After taking on a local political issue to the CRD level, Shannon Rerie thinks she has what it takes to be an advocate for Area F.
For three years the Lake City Secondary School teacher served as vice-president of the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers Association and said the experience taught her how to navigate politics.
Originally from Steveston, Rerie moved to Williams Lake for a teaching job and has lived in the 150 Mile House area for 11 years.
“My husband and I have the property right beside the Pioneer Log Homes site and there has been an ongoing discussion with them about noise and the use of the site,” Rerie said as to the reason she became interested in running for the CRD. “Our concern has been expansion and we were dealing with quite a few CRD board meetings and community meetings.”
Rerie said she got to know Area F Director Joan Sorley through that and when Sorley announced she did not plan to seek re-election, Rerie’s concern was that no one would step up to run.
“I am passionate about politics, I get the workings of it, and I am anti-apathy. I love that there are three of us running. It’s awesome.”
Three issues she pegged as important are the expansion of internet and reliable cell phone service, expansion of business and community development.
“Especially with wildfires, and any other emergency situations that come up, you need to be able to have contact and be able to have the services,” she said. “I know there is a high-speed fibre optic line that goes for the school district all the way out to the Horsefly and Likely schools, I don’t know why they cannot expand out to other areas and offer better and faster internet.”
People often choose to live in places such as 150 Mile House, Big Lake, Horsefly and Likely because they are beautiful, she added.
“They are tight-knit communities, and we don’t always want business and the disruption of business, but there has to be a balance of economics and our way of life. It’s crucial right now because we are seeing Mount Polley Mine closing and unfortunately we are going to lose people because of it.”
She said mines need to be monitored with environmental checks and balances in order to ensure things such as the Mount Polley Mine tailings spill do not happen again.
“For them to have gone on so long without anyone realizing there was going to be a problem — that’s where the problem was, not necessarily that they were existing.”
Rerie said she moved to 150 Mile House after attending the fire department’s fireworks party.
“After that I said ‘I have to move to this community — this is so cool.’ It’s important to figure out how to maintain that sense of community and even make it better. When it’s needed, so many people show up. It’s just so great that people do that and come together when they are needed.”
The byelection was called after Conrad Turcotte, who successfully won the post in the October 2018 election, was unable to swear his oath of office due to illness.
Advance voting takes places Monday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at th CRD board office, 180 Third Avenue North.
General voting day is Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with polls at the CRD board office, 150 Mile School, Horsefly community hall, Big Lake community hall and Likely School.