Conrad Turcotte is a millwright who has lived in the Cariboo since 1967. He lives in 150 Mile House with his wife and is a volunteer firefighter.
What do you think are the top issues for your CRD area?
The top issues in Area F include the quality and availability of high-speed internet and cell phone service, land division and use disputes, and keeping up with technology and resources commonly available in neighboring communities.
Why do you want to be a CRD director?
I want to be Area F Director because I believe I will be able to use my personal experiences with trades work, ranching, fire and emergency services, and the rural Cariboo way of life to better my community. I am a part of this community and I want to see it thrive.
What previous experience do you bring to the table?
During my career within the lumber industry I acted as maintenance foreman, which gave great experience planning for the future well-being of mill production, while still being able to immediately respond to the unforeseen complications in daily operations.
My time as a Senior Captain within the fire service enhanced my leadership and teamwork skills. It gave me the ability to keep a level head in the most stressful of situations. This included the 2017 wildfire season, in which I served as a commanding officer in the 150 Mile House Fire Department Command Centre.
I have spent the last 30 years living in both Spoken Lake and 150 Mile House. I know these communities and the people within them. I understand our rural way of life, and I share the challenges unique to our areas. Who better to represent Area F than someone who has spent their life raising a family, working, volunteering, and living within it.
What would you do to attract and retain doctors in the Cariboo Regional District?
More marketing! The Cariboo Region is safe, perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, ideal for raising families, and has well established and continuously developing medical facilities.
What are your ideas to keep rural communities thriving with strong economies?
Establishing and maintaining a balanced and diverse business community between industry, commercial, and tourism sectors. We need to cultivate a region that provides sufficient employment to support residents, and attracts money from outside the community through business and tourism. This means keeping open communication with the businesses and industries in our area, to better understand and potentially assist with their challenges as they arise.
What role does the Cariboo Regional District play in relationship to all other levels of government, including First Nations governments, federal, provincial and municipal government?
The CRD is the first line of contact between residents and higher government. The CRD’s job is to advocate, mediate and help with any disputes, as well as to seek aid as needed from higher levels of government.
How has your area moved forward since the 2017 wildfires?
Area F was heavily impacted by the wildfires, and now most of the burned timber has been logged off to make way for forest replantation.
Many Area F residents have “fire smarted” their properties, to be better prepared for future wildfire seasons. The communities have also started a fire preparedness plan that has unfortunately been suspended, first by this summer’s fires and once more because of the election. I feel this is an important plan to complete and put into effect.
The fire departments within Area F have been recruiting members, sourcing out new fire apparatus and equipment, as well as continuing their wildland firefighting training. The departments are ensuring they are preparing themselves as much as possible for future wildfire events.