Wendy Qureshi is running for Kimberley City Council, one of two female candidates with the exception of incumbent Sandra Roberts.
Qureshi’s family history in Kimberley dates back to when her grandfather first moved here 100 years ago. Her father, Jack Ratcliffe, sat on Council for over 30 years.
Qureshi moved to Marysville almost three years ago primarily to provide support to her parents. Her husband, who was a psychologist, died 14 years ago after becoming sick with meningitis. She took care of him at home for six years before he died.
Qureshi is retired and she believes this will benefit her if she is elected to Council, as she “has the time that is needed” to devote to all of the various meeting required of Councillors.
She also comes with years of experience in the communications field, having worked for the Vancouver Sun in advertising and being a Member Director for the Vancouver Press Club.
“I’m happy with the direction the City is headed,” said Qureshi. “I think Council could use some new blood and certainly some more female representation.”
Qureshi ran for Council for the District of North Vancouver in 2005 and 2011, but was unsuccessful.
“I wasn’t elected but I wasn’t at the end of the pact either,” she said. “Politics are totally different there. I wasn’t in support of the rampant development. There was too much development happening too fast, displacing people from their houses who can’t afford market costs.”
Qureshi believes her communication experience is what sets her apart.
“I’m a communicator,” she said, adding that she has had over 300 letters to the editor published in various publications.
She pointed to issues with rental housing, stating that she wants to encourage people to move here but they “need somewhere to live”.
She also pointed to recent tax reductions approved by Council.
“Council has done a good job with tax reductions to encourage development,” said Qureshi. “I am also in favour of selling the sun mine, it should be expanded and Teck has agreed to do so. The City should be in the business of running the City.”
She also thinks that the all service revenue that takes place throughout the year is a productive way to reduce costs, and that the Kimberley/Cranbrook commuter bus service is a “great idea” that will continue to attract people (specifically seniors) to move here.
“The Cranbrook commuter bus is a great idea and it keeps getting better and better,” she said. “I think we need to keep people out of their cars, and the bus is especially important for seniors who are retired and have money in their wallets.
“In the long run we need to continue to encourage seniors to move here. It’s the perfect place for people that golf and enjoy the arts, we need new people to contribute to the community and add to the camaraderie.”
Qureshi is a big supporter of the arts and she plays clarinet in the Kimberley Community band.
“I am very proud of our arts community and I support the arts,” she explained. “People are moving here because of our vibrant arts scene and we need to continue to promote and support that, especially with seniors.”
In terms of why, specifically, she is running, she said, “Kimberley has done wonderful things for me and I want to give back.”