Councillor Everett Baker, 62, ran for mayor in 2018. Photo submitted.

Councillor Everett Baker, 62, ran for mayor in 2018. Photo submitted.

Councillor, funeral director, announces bid for mayor’s seat

Social housing, new homes and infrastructure are priorities

Grand Forks has its first mayoral candidate for the 2022 municipal election.

Councillor Everett Baker, 62, has announced his intention to seek the city’s top office.

“I don’t think it surprised anyone,” Baker told the Gazette.

Baker ran for mayor in 2018, losing by just 56 votes to Mayor Brian Taylor, who stated at the new year he would not seek the office again. He was then successful in a bid for a council seat in a 2020 byelection.

Baker is president of the BC Liberal Riding Association for Boundary Similkameen, and has been active politically at the provincial level for many years.

His commitment to addressing Grand Forks’ social housing woes has been one of his greatest contributions to the city, he said. He’s worked closely with David Eby, minister responsible for housing on the issue, and said progress has been made.

“I think we will have an acceptable solution (soon)…We will put that concern behind us.”

Overall Grand Forks needs more housing, said Baker, pointing to a “unique ” project the city is pursuing with the Osoyoos Indian Band.

Improved diking and investing in infrastructure are also priorities.

Additionally, Baker looks forward to the chance to work on the Highway 3 BC Mayor’s Coalition, as he sees opportunities with that group to promote the area’s tourism industry.

He wants to work on making Grand Forks a destination community. “Our tourism has taken a hit or two, over the last few years.”

Baker and his wife Deborah moved with their family, from Chilliwack to Grand Forks, in 2006. Together they own and operate Grand Forks Funeral Home.