There’s a first for everything. This potential first seems like a long time coming.
Tanille Johnston is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation who grew up in Campbell River. And she’s doing her best to become the change she wants to see.
She’s running for city council so she can be a voice for all Campbell River residents who want to teach and be heard.
“I’m really dedicated to being out there, being accessible, and doing the learning we need to do to do our jobs well,” she told the Campbell River Mirror.
After growing up in the area, she left for 11 years to do her Masters of Social Work with an Indigenous specialization. She came back six years ago to raise her daughter on the Quinsam Reserve.
So she has a unique perspective on how Campbell River has developed over the years, and where it’s headed.
“The hugest shift is in moving a bit away from relying fully on logging, mining, milling and fishing. That was the root of Campbell River for so long, and a lot of those industries have come up against really complicated challenges over the years that have really caused some dismantling of a number of them,” she said.
“That has really impacted the city and who we are.”
“There are so many people that rely on those industries to feed their families. It’s still a part of our culture…I think we’re just re-finding ourselves again as a city and also welcoming new opportunities for investment, figuring out what kinds of businesses we’re going to support, what kinds of development we need to support.”
There’s a lot she’d like to do to support folks in and outside of these industries. She really wants to help residents who aren’t getting access to the support they need.
“Equity across the board: being really real with what access to different programs, services, housing, getting primary care, a physician, all of that stuff looks like for our community on the ground and really letting that play into how we make decisions as a council,” she said.
“We need to look at the whole picture when we’re making decisions and try not to silo our thought processing when we’re looking at different investments and planning opportunities for programs.”
She has a few things she’d like to put in place right away. They include updating public transit to reach folks in growing areas of the community. She also wants more open childcare spaces for families.
The election is on October 15th, 2022.