Lori Trelor, Shawnigan Lake resident:
I voted for Sonia Furstenau.
Two of the other candidates are friends of mine, and I admire and respect them for their ideas and their passion for Shawnigan, but Sonia stands out as a full spectrum candidate who is able to cross blurred lines within our community. If her campaign is any indication, she will work ceaselessly to help our community grow and strengthen. She has the ability to inspire people with her enthusiasm; she is passionate about Shawnigan; it is obvious that she has done her homework and has an in-depth knowledge of our issues, and she has an amazing ability to communicate with everyone. It is my hope that if the other candidates are as passionate about Shawnigan, they will be willing to work as part of a team with the new director. Sonia makes it clear that she cannot do the job alone — she needs the people of Shawnigan to work together towards our long term vision for the area.
Ocean Kneeland, Parent of four children, Sessional Instructor, Vancouver Island University:
I strongly support Sonia Furstenau for Shawnigan Area Director. I know she would be an exceptional Director who would work on behalf of our community with great thoughtfulness, care, dedication, collaboration, vision, and leadership.
Like many of my neighbours and friends, I value the natural beauty, peace and tranquility, community spirit and diversity, innovation and excellence, and remarkable history that exist here in Shawnigan Lake. Having lived in other communities, I know these assets are hard to come by and worthy of careful stewardship. I cannot think of a better person to help our little community protect and build on these valuable community assets.
In sum, I think Shawnigan is a gem, and that Sonia is someone who can help it to shine in ways that we can all enjoy and feel proud of.
Grant Trelor, Shawnigan Lake resident:
Here’s why I am supporting Sonia Furstenau for Area B Director (Shawnigan).
- She will be a strong voice for the community. Sonia has been a leader in the campaign against the contaminated soils issue in the area. She will strive to protect the Shawnigan Watershed and work to get the best value for our tax dollars.
- She is an effective communicator. Shawnigan’s history of fractious groups has been detrimental to a coordinated, positive growth. Sonia has already collaborated with many individuals and groups in the Shawnigan area and the Cowichan Valley. She has demonstrated the ability to bring people together to work on a common goal.
- She has a positive vision. Shawnigan’s economic growth, especially in the village core, has been stagnant. Sonia’s platform includes building a community investment fund to support local businesses that have a positive and progressive vision for the community.
Shawnigan needs a strong leader for area director. Sonia Furstenau is that person.
Jennie Stevens, Shawnigan Lake resident:
I am excited to support Sonia Furstenau in her bid for future Director of Shawnigan, and grateful to learn that should she succeed, she is willing to consider making it a full time commitment.Sonia is energized by her vision for a sustainable, healthy & vibrant Shawnigan.She is a passionate community builder who empowers others to focus on the positive, challenging them to be part of the solution to any obstacles that might arise.
Sonia combines an intelligent, calm & thoughtful personality with a firm & capable “take action” approach and her skillful communication and diplomatic manner make her someone who is capable of working with anyone in the role of Shawnigan’s Director.
May her infectious passion for doing her best for Shawnigan be what guides the choices made on November 15th!
Sally Davies, Shawnigan Lake resident:
On Nov. 15th we will go to the polls to elect a new CVRD director for Shawnigan Lake.
Six candidates have stepped forward in hope to serve you, all have their strengths and the interest of our community at heart.
I am writing to you as a fellow Shawnigan resident, to tell you why I will be voting for Sonia Furstenau.
Regardless of the knowledge, passion, or caring nature of a particular director, her/his power is limited to two votes out of fifteen for the largest unincorporated area in BC. Voter turnout was a dismal 31% in our last local election.
The threat of millions of tons of contaminated soil being dumped in our watershed this year has been a lesson in civic governance for anybody who cares about Shawnigan Lake. It galvanized the entire community to action and Sonia was a key player in the opposition to the SIA dump. She organized letter writing campaigns, attended the rally at the legislature with her Dwight students and regularly attended the EAB hearings. She became one of the unofficial spokespersons on television news coverage of the community opposition to the venture.
Those of us who rallied to oppose this, learned that our provincial government does not care what the citizens who elected them want.
It is essential that the person we choose be a skilled communicator and be able to collaborate with the diverse forces that make up the CVRD board.
They must be willing to avail themselves of the prodigious talent and expertise we have in our community to inform and assist with the complex issues that are within the purview of our CVRD director. She must effectively articulate what is best for Shawnigan Lake at a table with fifteen competing interests.
Sonia is a skilled communicator, as demonstrated by the articles that she has written and had published in the Times Colonist and local papers and her television interviews. As a teacher she has inspired her students to become aware of the community in which they live and become politically involved.
As a parent of four children with her husband Blaise Salmon, she understands that nothing can be accomplished without mutual respect and cooperation of the whole family.
Regardless of how knowledgable or passionate an individual is, it means nothing if you cannot convince others of the rightness of your ideas and approach and work together toward a common goal.
Communication and listening skills are critical in assuming a leadership role and these I feel, are Sonia’s greatest assets.
Marcy Green, Shawnigan Lake resident:
I am supporting Sonia Furstenau because she has a dynamic vision for Shawnigan and the ability to motivate others to help move it forward. She will be an excellent Area Director, as she has the skills to connect, listen and work co-operatively with diverse groups. In listening to her, it is clear that consensus building is a priority, which is important to me. I appreciate the strong stand she took for our community with the contaminated soil issue, and I look forward to seeing how she will continue to bring people together to implement positive change.
Donald Hurst, Mountain Road Resident (Area B)
“I met with Sonia Furstenau on Saturday morning at Celina and Tom Gold’s. I strongly endorse her as the person to vote for in the upcoming election. She is extremely committed to maintaining our existing rural way of life, our pristine environment, and ensuring the CVRD is open, responsive and transparent.”
John Hayes, Appellant in the Environmental Appeal Board Hearings to overturn SIA’s contaminated soil permit:
“In the best interests of our Shawnigan community I urge you to elect Sonia to represent us at the CVRD. As a regular supporter of our actions at the EAB Hearings, Sonia’s presence and commitment have been an inspiration to me. Her compelling media articles and presentations against the SIA toxic waste dump have shown Sonia to be a forceful and determined fighter for Shawnigan’s environment and future. Sonia has truly earned our support. Help get her elected!”
Christina Patterson, a former student at Spectrum Community School in Victoria:
Sonia Furstenau taught this cynical dreamer that I could make positive change wherever I wanted. She fostered a strong sense of community and ACTION in me. Her encouragement to question everything and participate in creating change where change is needed has followed me to this day.
Get in touch with me to add your endorsement here!