Regional district byelection Saturday

  • Wed Jan 14th, 2004 6:00pm
  • News

Area D byelection Saturday

Voters in the regional district’s area ‘D’ go to the polls Saturday (Jan. 17) to elect a new director, following the recent resignation of the incumbent. Five candidates are running. The Observer asked each to submit a statement about why they want to be elected. All replies, as follows (in alphabetical order).


Don Hancock

As the Haida Gwaii Appliance Guy I have had the opportunity to work in every community of the islands. The strongest asset I bring to the position of Area D director is the fact that I talk to probably 400 to 500 islanders every year. This would also provide me with the opportunity to respond to concerns face to face.
I feel the Skeena-Queen Charlotte regional district board could benefit greatly from this one-on-one contact with residents. It will give them an added avenue for collecting and distributing information on a more personal level!
I am open-minded, cooperative, approachable, and look forward to representing Area D residents. Thanks.


Ian Hetman

Experienced and accountable
I ask for your vote to be your representative as the Director for Area D, Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District.
Experience: Four years with the Graham Island Advisory Planning Commission, (advisory board to the Regional Director Area D) and a full term as your Area D Regional Director. During my term as Regional Director I was very instrumental in completing the house numbering system within our area.
I lobbied and worked with the Gwaii Trust and Island Elected Representatives in preparing a business plan to repatriate the $24-million South Moresby Forest Replacement Account to the Islands. This plan is now with the Federal Cabinet.
Accountability: I ensured that issues of concern were made known to the communities affected. For example I made the Council of the Haida Nation, Old Massett Band Council and the Skidegate Band Council aware of a land purchase application by the fishing lodge at Port Louis, which was coming before the Regional Board, and of the urgent time line to submit formal concerns. I also dealt with many difficult issues and public hearings. As your elected representative, I will not shy away from any future difficult or controversial issues which affect us in Area D!
I am interested in maintaining and improving our natural environment and to that end I have worked with the Chown Brook Salmon Enhancement Program as the project co-ordinator for the past six years. I am very concerned about any issue that affects the welfare of the residents of Area D and am particularly concerned about the erosion of our Islands health care system.
There is a lot of work to do! As a retired-from-the-workforce pensioner, with free time, experience, and energy.
I am able and willing to work hard as your Area D representative. On January 17 2004 vote Ian Hetman, Director for Area D.


Michael Muller

I like Haida Gwaii. It’s a great place to live, especially Area D, rural Graham Island. Away from the big cities of Queen Charlotte and Masset, a unique living style has evolved that is clearly desirable. Area D is one of the few census areas in rural BC that has experienced a population increase in the past five years. If elected, as director for Area D on the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District, I will maintain this quality of life for current and future residents.
One island, one community. I believe we are one island community and as such I would work with the other island director’s to maintain and hopefully increase the level of government services, education and healthcare that the people of Haida Gwaii deserve. Ensuring adequate infrastructure. including well maintained roads, clean energy, healthy drinking water and safe shorelines and harbours, is also important for a prosperous future.
In the next two years I would like to see further movement towards local control of local resources plus the development of value added industries. What the local economy receives for our resources is a fraction of the final value.
On-island governance is an inevitable necessity and the next few years will hopefully see the beginning of this undoubtedly slow process. I welcome the chance to be involved in the events of these interesting times.
I’m suitably qualified for the task at hand. I’ve apprenticed on several island associations and committees , including two terms as chairperson of the Graham Island Advisory Planning Commission, the local board that advises the Area D director.
I encourage all residents of Area D, Skidegate, Old Masset and rural Graham Island, to vote this Saturday, preferably for me. Thank you.


Gilbert Parnell

Haida Laas, Good People
My name is Gilbert Parnell. My Haida name is Hunjaa La Guusuus (Good Spirits Speaks Through Him). I belong to the Tjiits Gitnay Eagle Clan of Masett Inlet. I live in Skidegate and I am married to Beverly. We have three children: Stephen (who just started college), and the twins, Jacob and Justine (grade 5).
I was born on Haida Gwaii. I grew up in Old Massett, the son of Buddy and Pearl Parnell. From both sides of the family I received loving attention and many of life’s teachings. My father and his brothers were successful seine fishermen who taught me to respect the sea and to cherish the many life sources found there. My Uncles from my Mother’s side were successful loggers, millers, boat builders, and fisherman who are renowned for the “Massett Fleet” of seine boats. From milling to finish, they built high quality, seaworthy boats that still travel the seas of the Pacific Coast. My family worked hard and taught me to do the same. I learned many lessons from my Elders. My Nonnies and Aunties showed me the responsibilities I have to the land and it’s people, and that, with dignity and respect, I must do what I can to contribute to the well being of both.
As a young man I worked in the fishing and logging industries. I have seen the decline in the resources and the workforce firsthand. I have seen family, friends and neighbours suffer from unemployment and uncertainty about what the future will bring. Searching for my own future brought me to school where I obtained a college certificate in Community Development and Cultural Tourism.
Since moving back home I have worked in various capacities: economic development officer in Skidegate; CHN communications officer, Gwaii Haanas communications officer, Skidegate Band councillor, CHN Vice President; and more recently, co-chair of the all-island land use planning process. I have played key roles in islands community processes such as GTIPS, Haida Gwaii Tourism Association, and the Islands Symposium, to name a few. I have gained considerable skills, knowledge and experience and I have celebrated many achievements over the years which will help me in the position as your Area D Director.
We do have a future here on Haida Gwaii. Together we must work to make sure that the land and communities are cared for. Together we can build a future that respects our differences and celebrates the uniqueness that makes us a vibrant island community that we all can be very proud of.
On Saturday, January 17, 2004, vote for a good, strong voice for Haida Gwaii


Ed Robinson

I am running for director area D as a property owner in area D. I was on Masset village council for one year. Filling the last year of a deceased councillor’s term. At the end of that year I did not seek re-election. I was the Masset ICSI director for 2 1/2 years, and helped draft the memorandum of understanding with M.O.F. I am prepared to do my best in representing all the residents of area D. One of my ongoing concerns is the polarization of the communities on the islands, and I feel that all communities must work together.