NewsCastlegar Councillor candidate: Shirley Falstead SHARE ON: Jensen Shields, staff Wednesday, Mar. 31st, 2021 Shirley Falstead is among three others on the ballot for City Councillor in the upcoming by-election in Castlegar. (Supplied by Shirley Falstead)Shirley Falstead is hoping to fill the vacant Council seat in Castlegar.Falstead said she currently sits on the Boards for the Heritage Credit Union and the Rota Villa Society. Having owned three businesses, an organic farm and a market garden, she said she has skills that are crucial for the position of Councillor.In addition, Falstead said she views issues through the lens of economic development. First and foremost, what she sees is a gap in housing.“My past working life has been in economic development, affordable housing in indigenous and rural communities,” said Falstead. “Castlegar is in a housing crisis, there is no doubt about it.”Falstead pointed to the lack of rental properties and the unaffordable housing market as key issues hitting the community hard. She suggested the City move forward with past strategies she has seen and implemented in other communities, utilizing government programs.“I think there’s some zoning issues that can be changed, tax breaks for smaller units like small-rise housing units.”That’s not all Falstead wants to tackle, as availability for healthcare services is also in her sights.“We need a 24-hour urgent care centre,” said Falstead. “We have people with health crises after 8 o’clock at night or on the weekend and they have to go to Trail. We are being underserved. Terrible.”Falstead also urged the community to look through the lens of climate change. “It’s our responsibility to see that no one falls short on life’s potentials,” added Falstead. “Whether it’s food or housing, healthcare, political voice or gender equity.” Falstead moved from Saskatchewan to Castlegar to be with her sister. What she left behind is a legacy that most folk in the West Kootenay can totally jibe with.“I co-founded a music festival on my farm in Saskatchewan,” said Falstead. “We used that place to share culture for white settlers and their indigenous neighbours. It is such a passion.”The Spruce River Folk Festival is usually hosted annually, last held in 2019. General voting day is April 24th. There will also be a mail-in ballot option. Councillor candidate profilesCastlegar Councillor candidate: Brian BogleMore profiles for candidates running for Councillor are on the horizon, including those for Heather Fancy and Sandy Bojechko.