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Debra Toporowski

Independent for North Cowichan Council (incumbent)


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I was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, with a First Nation and Chinese Heritage. My mother is the late Ethel Jack and my father is Howard Wong.

I wish to work towards finding the right balance of economic, environmental and social issues that we all care about. There are many critical issues, for example Water, Affordable Housing, A Healthy Environment, Food Security and others issues which are important to you and your family.

I had worked as a Constituency Assistant for 12 years for 2 MLA’s. 

I am a fourth term elected Cowichan Tribes Councillor and a North Cowichan Councillor. I am the first elected female to have held both positions on two councils at the same time.  

I am the Chair of the First Nations Relations Committee and appointed to the CVRD Board of directors and sit on the Cowichan Watershed Board. I became Deputy/Acting Mayor on March 1. 

I was appointed to the Pacific Salmon Commission, Southern Panel Member - Canadian Section in 2020-2025 and was appointed Indigenous Watershed Champion in May 2021.

I am a caring person who knows how to listen to you and to your community issues and then will take action to pursue a better, fairer process for us all. 

I am also passionate about fighting for the protection of our local water, land and air but also understand the need for balance between our environment and a strong economy. We can truly have both; it does not have to be one or the other. I am an inclusive person who knows how to lead and will bring your voice to the table on social and economic issues.

Reason for running

submitted by the candidate or their team
My future vision is that we can all work together to come up with practical solutions to the issues we face in our community today.

Not only do we need to form short term solutions for the issues we face today, but also find long term solutions for these issues into the future.

We need to value the diverse voices in our community, by creating safe spaces to express open dialogue, and work cooperatively to create an inclusive & healthy community.

COVID had magnified these issues, but also brought people together in different ways to step up through these difficult times.

I have entered politics at a very interesting time with the Federal and Provincial Governments looking at implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).