Learn more about Jennifer Lannan who is running as a candidate for Commissioner, in the 2023 Local Community Commission Election.
The 2023 Salt Spring Island Local Community Commission Election is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, 2023. The Capital Regional District will be conducting voting to elect four commissioners to the Local Community Commission (LCC). Learn more about what the LCC is and how it works.
About Jennifer Lannan
Film production and theatre were my first loves and I can't believe I've not ended up with a career in both. I've always been a lover of the arts and that is of no surprise from living here for so long. After graduating high school, here I lived on Vancouver Island in various places while earning a Bachelor of Arts from (now) VIU. I spent some time working in Seoul at first, and then Taipei -where I decided that cockroaches and earthquakes aren't for me. I then I flew home and I've never left. I've worked in the service/hospitality industry, theatre arts, as an EFL instructor, in sales and business development. My husband and I have run our own business for 7 years.
What brought you to the island?
Our parents moved our family here in 1991 after a few years in Calgary. We are originally from Newfoundland and we just have to be by the ocean. After having three children here, it is hard to leave...they certainly don't want to! I may want to move sometimes, but a sleepless night in a loud city makes me love this place even more.
What one thing about the island would you tell someone who has never visited?
This is one of the most unique places in the world and it will charm and intrigue you in the same breath. It lush surroundings are unparalleled and the smell of the fresh air is not to be taken for granted. Enjoy every moment you're here, enjoy the talented makers and creators, farm stands and markets.
If you could change one thing about Salt Spring, what would you change?
I would change the struggle people face when wanting this to be their home. There should be housing options for renters and homeowners. Salt Spring should be paving the way for net-zero housing development on all levels and working towards mindful and sustainable development. There are innovative things happening here nonetheless and the community has a feeling of being able to do anything--create, make, build and do, but progress is limited. Let's fix that!
What do you think is the most important community issue on the island right now?
Housing. Housing. Housing. I'm aware this is not in the LCC purview, but it should be. Our community will collapse without housing solutions. I think paralysis is also an issue. I'd love to see more 'let's set a date and act to have xyz done by______'. The island's marketing and identity could also use a makeover; it's great to see businesses offering transportation to places apart from what transit offers and it would be great to see even more climate-minded tourism-based infrastructure.
What is your favourite spot/place to visit on Salt Spring Island?
Xwaaqw'um/Burgoyne has my heart. I've never met a trail that I didn't like and so grateful for each and everyone on the island. My kids can spend hours by the water and we enjoy all our favourites as much as we can with a paddle board or two in tow. We also love the northwest beaches---who doesn't?!
Which elected position are you seeking?
Local Community Commissioner
Why should Salt Springers vote for you?
I'm hard-working and motivated to serve the island. I have much respect for where our community is coming from and all the work done to provide a clear understanding of the population and its diverse needs. However, we need equitable changes and mindful and sustainable development so that our systems are best supported. Understaffed ferry and hospital/medical services should frighten us all and solutions should not be avoided. I feel passionately that governmental structures that affect daily lives are to be held to the highest regard- each and every person’s well-being depends on that.
How do you plan to engage the community in your work?
I believe that all governance and especially governance on this small, local level should be highly approachable and accessible to all residents. I want people to feel their voice is heard and valued. There's a lot to be organized, but I'm sure it will all be ironed out and planned well. I think this is a good opportunity for islanders to spell out what their exceptions are instead of being told how it is going to be done.
Is there a really good interview question we should have asked you?
How do you think the LCC can positively affect change?
How would you have answered your question?
I think the LCC needs to appreciate all the work of commissions and special interest reports and ACT. Economic sustainability encompasses everything and I'd love to see this island put its best face forward for itself and others. The natural beauty here is unparalleled but there are things we can do to refine Ganges and beyond.