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Candidacy Announcement

It has never been a difficult decision for me to serve this community. It is an honour that I don’t take lightly.

Recently I’ve been asked if I was going to throw my hat in the ring again this election, and I thought, “Just my hat?” Since I first ran for Council, and then for your Mayor, I have thrown my hat, head, heart, and entire self into this community that I cherish.

Just like you, I chose Peachland to live and to make my home, because I was drawn to the picturesque beauty and quaintness of it. In my early 20s, shortly after completing the Practical Nursing program at Okanagan College, my then-fiancé and I came to Peachland to visit for the day and enjoy the beach. Within the next few months, we’d bought a house up Trepanier, married at the local United Church, and over the next 20 years we raised our three children here. They enjoyed Sparks, Brownies and Guides, dance lessons at the Community Centre and swim lessons at Swim Bay. My son enjoyed Scouts and soccer. Ayla was a Vice-Ambassador, and April was in theatre. They all attended Peachland Elementary School, won ribbons at the Fall Fair, participated in Remembrance Day services, rode in the annual parade, and oohed and aahed at the fireworks on Canada Day. When my children were still young, I decided to pursue a job that would enable me to be at home more and began a 20-year career as a freelance journalist for many local, provincial, and national newspapers and magazines.

I know it’s been a tough couple-plus years for the citizens of this community – with restrictions, isolation, health and financial worry. It’s part of the reason I didn’t announce earlier. I wanted people to get outside, enjoy the summer sunshine, the lake, hiking, camping, relaxing outside at your home with family you may not have seen for a while, or just swing in your hammock chilling (like my neighbour does). There was plenty of time to get into all the election crazies.

As with many other communities throughout the province, we have also faced wildfires and floods, extreme drought and weather events, including a heat dome last year. That is why the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Change (Chair), Peachland Healthy Watersheds committee (Chair), and the Okanagan Water Basin Board (Vice-Chair), are extremely important to me. Clean, safe and healthy drinking water, and source water protection are vital. As initiated by Peachland Council, the OBWB is working with the Province on the assessment of Okanagan Lake level management and water release calculations.
I believe in moderate development, as growth is part of the evolution of a community. However, I stress moderate development, not over development. And we don’t have to say yes to every developer. I would also like to re-evaluate the Official Community Plan, particularly when it comes to building heights along Beach Avenue.

At the same time, it is important that we must continue to attract young families, in order to ensure our community continues to thrive, without sacrificing its quaintness and charm. I am adamant that our Water Master Plan be updated and budgeted for in 2023 to ensure that our water supply meets those needs.

For the last eight years, I have been on the Board of the Peachland Seniors Support Society. The second Affordable Seniors Housing building is expected to break ground in the spring of 2023. The District and the new HUB Society are working diligently to provide a place where displaced groups, such as the Wellness Centre and Peachland Food Bank, can relocate.

I have also been working diligently with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, with multiple meetings, in addition to their presentations to Council, to ensure safety improvements along the existing highway, such as the traffic light at Trepanier. At the same time, even though they have said not for twenty years, it is important to keep the possibility of a bypass or alternative route alive.
And lastly, I want to ensure that sewer hook-ups for the entire community is one of our primary focuses in the next few years. We absolutely need to receive grants for such an expensive undertaking. We are currently awaiting word on a grant to hook up about 120 homes through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. It may sound like a small number of homes, yet it comes with a huge cost of $6.5 million. Peachland’s portion of that will be about $1.7 million, as they require a community to pay a portion of it. The cost may even escalate due to the rise in construction costs. I understand that citizens on septic are anxious to be hooked up to the sewer system. It is just ridiculous how pricey it is. I do want to see an up-to-date report of how many homes still need sewer, and work on a different approach.

Peachland Council has worked hard to keep property taxes down to not much more than cost of living increases – even while there has been a pandemic and escalating inflation. There has been an increase in utility taxes for much needed projects, such as our new water treatment plant, but it is important to continue to press for grants, and other monies from the higher levels of government, for various projects, rather than increasing taxes.

My top priorities (in no set order):
· a healthy watershed that includes source water protection and adequate supply, and an updated Water Master Plan;
· keeping taxes as low as possible by relying on other monies, such as grants for projects
· a new fire hall or “Protective Services Building”, for the safety of our community and our fire fighters;
· moderate development to keep the town progressing without sacrificing its quaintness and charm. This includes taking another look at the Official Community Plan, particularly building heights along Beach Avenue;
· affordable housing – for both seniors and young working families;
· outdoor active transportation corridors, and improved transit, as well as inter-municipal transportation
· an updated community sewer plan
· to continue to work with the OBWB and the Province on the reassessment of Okanagan Lake level management, and water release calculations
· and to continue to work with the higher levels of government, such as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to make safety improvements to the existing highway through town, while keeping the possibility of a future bypass alive.

*Please check out my website: for more information on the work I’ve been doing as Mayor, including committees, my bio, blog, accomplishments, goals, and more.

My campaign email address:
You can also find me on Facebook at Mayor Cindy Fortin.

So, the answer is “Yes”. It would be a privilege to continue to be your Mayor, and I am officially announcing my candidacy today and asking for your continued support.

“For the love of Peachland – my home and yours”

Mayor Cindy Fortin
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