without proper health care in the community it will be hard to attract people to live here, families to live here,” she says.

Schembri thinks that this stage in the game Northern Health is doing as much as they can to attract doctors and nurses to town.

“I think attracting medical people to a community becomes the responsibility of the council rather than of Northern Health. I think Northern Health are doing all they can. I’m already going to be taking part in a video that Northern Health is putting together to attract doctors to the community. I think it becomes a council responsibility where it is like dating,” she goes on explain what she means by dating, “You have to somehow impress a person to come into your community. You have to woo them. I know that. I’ve made this point to other mayors. They have actually invited graduating classes from UNBC to come into the community. They have taken them out canoeing, sightseeing, held receptions, so they know they would be valued in the community. It becomes the responsibility of council to do that.”

Schembri explains this is something she is working on at a regional level because she serves for UBCM and NCLGA for regional district E. “The health thing is a priority for me. It is something I am working on at a regional level, but I live here, this is my home and that it’s something I would really like to be involved in. I’m one of those people where, when I see a gap, I want to get involved and try and find solutions for it.”

Schembri believes it is the community itself that will attract people to come here. “I think the thing Tumbler Ridge really has to offer people, is the people that live here. The people that live here genuinely care and want to make things better. I’m running because there are things I want to try and be part of the solution for.”

With four candidates running again in this by-election (As was true for the past by-election back in December) people will have a healthy choice of candidates all bringing different qualities to the table. “I think one of the big strengths I would bring is I’ve sat in that position before. I will come in and know what I’m doing. It takes quite a while to get used to the process and how it all works. I believe council has a lot of things going on now. There is no need to go into something to change it, I just want to go with what they are doing now and be part of the process.”