Coun. Jenna Stoner is looking to keep her seat at municipal hall.
Stoner has served on council for one term and currently works as the aquaculture program director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, a U.S.-registered nonprofit that seeks to promote sustainable fishing and rebuild fish stocks.
She told The Squamish Chief on Aug. 30 that she was interested in having another go at elected office to build upon this council’s progress.
“The key thing for me is there’s a few ongoing pieces of work that I really want to continue to see through and shepherd a little bit,” said Stoner.
One of those things has been the municipality’s response to the climate emergency.
“Climate change adaptation and mitigation, I think, is really foundational to everything that the future councils need to do, because if we think about the IPCC goals, we need to reach net zero by 2050,” said Stoner. “And that’s not going to be easy to do. We also need to prepare our community to mitigate against what we know is coming in terms of a changing climate.”
Stoner said that the District’s existing Community Climate Action Plan provides a good roadmap for the steps the municipality needs to take, but the data should be refreshed to make sure the town is focusing on the right things.
She cited land use planning, transportation and addressing waste as big items in the plan.
Council’s decisions on prioritizing active transportation have had some people interpreting these moves as anti-car.
Stoner said the goal is to give more options.
“I don’t think it’s about taking away the option of a personal vehicle, but I see it more as providing alternatives,” she said. “This is important from a climate perspective. I think it’s important from an affordability perspective.”
Another pillar of her platform is reconciliation with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).
She said she wants the municipality to continue to improve its relationship between its staff and that of the Nation, among other things.
Economic development is another priority for Stoner, who said she’d like to see more green tech jobs come to town. She also said the community needs to protect its existing commercial and industrial land.
“It’s building on the employment space demand model that we’ve done in this term. And using that information to really inform future land-use planning,” she said.
Municipal infrastructure is another goal of Stoner, who said she wants to continue the work laid out in the Real Estate Facilities and Master Plan, which called for the replacement of the fire halls and the public works facility, as well as upgrades to Brennan Park Recreation Centre.
While residents’ first vote against approving a loan for the public works facility was an unprecedented setback, Stoner said that COVID restrictions made it challenging to convey the need for this building.
However, the return of face-to-face engagement appears to be making a difference.
“I think being able to be back in the community and have those conversations has been extremely valuable,” she said.
The municipal election takes place on Oct. 15.