Former manager of roads and traffic for the City of Nanaimo hopes to use his experience working in municipal politics on Qualicum Beach town council.
“I have dealt with politicians all my life and I know how it works, but I also know that a lot of politicians miss the mark when it comes to what they really should be looking at, such as what’s the best things for the citizens of the community,” said Brian Denbigh, who is running in the town’s byelection to fill its vacant council seat.
Denbigh said he moved to Qualicum Beach about two years ago after working for the City of Nanaimo for over 43 years and serving as an auxiliary RCMP member for 11.
Though he is now retired, he said he wondered how he could use his experience to benefit his new community. “I still feel that I have something to give and I think I’d be a good benefit to Qualicum,” he said,
Tourism, attracting new businesses and finding solutions for affordable housing are important issues for Denbigh.
“There is a balance here we really need for the town of Qualicum,” he said. “It is a retirement community on the one side, but we kind of have to balance that retirement with what’s going on in today’s age with small businesses. How do you keep them vibrant and at the same time attract younger people here because the younger people are going to be looking after us.”
He said he has heard from shop owners and residents who can not afford to live in town, or can not find jobs here and are forced to commute. It is time for some change in Qualicum Beach, Denbigh said.
“From what I understand, the past of Qualicum has always been sort of staunch, retirement, we don’t want change, we don’t want anybody here, but I mean where did everybody come from?” He said most people moved from other communities and he thinks new people should be welcomed. “They are not going to destroy anything and, you know, we can all get along.”
The ideal Qualicum Beach for Denbigh is a vibrant, active community with a love of arts and tourism, he said.