For the fifth time Stanley Oliver has been elected to the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Town council.
Oliver who has served as deputy mayor was elected last Tuesday with 411 votes while his closes rival Bert Pomeroy gained 246 on his first attempt at running for office, while Bonnie Burden-Quigley captured 132 votes. It was the biggest voter turnout for a by-election with 789 people casting their votes.
“I think people have a general interest in what is going on in town. You had three good candidates with issues with what is going on with development, lack of recreational facilities, all three of us all had the same kind of broad issues,” said Oliver.
Oliver says that his experience as a councillor and Deputy Mayor made a difference to the voters in the community and people knew him for the work he has done in the past.
“I have been Deputy Mayor and have sat on council for over 12 years, so I think that had a factor to the voters,” he said.
Oliver says that on his fifth trip to the council chamber people will find that he will be more analytical and take his time and analyze what comes to council further then make a decision based on the facts.
Oliver comes with years of experience and has sat at many tables for the Nunatsiavut government and the province carrying big files for negotiation.
Oliver says he has some big issues he will be bringing to council such as new recreation facility, “We need a new swimming pool and there are some major infrastructure issues within town.”
Oliver said, Hamilton River road needs to be looked at because of the heavy traffic, it is falling apart and said council needs to work with government to see how the road and other issues can be fixed.
“When it comes to the Lower Churchill if they are going to proceed with it what is the return on it for our investment? When I say return I mean our investment with our resource. So they (the province) should be paying for the rec centre, they should be paying for the highway,” he said.
Oliver said he would like to established sustainable energy rates fop the people of Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the long term, meaning rates should not go up five times in two years.
Oliver supports development of Muskrat Falls, and he is for the project but not at all cost.
“My parents moved here in 1943 and were one of the first families to settle on Birch Island. There were 12 families then and my Dad trapped up the river and I know what the river means to people. However I know what development means to the future, but that does not mean we need to give up everything,” Oliver said.
Oliver says with the development will be a major impact on affordable housing and says it is happening now. He says he expects the housing cost to triple.
“I have always advocated for rent controls and Quebec is an example where they passed legislation where a landlord cannot come in and raise someone’s rent 60 percent. So there is legislation that can be passed,” he said.
Oliver says he would love to see the Town prosper, but he would like to see the Town continue to have the integrity a small town has a nice and safe place to live.
“I want to thank my family and friends and the supporters who came out to vote. Although I cannot fix every issue everyday, I am always there to work on peoples behave and do whatever I can in my role as a councillor,”