“The squeaky wheel always gets the grease.” That’s Nancy Bowers’ motto. Bowers, a fish harvester and member of FFAW-Unifor’s Inshore Council, has worked tirelessly since before the 2015 federal election to secure funding for a new wharf in her community of Beachside.
After years of neglect, the existing wharf had become a hazard, making it impossible for fish harvesters to land their catch in the community
“The wharf is the heart of a town,” said Bowers. “I was not going to take no for an answer. If it took 20 years, I’d fight 20 years for it.”
Bowers saw the 2015 federal election as an opportunity to leverage support for funding. With politicians out in the community talking to voters about what issues matter to them, she knew the timing was right to get a commitment on the wharf. Without much experience in lobbying government, Bowers set to work meeting with her local Member of Parliament, Scott Simms.
“You don’t need to be a genius to lobby [politicians],” said Bowers. “You just need to present a sensible case and people will listen.”
Whenever Bowers heard that Simms or her Member of the House of Assembly, Brian Warr, were in the area, she’d track them down to talk about the wharf and why it was so important to fish harvesters in the community. This fall, Bowers was elected to the town council and is now serving as Deputy Mayor, an achievement she attributes to the confidence she gained after getting more involved in her Union.
Her relentless efforts finally paid off in October when the federal government announced $500,000 in funding to repair the wharf.
Even in these early stages of construction, the area is already bustling with activity. Dozens of community members can be found down by the wharf, looking on as construction begins.
“You can get anything done when you put your mind to it,” said Bowers, who is now more motivated than ever to improve life for the people in her community. “When we work together, we can make something great.”
PHOTO: Nancy Bowers (centre) is accompanied by MHA Brian Warr (left) and MP Scott Simms (right) at the wharf funding announcement in Beachside in October 2017.