Tofino mayor Dan Law plans to run for reelection.
Municipalities across the province will head to the polls to elect their local governments on Oct. 15 and Law told the Westerly News on Sunday that he has submitted his paperwork to be on the ballot.
“It’s a great job and I love it,” he said. “Myself, along with council and district staff, have had some tremendous success on many fronts and, to be honest, it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever done. It can be time consuming, it can be difficult, but it’s incredibly rewarding to see the community grow in the right way and to know that, going forward, council and staff can accomplish a lot more great things for the community.”
This will the third election campaign in three years for Law who first joined council in a 2019 byelection and was elected mayor in a 2021 byelection.
“It’s been quite the journey,” he said, noting he became mayor during the COVID-19 pandemic. “That was an incredible thing to jump into as a mayor right in the middle of a pandemic…It was a significant accomplishment that we were able to help bring Tofino through the COVID-19 pandemic and really that was a success on so many fronts.”
He cited the construction of affordable housing units through the Tofino Housing Corporation as well as shovels finally hitting the ground on a wastewater treatment plant and a new daycare agreement as key highlights of his tenure so far as well as a strengthening relationship with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.
He added new non-tax-revenue streams have come online with pay parking being introduced at local beaches and a new agreement with local accommodation providers that will see a 1 per cent sustainability fee bringing about $400,000 to the district annually to help pay off the wastewater treatment plant debt.
“It just feels like we have a great positive momentum,” he said. “Lots of success. There’s so much good stuff going on in Tofino, we just have to work really hard and keep it going.”
He pointed to a new hospital, more robust recreational opportunities and managing growth as key future targets.
“We’re going to have to deal with tackling growth and the impacts of growth on our services and amenities and the impacts on our residents,” he said.
He suggested Tofino is unique as there is little space to sprawl into as the population grows.
“Most communities are not quite under the same pressure that Tofino is to tackle growth in a very real way. Tofino is unusual because we’re surrounded by water on three sides and a National Park Reserve on the fourth. So, there is nowhere to go,” he said. “We have to deal with growth and we have to deal with our infrastructure limits. That is going to be one of the biggest cornerstones of the next four years, tackling what that really means for Tofino.”
The nomination period for Oct. 15’s municipal election ends on Sept. 9 and the campaign period begins Sept. 15. Anyone interested in putting their name forward can find more information at www. tofino.ca.