Former Prince Rupert mayor Herb Pond is shown with his family and announced his intent to run in the October 15 municipal election. (Photo: Supplied)

Former Prince Rupert mayor Herb Pond is shown with his family and announced his intent to run in the October 15 municipal election. (Photo: Supplied)

Herb Pond announces intent for Prince Rupert mayoral candidacy

Former mayor for two terms says 2030 Vision is inspirational and a pathway forward

The first announcement of a mayoral candidate for the upcoming fall municipal elections has been made public, with Herb Pond announcing on July 18 that he is throwing his hat in the ring.

“I want to hear straight from people of Prince Rupert what’s important. Ultimately, the job is one of representing their voice, ” Pond told The Northern View on July 21.

Pond is familiar with the mayoral role and responsibilities from his time in the position during two terms between 2002 to 2008, stating he has grown and developed during the years since.

“I really enjoyed it. It was an incredibly challenging time. Anybody who lived through it will tell you it was the worst time in Rupert ever. So there was a lot of managing all the issues around that and working towards rebuilding a new economy,” he told The Northern View on July 21.

The mayoral candidate said it was an era when the city worked together with the Port and other partners to set Prince Rupert on a different path with the deliverance of the cruise ship dock and container terminal.

Politics is familiar stomping ground for Pond, who ran as the Liberal candidate in the 2017 provincial election against current North Coast MLA, Jennifer Rice.

Since his time in municipal office, he has worked in the private sector, and for First Nations, he has helped large enterprises develop their community engagement to understand our community better, he said.

He added his work with board governance, such as being previously chair of Coast Mountain College Board of Directors and currently as a director of the College Foundation Board, provide him with local knowledge.

Being the current chair of the Cedar Village Housing Society, Pond said he realizes the need for housing is a big issue, but it’s early days to set a campaign platform.

“You know, very clearly, those things that we’ve already talked about are already popping up in conversations I’m having … Housing – making sure that there’s affordable housing, but also making sure that the whole supply fits the needs the community from seniors to young families and people that need help getting into housing.”

Pond praised the current mayor and council for everything they have done over the past several years and said it’s very clear to him that a void will be left.

“The mayor and council have done a good job getting us going, and there is momentum there that needs to be maintained. I think there is an urgency to maintaining that momentum. I’ve got the energy, enthusiasm and experience.”

The former mayor said the 2030 Vision is inspirational and is a pathway forward setting out a “really solid and well-researched framework.” However, some urgent pieces still need to be developed, he said.

“If we expect to maintain the level of health services, if we expect to have our industry grow, there’s going to be a rather urgent need to continue to push on those, as well as the infrastructure pieces of water, sewage, sidewalks and roads, and of actually getting brick and mortar investments into that [2030] plan … it’s a great plan, but it needs to be brought to life …” Pond said.

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K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist 
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