“Right now we have a lot of industrial activity and whatnot going on around town and I’m quite familiar with industry of quite a few different styles,” he says. “The town is probably going to be on a build cycle for the next few years, and I’ve always considered myself a builder, rather than a sitter-on-a-fence.”
At the top of the future possible industrial developments list is the proposed Site C dam. Johnson says the most important thing for the district to do now is to get input from residents on what legacy projects they’d like to see if it goes through.
“The time is coming close and we don’t know for sure whether it’s going, but we have to be prepared for it and we should be deciding what we need to get from it.”
He adds that with the anticipated population increase for the district, it’s also time to work on freeing up properties from the Agricultural Land Reserve within municipal boundaries. Johnson also says attention needs to be paid to medical services for residents. For the most part, Hudson’s Hope relies on doctors that come from Fort St. John two to three days a week.
“We’d really like to get a permanent doctor so we have at last five days a week [coverage],” he says. “Our population is aging and of course that increases the medical need.”
He also argues that elder residents often prefer to have their own doctor in town, and that the district hasn’t their own doctor for some time now. Although Johnson believes the District has enough of a population to support a doctor, that may not be properly represented in statistics, as they don’t account for transient workers.
“I think that’s very important that we arrange something so that you can bring in the transient workforce in the area and add it to your stats, because that’s a huge thing when it comes to medical services.”
He adds that knowing the true population would also affect other services in town like recreational facilities.
At the end of the day, Johnson says he simply likes to give back to the community in whatever way he can. He and fellow Councillor Gwen Johansson are running to replace Mayor Karen Anderson along with five residents running to fill their now vacant councillor positions in the byelection being held on December 1, 2012. An interview with Johansson can be found to the right of this article.