Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login

Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Jo MacDonald – 2019 Fire Board Election – Candidate Profile

    Editorial & Opinions, Election Candidates    April 7, 2019

I am thankful every day to be a resident of Salt Spring. Born in Alberta, I moved first to Vancouver, then Courtenay, then Victoria, but my soul quickly settled in Salt Spring. My family (husband Bill and our five children) have a deep love of this Island. We also have two “Salty Dogs”, Maddi and Molli, who love to muck about on our 6 acres of forest, gardens and quiet places. Our family’s best times have been here.

We support our local businesses, marvel at the rich and diverse talents of the residents and treasure the genuine caring nature of Salt Spring Islanders. Although I work for the District of Saanich, I gladly commute daily in order to live in the place I love best.

I, like the rest of you, experienced the dramatic effect of weather systems on our Island this past winter, and saw the heavy demand placed on our emergency services. They worked tirelessly and their response was phenomenal. I have both an ability and a desire to apply my professional knowledge, skills and experience to enable our Fire Service to respond to any emergency we face in even more demanding circumstances in a fiscally responsible way.

What brought you to the area?

We discovered Salt Spring by boat, first arriving on a sailboat with our own five children, 2 extra small guests, 2 dogs and 3 cats. It was love at first sight for all of us, and on our many subsequent trips we discovered more and more places to love and treasure. It quickly became our goal to spend our lives in the place our souls had adopted.

What one thing about Salt Spring would you tell someone who has never visited the island?

From the highest elevation to the shoreline the views are breathtaking; the peacefulness incomparable, with flowers, wildlife, birds and sea creatures in abundance, but the heart of the Island is the people – friendly, open, industrious, talented and genuinely caring. This was best exemplified during storms this past winter, when we banded together to help each other. We opened our homes and resources to our neighbours – Glad’s opening its freezers to protect our food; neighbours with water opening their doors to those without it to shower or fill bottles, to name a few. This is something you do not find in most communities and it makes Salt Spring truly special. It is a community I am very proud to be a member of.

If you could change one thing about Salt Spring, what would you change?

I would change the polarization of the community on issues of importance to us all. I will work to bring people together to find common ground on local issues that affect us deeply.

Which well known person, living or dead, do you think would be a good addition to the island?

Stephen Hawking. His research and insight into how the universe and our own world work – especially regarding climate change, would be invaluable to our community.

What do you think the number one community issue on Salt Spring Island is right now?

After experiencing the serious consequences of wind and snow over the past winter, our awareness of our dependence on the resources within our own community to provide emergency services has heightened. Losing power and water was difficult, but for those who lost access to roads the reality of being cut off from emergency services – medical, fire, etc. was a sobering reality. Islanders are seeking long term resources to mitigate the impact of future events, as we cannot call upon neighbouring communities for fast, effective disaster response.

Which elected position are you seeking?

Salt Spring Fire Protection Board Trustee

Why should Salt Springers vote for you?

I have extensive professional experience managing budgets and human resources in a publicly funded environment. I provide support to the Saanich Fire Service as well as other municipal services, and I am well versed in the legislation regulating employers in British Columbia. I have been both a union and a management representative and am currently the Senior Manager of Human Resources with the District of Saanich. I have extensive professional experience managing public budgets. Previously I was the Manager of Consulting Services (Human Resources) with the Vancouver Island Health Authority. In both positions I have been responsible and accountable for labour relations, and for the administration of budgets well in excess of $1 million annually.

I strongly believe in responsible, transparent administration of public funds to achieve the goals and objectives set by the members of the community served.

Is there a really good interview question we should have asked you?

You have worked closely with another Fire Department. What did they have to say about your knowledge, skill, ability and character?

How would you have answered your question?

“Jo is a highly skilled Human Resources professional with extensive local government and public sector management experience. She has worked closely supporting public safety Departments and leadership within the District of Saanich and has in depth knowledge of Fire and Police service cultural norms and the breadth of operational and service delivery challenges that they face. Jo is a highly professional and personable individual. She is very much team orientated and focused on providing balanced and well researched advice that ensure risks are mitigated and organizational interests are safeguarded. As manager and leader Jo ensures a positive and open working environment for her staff and encourages their professional development and growth. Jo is well regarded by her peers and ensures customer service excellence at all times for the Department Head and Elected Officials that she supports and works with.”

Jo MacDonald – 2019 Fire Board Trustee Election – Candidate Profile

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags


Post an Event

Community News

  • Watch: ‘Slimy’ GISS Students Win at Cana...

    by on April 17, 2019

    From its humble beginning as an educational adventure into a new style of theatre learning, The Canadian Improv Games got its start in Ottawa in 1977. Today, CIG is home to one of the largest and most geographically dispersed theatre festivals in Canada with 14 regional programs and over 100,000 alumni participants. Each year students […]

  • Changes in Ruckle Provincial Park Active...

    by on April 17, 2019

    Ruckle Park Active Farm has been in transition since 2018 June when dear Helen Ruckle died – last signatory on a life tenancy agreement between BC Parks and the Ruckle family that allowed them to live in the homes and continue to manage and operate the family farm. The loss is immeasurable, in so many […]

  • Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 201...

    by on April 17, 2019

    Response Report: Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 49 calls for assistance in March.  From January to March 2019, SSIFR has responded to 72 Fire Incidents, 71 Medical Incidents, 13 Rescues, and 10 calls for Assistance (Total 166 Calls) Operations This month firefighters attended our first of the year brush fires.  Two fast moving brush […]

  • Photos: BC Forest March Action

    by on April 10, 2019

    On Saturday April 6, 2019 Salt Spring joined 18 communities across BC taking action in support of better protection for our local and provincial forests. About 150 Island residents participated, first gathering at the Library and then marching through Ganges. Joe Akerman opened the event and spoke about the long tradition of stewardship by Coast […]

  • From Space Junk to TED Talks: Forum

    by on April 8, 2019

    Moriba Jah grew up in Venezuela and then joined the US Air Force, where he was tasked with guarding nuclear missiles in Montana. Inspired by conversations with the engineers and technicians maintaining the missiles, he began to study – a path that took him to a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Jah then worked at […]

  • New Fire Hall – To Be Or Not To Be?

    by on April 8, 2019

    Salt Spring property owners have had the opportunity to review and vote upon a number of proposals for a replacement of the Ganges Fire Hall. All have been defeated but it’s time to look a little more closely at the reasons for the proposals and the reasons for the defeat. The Ganges Fire Hall has […]

  • Fire Board Election Monday April 29, 201...

    by on April 7, 2019

    Is there a risk that foreign powers will try to influence our 2019 Fire Board Trustee election? The good news is: Absolutely not. Nobody outside of Salt Spring Island really cares how we structure and manage our fire service. But this also shows how uniquely isolated we are as an island. While the Crofton Fire […]

  • Video and Photos: New Centennial Park / ...

    by on April 7, 2019

    The new washroom at Centennial Park has been completed ahead of schedule and is now open. The washroom has a number of features making it unique to other cinderblock washrooms that the community may appreciate. There are four sinks located on the back of the washroom for vendor use and the porta potties have been […]

  • Andreas Gedeon – 2019 Fire Board E...

    by on April 7, 2019

    My wife Annebeeke and I have been calling Salt Spring our home since 2007. Our two children Emily and Wynn were born here, and we plan on continuing to raise them in this truly special part of our planet. Born in 1975 in West Germany, I grew up during the Cold War. Our emergency services […]

Pin It on Pinterest