Doug Race is the first councillor out of the current sitting council to declare he will run for re-election in the upcoming election.
“Part of it was that – and I didn’t expect it – almost nobody else is running again,” he said. “We’re going to have at least five new councillors, and potentially seven. No matter who becomes mayor, they’ll need some support.”
Councillors Susan Chapelle and Karen Elliott have declared they are running for mayor while councillors Peter Kent and Ted Prior have confirmed they will not be running again.
Jason Blackman-Wulff has still to confirm whether he will run again or not. Mayor Patricia Heintzman is also not seeking to return.
Race said he would personally support Elliott in her run for the mayor’s seat.
Race was first elected to council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011 and 2014.
In the last municipal election, he ran on a mandate to close the oceanfront deal, approving development and the funding of a protective barrier on the Cheekye Fan, and supporting the proposal for WLNG.
Coming into the election four years later, he said regional transit, managing growth, and Garibaldi at Squamish are three major issues to be addressed next term.
“The funding is tricky,” he said in regards to regional transit that would connect communities along the Sea to Sky Corridor. “What we want to avoid is a major financial burden on the municipalities. That will be a challenge.”
“The other [main challenge] is just plain managing the growth. We have a growth management boundary, and people are going to be bumping up against it and try to push it and get their development inside it. There’s going to be a series of those things,” he said.
Race said he supported the idea of the boundary, but it also leaves open the possibility of something special — such as Quest University — being approved as an exception.
“There’s always a possibility if something really good came along,” he said. “For me, that’s a pretty high threshold they’d have to meet, not just any old development.”
Race said he’s also concerned about Garibaldi at Squamish, the proposal to build a new ski resort on Brohm Ridge.
“I don’t want to close my mind to anything, but I’ve had concerns about that development since day one,” he said.
Race grew up in Vancouver, and attended the University of British Columbia.
He lived in both Whistler and Squamish, and was a lawyer for 37 years, practicing mostly corporate, commercial, real estate, and estate law in the last two decades with Race and Company, before retiring in October 2008.
He is past president and current member of the Rotary Club of Squamish, and a member of the Squamish Yacht Club.