Vanderhoof mayoral candidate Kevin Moutray stated housing is the major priority heading into this year’s civic election.
Moutray has sat on council for the district for the last eleven years.
Voters head to the polls on October 15th.
Moutray told MyNechakoValleyNow.com they have no shortage of job opportunities up for grabs, but the candidates they want aren’t coming because the housing supply is wafer-thin.
“We have over 250 vacant jobs here in Vanderhoof right now and we can’t attract people to those jobs because we have nowhere for them to live. So, really it’s about how to get that into place will be key.”
In addition, the veteran councillor also believes more preventative flood maintenance is necessary, given the community is located on the banks of the Nechako River.
“We need to look at the full-term, making sure that the ecosystem is healthy and making sure from a flood mitigation standpoint. Again, we saw this year was another high-water year and we need to be prepared so we don’t end up in the same situation as we did down south.”
Vanderhoof is also right in the middle of a resource boom with two major projects happening at the moment. They are the Mount Milligan mine which is a copper-gold project located 155 kilometers northwest of Prince George and the Artemis Blackwater Gold Project 100km just south of Vanderhoof.
Moutray is of the opinion both projects will attract more people to the area.
“Right now, the main access to Artemis is through Vanderhoof. I sit on the Mount Milligan Community Sustainability Committee and we know that mines and the people that live in the community instead of flying in and out are a lot more reliable workforce. I think with both that mine and Mount Milligan where Vanderhoof could definitely have more employees going there as we have a bus that leaves there and comes back. I see economic potential and will add to our town.”
Moutray is one of three candidates looking to replace Gerry Thiessen who elected not to seek another term, ending a 14-year run as mayor.
Ken Holden and George Funk are the other two candidates in the running to become Vanderhoof mayor.