Jason Wiebe is running for Keremeos Village council.
A strong sense of community spirit, a thorough understanding of small town issues and a desire to contribute and make a difference in the community are Wiebe’s motivation for throwing his hat in the ring this year.
Wiebe admits he hasn’t been too active politcially up to now, but after being approached recently and asked to run for council, he thought about it and decided it was a logical step to take.
“My philsophy is, if we’re not making a difference in our communities, then, we’re not doing our job,” he said.
“I think present council has done a decent job, but I’ve always been about community, expressed most often in the setting of the church. Running for council will broaden my involvement in the community.”
“I love small towns – I’ve spent the last 10 years intentionally in small towns, when I could have gone elsewhere. I was born and raised in small towns.”
While Wiebe has not been political in the past, he has been an active community volunteer, having spent five years as a volunteer firefighter on Vancouver Island, and one year as a volunteer firefighter in a central interior community.
He has also chaired a non-profit society for 10 years, in addition to offering chaplain services to the Keremeos Royal Canadian Legion and the RCMP.
“The chaplaincy work I do because of my faith from a community perspective, not out of a sense of obligation,” said Wiebe, who has been full time pastor at Elim Tabernacle since 2009, and a minister since 2004.
“I’ve had many good conversations with people without raising the issue of religious faith,” he added.
Wiebe has also contributed to Keremeos’ volunteer scene by helping to stage the “Kids Under the ‘K’” event for two summers, in 2011 and 2013. He has assisted with Canada Day celebrations, in addition to helping Elim Tabernacle stage Halloween fireworks for the community’s enjoyment.
“There are things we can do that can maximize the quality of life in a small town – I ask myself, how does that look?” said Wiebe, who is also doing his homework in anticipation of a council chair.
“I went to the village office, asked questions, asked for a copy of the budget,” he said, “I’m researching the job. I’ve also spoken to former council members about the duties of a councillor.”
I believe in asking questions in search of workable, lasting solutions.”
Wiebe sees three main issues challenging the village: health care, economic development and public safety.
“I’m interested in health care as it relates to the Village of Keremeos,” he said, “ we have excellent health care facilities here. I’d like to work to ensure residents continue to have access to the health care services they need.”
“The village needs to pursue eonomic development – realistic economic development. Let’s try and find that. I believe the solution is going to involve a lot of homework.”
“My idea of public safety involves helping to find solutions to pressing social issues and other ‘big picture things’” he said.
Jason resides in Keremeos with wife Melissa and four children.