Cyndi Lauze, a semi-retired teacher, is running for Vanderhoof council.
Lauze and her husband moved to Vanderhoof six years ago, after they bought the Tatuk Lake Resort – located just over an hour south of Vanderhoof – with her sister and brother-in-law.
Her husband was nearing retirement at the time, and they felt like Saskatoon, where they were living, wasn’t going to be a good fit for them. Now, they split their time between the resort and their home in Vanderhoof.
After she and her husband moved to Vanderhoof, Lauze’s mother also moved to the district, followed by her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. “Vanderhoof feels like home.”
She says she has always been involved in her school community, but now that she’s working less she says, “maybe it’s time to get involved in the community, the larger community, because I do have a vested interest with lots of children – grandchildren – growing up here, family here, I think it’s important and I think there’s lots of challenges that are coming down the pipe for small communities.”
She says she has always been involved with whichever church she belonged to, and when she took time off of work while her kids were young she was also the vice-president of a minor hockey league. But the majority of her time while she was working was devoted to organizing extracurriculars for her students.
Lauze would like to see the district council work with the community to create a development plan. The plan would be determined based on consultation and collaboration within the community, rather than just a small group of people determining the vision for the future. She says to do this they would have to ask the public a series of questions: “What is the vision for Vanderhoof five years from now? Twenty years from now? What’s that going to look like? What do we want to see for diverse development in our community? What’s important to us? So establishing that and then working towards those goals.”
She would also like to focus on housing. “I know that [the current council have] maintained they want to see Vanderhoof develop as a family-friendly community, so what is family defined as? And how do we meet the needs of the folks with diverse abilities in our community?”
As well as housing, Lauze would like to focus on sustainable development, diversity, and economic development. “I know a lot of folks are really concerned about, for example, all the fires. How can we work to mitigate some of the potential for fires that may be threatening our community? What can we do to work towards that?”
Lauze says she is a firm believer in lifelong learning. “I recognize that this is a very new experience for me, but I’m not afraid to tackle new experiences and learn from them … I feel very firmly about being transparent in everything I do and acting with integrity. And [what is] really, really, really important is that I want to be a good listener. I want to respond to the needs of the community and what people are saying, not give them my vision — it’s not all about me.”
She says many of the skills she learned as a teacher are transferable to the role of district councillor. “It’s all about people.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated the Cyndi Lauze is a part-owner of Tachick Lake Resort. She is actually a part-owner of Tatuk Lake Resort.