Ucluelet’s municipal council is in store for a significant shakeup this October.
Mayor Dianne St. Jacques is stepping away from municipal politics, councillors Randy Oliwa and Mayco Noel are both running for mayor and Coun. Sally Mole has put her name forward for School District 70’s West Coast representative position.
READ MORE: Ucluelet mayor will not run for re-election
That leaves Coun. Marilyn McEwen as the only incumbent on the ballot in Ucluelet’s Oct. 20 municipal election.
Noel was the last mayoral candidate to add his name to the mayor’s race, which includes Oliwa, former mayor Bill Irving and the district’s Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.
“My primary goal is to maintain the momentum on the important projects our current Council has begun with our community. I want to make sure Ucluelet’s history is respected, while continuing to move projects forward to secure our future,” Noel wrote in an announcement released on Sept. 17.
Noel is coming off his first term on council and the born and raised Ucluetian pointed to his parents, who moved to Ucluelet from Quebec in the 1960’s, as key motivators behind his community passion.
“My father started in forestry, but always had a passion for small business. After a decade in Ucluelet my parents purchased and expanded the West Coast Motel to what it is today,” he wrote. “Over the next thirty years, their love for Ucluelet, hard work, tenacity and the ability to persevere with limited resources awarded them the opportunities to grow businesses in multiple sectors throughout our community.”
He added that engaging with the community would be a key focus of his government if elected.
“The mayor is the leading voice for Ucluelet; my goals are to maintain an open and respectful dialog with the community and staff. I will take the time to listen to opinions, have a healthy debate, remain attentive to transparent communication and engage with the citizens,” he wrote.
“No matter where my life has taken me, Ucluelet has always drawn me back, this is our community, this is my home. We must secure the foundations for the future and maintain the positive momentum we have built.”
Sally Mole is running against Sandra Leslie and incumbent Gurmail Aujla in the race for School District 70’s West Coast seat. She told the Westerly News that the decision to leave Ucluelet’s council was difficult, but she felt a calling to return to the school board where she served two terms in the early 2000’s.
“I really enjoyed it and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. Children, youth and education; it’s got me written all over it so it’s definitely a calling,” she said. “It was not an easy decision at all. I have enjoyed my time on council, but I did feel a calling to the school trustee position and I’m not silly enough to think that I could do both…Thanks to everyone for their support of me as a councillor. It’s been a great privilege to be serving the community.”
She added that it’s “awesome” to see such a large list of candidates running for Ucluelet’s council this year.
“We are seeing a population that is engaged [and] that wants to be a participant in the process,” she said. “People have felt the need, I think, to step up to the plate, get involved and be part of driving the community.”