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Baird seeking re-election and focusing on affordable housing for Cumberland election

Leslie Baird is looking to be re-elected as mayor for the Village of Cumberland.

The municipal election is coming up on Oct. 15.

Baird was elected as mayor by acclamation in 2011 and 2014 and re-elected in 2018.

Baird was born in Comox and raised in Cumberland.

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She was first nominated and elected as a councillor for the village in 1990 and ran successfully in the following elections.

She received a a long service award in 2015 from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities for over 25 years of service in local government.

Baird says the lack of housing in Cumberland is a major issue in this election.

“We’ve been working closely within the community to find land to develop for obtainable housing,” said Baird. “I’ve been working with BC Housing, who does not have enough funding to support many of the possibilities that are out there. There are so many outlets. The most important part is land.”

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She says having buildings be businesses on the bottom and apartments on the top in the downtown core is helping with the housing problem.

“That’s a way that we’ve looked into it. We started that quite a few years ago and continued developing in that way.”

Baird adds that this approach benefits everyone in the community

“It helps local stores, community events and organizations. We need an active downtown community where people are invested and take pride in their community and are shopping locally. We want to make this the most wonderful place to live.”

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The average house in Cumberland is on the market for 25 days, according to Baird.

“We have not seen that in a long time. That makes it better for locals to give them a rest from all the development. There is a downturn right now. We don’t want to stop growth.”

Baird is running against Vickey Brown.

MyComoxValleyNow has reached out to all mayoral candidates for their comments.

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