When Nicole Cherlet announced she would seek the NDP nomination for Columbia River Revelstoke last month, Cherlet said she didn’t know the election would come quickly.
A week later NDP leader John Horgan called an election for Oct. 24 and Cherlet’s transition time became go time.
Nicole and her husband Glenn moved to Revelstoke in 2008.
“We came for the winter season and never left,” she said.
Cherlet opened her own business, Big Mountain Kitchen and became the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce’s president.
Both of which have influenced her outlook on life and views on politics, she said.
In 2018 she was elected as city councillor and said she has seen the value her life experiences bring to the table. Earlier this year she posted her business for sale, saying she wanted to spend more time working for the community as a city councillor.
She owns a small business. Her and Glen rent, Cherlet said she has moved more than 12 times in the 12 years and though she doesn’t have kids she has struggled to keep employees because they can’t find childcare. She also worked in the service industry for many years.
“I have a different way of looking at things and the questions I ask tend to come from a different angle so we end up with better decisions because of it,” she said.
COVID-19 recovery and the opportunity it presents us with, is something Cherlet said she is excited to work on. The pandemic has brought to light important issues and once you see it you can’t unsee it, she said.
While access to affordable housing and childcare are two important issues, Cherlet said balancing tourism and health risks is also a needed conversation.
“This pandemic has really thrown us all for a loop,” she said. “We love welcoming guests to our communities but now beyond the old conversation of the local versus the new now there is this new layer of the pandemic that we need to be able to trust each other and be safe and adhere to that social contract where we all take care of each other.”
Another region-wide concern is transportation, she said. People need to be able to access public transit within their towns but they also need to be able to travel within the region.
When the election was called Cherlet was in the midst of transitioning her business. Now, instead of a store front, Big Mountain Kitchen is operating through online orders.
Though it’s difficult to handle both her business and the campaign at the same time, Cherlet is confident she can do it all.
“My particular background brings some unique perspective to get creative about how we build this back better here in B.C.,” she said.
Should she be elected as Columbia River Revelstoke’s MLA, Cherlet said she will step
down as city councillor, though she said MLAs have done both jobs in several communities in B.C. in the past.
A municipal by-election was already required to replace Steven Cross, who resigned in February. It will be scheduled after the provincial election.