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Backs heeds 'the call,' runs for Area D director's seat

When asked what motivated him to consider running in the Oct. 15 local government elections, Backs commented “In the last few months I have canvased many that I hoped would run for the position and found no takers. Through all that time I was greeted with pleas that I should put my name forward."
Kelly Backs
Kelly Backs is running for the Roberts Creek director's chair.

“Extraordinary times call for action,” Kelly Backs, a recently-declared Area D (Roberts Creek) director's candidate for the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board, wrote in an email to Coast Reporter.

When asked what motivated him to consider running in the Oct. 15 local government elections, Backs commented, “In the last few months, I have canvased many that I hoped would run for the position and found no takers. Through all that time I was greeted with pleas that I should put my name forward… I believe I can do more in this position than most, using my skills as a communicator and leaning on my love of this community and its people.”

All about Backs

Backs’s Creek pedigree dates back to 2000 when he moved to the Coast after 15 years in Montreal. He said he spent “a few years of bouncing around the Coast trying to make a living,” relocated to Vancouver and returned in 2010. He bought a property in the Creek and opened his blacksmithing shop.

“I have had the great fortune to play music with some of the best musicians the Coast has to offer and have been kept busy raising my son, now 16,” he said.

“I have had an interest in politics my entire life and I have built relationships here on the Coast with our federal and provincial representatives, as well as elected officials from Gibsons, Sechelt and the SCRD, and I hope to put these connections to good use on behalf of Roberts Creek and the Sunshine Coast.”

Campaign is up and running 

He also reported having “no trouble” assembling a team of friends that have offered help to manage some of the demands of his campaign. He is getting an early campaign start by re-establishing a tradition of Saturday mornings at the Café, beginning Aug. 20.  At those events, he will make himself available to community members from 10 a.m. to noon at the Gumboot Café.

If elected, Backs told Coast Reporter he plans to continue to reach out through monthly newsletters, through Boottales, an online publication put out by the Roberts Creek Community Association. He said he would also engage with the public through surveys and discussions on pertinent issues, using in-person and social media opportunities.

For Backs, key issues the future SCRD Board needs to address include the region's landfill and water supply. “There are many issues that rest with higher levels of government which I will advocate for on behalf of the Sunshine Coast, housing, mental health, food security, economic and ecologic sustainability are a few that, properly addressed, can bring a better quality of life to our whole community. There are many moving parts to Area D and I will be meeting with the OCPC, the Community Association and others, on a regular basis to gain insight into to the specific issues most on the minds of Roberts Creek,” he stated.   

Regarding the time commitment needed to take on director’s duties, Backs said he has “cultivated a strong ability to set boundaries in my business life and, having a modicum of recognition in the community from my work as a columnist, firefighter and musician, engaging with the public is something I am familiar with and know when my battery is running low and it's time to recharge.”

In the meantime, Backs will be taking a step back from his Gumboot Nation column for Coast Reporter as he focusses on his campaign.

Coast Reporter encourages candidates for the upcoming local government elections to reach out to editor@coastreporter.net. Efforts will be made to keep the community informed on those who are considering letting their names stand as elected representatives for our communities.