Ladysmith Ratepayers Association - helping make Ladysmith a better place to live!

Our Mission

The Ladysmith Ratepayers Association 2018 (LRA) is a non-profit, non-partisan society devoted to promoting the interests of its members through activities that encourage information sharing and public representation.

A lIttle About Us


Our Purpose

The Ladysmith Ratepayers Association 2018 (LRA) is directed by an executive of local residents who are dedicated to serving the interests of its members and the community.

The LRA delivers its mission by informing and involving its members on issues that may impact Ladysmith taxpayers and residents. It does that by:

  • reviewing and making representation with respect to taxation, fees and services to the area
  • enhancing public awareness on issues related to the fiscal accountability of the municipality;
  • liaising with decision-makers to advance the common interests our members;
  • protecting the ‘small town’ qualities and character of the Town; and
  • protecting the area’s environment and natural resources.

We encourage participation and consultation between the public and decision-makers in part through the formation of sub-committees on subjects such as:

  • development (community planning, business, and economic);
  • infrastructure (roads, water, sewer and waste);
  • public health and safety;
  • education; and
  • parks, recreation and culture

The Role of Public Consultation

Public consultation is a process that is designed to encourage the public to provide their views for consideration and inclusion in government/private sector decision-making.

The public are perfectly capable of under­standing complex issues; and history has proven that, in the vast majority of cases, neither the public nor the decision-makers are necessarily experts on the issues they are deciding.

Joining forces empowers both and improves the decision-making process. 

In many cases, the common approach to public consultation is to use short-term programs designed to meet minimum regulatory requirements. Attaining best practice requires longer-term focus on community engagement, stakeholder relationship-building and sustainable development.

 Consultation and stakeholder engagement both require public inclusion and dialogue with the decision-makers needs to span the entire life of the project in order to protect public values.

It is not enough to meet minimum regulatory requirements of public consultation for issues that have the potential to significantly affect the residents and businesses of Ladysmith.

At the LRA, we believe that efforts need to be made to accommodate concerns that arise during public consultation. And, in cases where maintaining quality of life, environmental stewardship and/or commercial opportu­nity emerge as a legitimate concern, public consent should be attained through methods such as referenda.

Meet the Directors

Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, President

With over 30 years in International Business Development, Vicky is credited with her well-reasoned approach to operational responsibilities, clearly communicating corporate vision, and consistently gaining cooperation to manage change.

Her ability to balance strong negotiating and consensus building skills with a fair but firm approach lead to her holding the roles of COO and Managing Director at Post Time Technologies Inc.; President International Development and Head of Advanced Business Systems at Priority Management Systems (Canada) Inc.; Director, International Development at Bicer Medical Systems.

As a member of a Richmond/Steveston pioneer family committed to giving back to their community, Vicky spent four years on the Steveston Community Planning Committee, tasked with the development of the B.C. Packers waterfront land.

In 2010, Vicky and her husband Eric made the best decision EVER to move to Ladysmith. If she’s not out walking with her dog, Baillie, and her neighbours and friends, she can be found either on her cell or running to a meeting somewhere in Ladysmith.

To contact Vicky by email:

Russell Barling

Russell Barling, Vice-President

Russ is a Corporate Communications executive specialising in media engagement and crisis management. He predominantly supports companies in the energy and transporta­tion sectors.

Prior to entering the corporate sector, Russ spent more than 20 years overseas working as an investigative journalist for some of the world’s leading newspapers, including the Guardian (London) and the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).

When not working, he can be found walking his dog, Shadow, at Transfer Beach, or at CHLY 101.7 FM on Fridays where he hosts the popular radio show, the Sweet Spot, dedicated to jazz. He is married and has been living in Ladysmith since 2013.

Eva Vincent, Secretary & Treasurer

Eva moved to Ladysmith with her husband, John, 18 years ago and she currently holds a management position at Medical & Academic Affairs, a division of Island Health.

Before moving from Chemainus to Ladysmith with her four children, she was the owner of a motel in P.E.I., a small bakery in B.C., and worked in the film industry in Quebec. After her children finished school, she returned to university to study Business Administration.

She is a dedicated volunteer, donating her time to the Boys and Girls Scouts of Canada, the Chemainus Festival of Murals, the Cowichan Agricultural Society and the Cowichan Smallholders Society.

When not working, you can find Eva in her garden, or hunting for that perfect piece of mid-century furniture. Her favourite pastime, though, is spending time with her five grandchildren, who all live in Ladysmith. 


Directors at Large

Erik Piikkila


Erik is a B.C. Forester in Training with ecoforestry experience in B.C., Finland, the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Redwoods of California. He was trained by the world-renowned ecoforester Jerry Franklin.

At the B.C. Ministry of Forests, he assisted 10 major forest companies with 30 different operations, B.C. Timber Sales and Woodlot Licenses and to implement the B.C. Forest Practices Code.

Most recently, Erik has been offering a 4Seasons Eco School program to K – 12 students, providing eco-tours of Wildwood to University students.

He will be leading our Watershed Committee in association with a small Ladysmith watershed group called GreenBlue, which has been working for 3+ years to understand and protect the Ladysmith watershed.

Erik is very active in the Cowichan Valley. He has offered his counsel and experience to the BC NDP, the BC Green Party, the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Committee, The Public and Private Workers of Canada, The Cowichan Watershed Board and the CVRD.

John Vincent


John moved to Ladysmith with Eva 18 years ago after 9 peaceful years in Chemainus with his son.

Currently semi-retired, he works part-time as a precast concrete bridge component inspector. His career spans almost three decades in the nature-resource sector, including four years as a biometrics screener in Afghanistan. 

After many years in the Middle East, John’s love of water compelled him to buy a sailboat and volunteer with the Ladysmith Marine Search and Rescue. He claims the two best days of his life were "the day I bought the boat and the day I sold it".

His current hobbies include "digging up rocks", moving plants and trees around the yard, being dragged around searching for mid-century furniture and dodging five rambunctious grandchildren.

Join the Ladysmith Ratepayers Association 2018

LRA members know that when a community works together you build influence and knowledge. Join us and put your tax dollars to work for the benefit of all Ladysmith residents. Get involved.