Erin Carlson announced today that she has taken a leave of absence from Stop the Swap, a grassroots advocacy campaign that she founded, so she can run for Summerland municipal council.
“I have decided that running for municipal council will be an effective way of creating a lasting impact from what we have started” Carlson wrote in an email sent this morning to the 2,500 people who have signed the Stop the Swap petition online. “To make sure I am following the rules, I have consulted the District of Summerland corporate officer and will step away from Stop the Swap while I pursue a seat.”
Carlson made clear that she does not have the personal contact information of anyone on the list and is unable to use the petition platform for her campaign.
Carlson’s partner Bart Fieten, another member of the group, is also stepping aside. With immediate effect any further activity by Stop the Swap will be at the discretion of the five remaining founding members, Alex Thistlewood, Katie Sardinha, Dru Yates, Anissa McAlpine, and Anastasia Ivanusic.
Stop the Swap was founded in December 2013 to protest an ALR land swap proposed by the current municipal council. Stop the Swap said the proposal calls for over 80 hectares of some of the town’s best farming land removed from the ALR to be replaced with over 90 hectares of inferior farming land farther out of town.