Don McPherson - Retired
Bio : Moved to Tumbler Ridge in 1981 and have been on Council since 2001, the last four years as Mayor.
I was a self-employed mechanic for most of my career and had a successful mechanic business in Tumbler Ridge for thirty five years. I also ran a river boat tour business here for several years.
Why am I Running : I feel that Tumbler Ridge is at a pivotal point in its’ revitalization. There are still big challenges ahead of us. I have done extensive ground work on many of them and I want to see them finished.
The role of Mayor and Council is to set policy and provide staff with the tools to do their job.
The Mayor acts as CEO., chairs meetings, provides leadership, promotes the will of Council and is the spokesman for Council and the District.
Qualifications : I have the experience needed to lead Tumbler Ridge with an unbiased approach to what is best for the community.
Specific issues : Enviroment, Industry & Tourism.
Most important issues : Caribou Habitat with the Federal & Provincial Govts.
Retaining and attracting industry and small business to Tumbler Ridge.
Implementing recommendations made by the provincial facilitator to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation and the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Geopark.
Role of Mayor re Health & Education : Support our Health and Education institutions. Create committees to help them obtain what they need. Work with other communities in the South Peace to ensure that major facilities eg. Northern Lights College and the Dawson Creek Hospital are as accessible as possible.
Raise Taxes to finance projects : Most people are satisfied with the services that the District of Tumbler Ridge provides. The cost of these services increases every year, as the cost of living goes up the taxes must cover that to maintain the present level of services.
Recreation Marijuana : Council has set the basic parameters via bylaw, but I see this as a work in progress and it will have to be readdresses as issues arise.
Industry, Small Business & Non-profits : I have worked well with industry to address their issues and we have had positive outcomes. Healthy industry fosters small business. We have a history of a fluctuating economy. We are working to change that with the help of a diversified industrial base which includes wind power, community forest, oil& gas, coal and tourism.
Non-profits are an integral part of this community and are responsible for much of what makes Tumbler Ridge unique. With the receipt of tax payers dollars comes expectation and accountability.
Economic Growth & Environment : This is done on a daily basis in Tumbler Ridge as we are a Global Geopark in which industry and environmental sustainability coexist. Our industries are dedicated to supporting the delicate balance between the two.
Caribou Conservation : If the Federal & Provincial Gov’ts shut down our back country to industry and recreation it will devastate not only Tumbler Ridge but the entire region. What we are asking is for local government and industry to be at the table with the Feds, Province and First Nations to come up with a solution that will work for everyone. We all know the importance of the caribou but we also know the importance of making a living.
Funding for the TRMF : The Museum is very important to Tumbler Ridge. Yes I think we should fund them but as stated before the receipt of tax payers dollars brings with it expectations and accountability.
Attract More Business : We have to promote Tumbler Ridge with a positive attitude. As a great place to live and do business. Our mines are operating with the commitment to be viable in a market with lower prices. This should help us shed our history of an up and down economy.
Financial Footing : I will continue with the policies implemented by previous councils I was on that ensure our continued secure financial situation.
Projects : I would like to get all groups to work together promoting our tourism industry.
I would like to be part of the solution for the caribou issue.
I would like to see our rail line extended into what will be our future coal fields.
I would like to improve our health care and facilities.
I would like to see curbside recycling pickup fully implemented.
I would like to see fiber optic internet extended to all our businesses and residents.
Didn’t ask : Our infrastructure improvements over the last four years have been extensive and are ongoing. In a couple years we should be able to sit back for another 35 years and enjoy.