Third candidate seeks Vernon mayor’s job

Victor Cumming finished second in the 2014 election to Akbal Mund by only 625 votes

Close to winning four years ago, Victor Cumming hopes to land the mayor’s job in Vernon this time around.

Cumming, 63, an economist and volunteer, finished second to Akbal Mund by only 625 votes in the 2014 municipal election. He has announced he is again throwing his hat into the ring for the Oct. 20 vote.

“It’s my passion for working on integrated community development, that’s my profession, that’s my practice and I want to focus on my own region and community,” said Cumming on his decision to seek election.

“Many others strongly encouraged me to run again, based on what they see as my demonstrated skill set. It’s about doing locally what I’ve done regionally, provincially and across Canada.”

Born in Golden and raised in Naramata, Cumming holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics and geography, and a master of arts in rural planning and development. He has taught economic development for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, and his consulting firm provides economic development, planning and operation assistance to local, regional and First Nations governments across Canada.

In 2014, Cumming’s platform talked about how Vernon’s diverse economy is a positive and how he wants to come up with new approaches to address the infrastructure deficit in Vernon.

“This time, I’m more focused on attainable housing,” he said. “It’s a really critical issue. If you’re in the top 40 per cent, housing isn’t an issue. If you’re in the bottom 60 per cent, yeh, it’s an issue. Safety is another big issue, I don’t need to say much more than that. It’s been on the front pages. Community safety is an issue that has really accelerated in the last three or four years.

“Business and economic development continue to be really significant and will be in the next three years, particularly with a dramatically changing international environment. Infrastructure continues to be key. The city is putting significant efforts into restoring old infrastructure and there’s infrastructure that needs to be fixed that’s not operating well.”

Cumming said he was an unknown entity in the 2014 race but still finished second behind a more well-known candidate in Mund. Being so close then, along with plenty of encouragement now, convinced Cumming to take another crack at the mayor’s chair.

“Four years ago, if I’d been way back it would have been an indicator to let this idea go,” said Cumming. “I was a new face when I ran four years ago. I came from relatively unknown to doing well with someone like Akbal who is extremely well known.”

Candidates for mayor and council will again be running for four-year terms in the October vote. Cumming said that’s not a problem for him.

“I’m now 63, at the end of my career, and this would signal a shift,” he said. “It’s the right time for me. Doing the mayor thing is a full-time job, I recognize that and will give it that respect.”

Mund has not publicly declared if he plans to seek re-election in October. Former Mayor Wayne Lippert and painter Art Gourley have declared their intentions to run for mayor.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

Liam’s Lowdown: Food is everywhere

Turn your garden scraps into tasty treats

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read