Mike Bouchard has spent his life in the Williams Lake area and says that’s what’s inspired him to run for City council.
That, and he believes as a teacher, a small business owner and a rancher he brings a “unique perspective” to council.
From an education point of view, Bouchard says he sees the impact of the community’s loss of jobs on the system in dropping enrolment and closing schools.
“It comes back to the necessity to retain and create good paying jobs in the area,” he says.
“I got involved to see if I could, as a member of council, attract new business and job opportunities here.” Bouchard says he would be focussed on encouraging job training and training in trades that pay wages that support families and keep youth in the community. He says that’s particularly important as employment in the mining sector opens up.
Bouchard also sees a need for infrastructure in the community to attract professionals.
He doesn’t see how the City’s industrial tax rate can be reduced at this point but says he would “work hard not to increase taxes in the future.”
Diversification of the tax base and encouraging business growth in the community would be key in keeping the tax rate steady. Growth, he says, in turn would fund City services rather than increasing taxes or making cuts.
“I know the City is working hard with what they have. I think it’s time to be creative and promote the community. We are the hub of the Cariboo. We are strategically located. There are so many opportunities if we get out and sell Williams Lake to the youth, to our own community and to outside investment.”