Jodie Capling is the youngest candidate running for Williams Lake city council.
The 35 year old said she’s running for council because over the years she has written many letters, made phone calls and signed petitions when she has felt frustrated with the decisions made by elected officials.
“I thought I’m going to put my name forward and see what happens,” Capling said. “I might be a little more of an environmentalist than many people who are running for council or who have been on council, but I thought if there are people in Williams Lake who share similar concerns or values then they should have voice too. I am putting my name forward to give them that choice.”
Two of the important issues for Williams Lake that she’s heard about from residents are affordable housing and Atlantic Power Corporation’s application to burn rail ties.
“I have concerns about that as well,” she said of the rail tie burning.
Last June, Capling organized a protest in Williams Lake aimed at sending a political message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Capling said she would also like to see a “bit more” transparency and public consultation in decision-making by city council.
“Some people I have talked to have said they felt broadsided by some of the decisions that have been made on their behalf by council without more consultation. And that’s not to malign the current council, but that’s something I do believe in very strongly and would like to see more of.”
Capling grew up in Williams Lake, graduated from Williams Lake Secondary in 2001 and left home to attend McGill University in Montreal to study chemistry.
“After university I came back to B.C. and lived in Vancouver for a year and did some travelling before I did a Masters degree at Simon Fraser University in resource and environmental management,” Capling said. “From there I got a job in Kelowna working with FortisBC when it was just the electric company, right before the transition, and I worked in their power sense department.”
She worked with Fortis for five years and then she and her partner, Ben Smith, decided to have children and for the past three years she has been a full-time mom. “We have a three year old and a little one who is almost a year.”
Smith was assigned to work for the RCMP in Fort St. John and the family lived there for two years before they decided to return to the Cariboo in the fall of 2017.
“At that point we took stock of our life and decided that family was important and we wanted our children to know their grandparents and both his mom, Karen Thompson, and step dad and my parents live in Williams Lake.”