The Mission Record reached out to all four mayoral candidates in the Oct. 20 municipal election and asked them the same three questions. We asked them to keep their answers to about 400 words. The questions are:
1. What are the two biggest or most important issues in Mission?
2. What is your vision for Mission’s future?
3. Why should residents vote for you?
Here are their responses:
1. Unprecedented growth will be the single largest influence in Mission for years to come. It`s an exciting time that will present many challenges and opportunities in every aspect of our community. How we manage our growth today will determine what kind of community we will have tomorrow. While we welcome change we also have to be thoughtful. It will be our duty as a council to embrace the changes with innovation and integrity, and to help every resident in the community benefit as we move forward. With growth we will need to ensure the success of our non-profit sector, which is the very essence of our community. The non-profit sector works tirelessly at improving lives; in particular, our most vulnerable citizens – our seniors and our youth.
With growth, we will need to create more investment, diversity and stability in our local economy. We will need to identify more spaces capable of sustaining light industry, industry and other businesses that offer living wages. We can do this by looking at the sharing of space within existing spaces that are underutilized. In addition, the waterfront is a vast area that will be able to offer a mix of usage which would be ideal with access to the Fraser River for the transportation of goods. Lastly, we will need to work with the Ministry of Agriculture in permitted uses of the ALR land that is not currently farmed, perhaps identifying agricultural-based businesses that would benefit the farming industry.
2. The number one premise of my vision is that we are open for business. We need to showcase the businesses that have been successful in our community and actively encourage more to make Mission their home. We can provide incentives, speed up processes and create a culture that is conducive to success.
We do so many things well in our cultural and recreational sectors. It`s time to capitalize on the tourism dollars that can be generated from the sharing of our local offerings. The opportunities alone from the Stave West area, and with additions like access to the Fraser River that also include walking trails, will be sought out by people craving green space.
Finally, we will need to ensure our main corridors and intersections have the capacity for the greater volumes. The highway and bypass issue through downtown must be resolved with the province in order to help the downtown retail zone thrive, and to improve access to the waterfront and our industrial lands.
3. I have a proven track record of service to the community. I am a hard worker, I listen, and I value relationships. I have the ability to inspire others. I am capable of doing the job and I am dedicated to moving Mission forward!
1. The Mission bypass and lower cost housing and treatment centre for the homeless are some of my concerns.
2. I see Mission becoming the world leader in a ground-breaking governing system.
3. And, people should vote for me because it’s time for a change.
1. The two biggest issues facing us are the addicted/mentally ill homeless and local jobs for our growing commuting residents.
Year by year it is easy to see that our addicted street-entrenched population is growing. Our health authority seems to think that doing more of what isn’t working will make things better. It won’t. We need detox facilities, access to residential mental health treatment, and long-term residential addiction recovery beds.
We are growing at a very accelerated rate and it doesn’t seem to be slowing. Rather than adding substantial numbers to our commuting people, we must have a plan to add new industrial and high-tech jobs to enable work closer to home. That means that we must have a land base suitable for industrial development.
That land base must have the attributes that small manufacturing or high-tech investors require. This is a difficult challenge that will need cooperation from other levels of government.
2. My vision for Mission is pretty simple: safe streets and neighbourhoods, family-supporting employment, great outdoor amenities that respect the environment, housing that young families can afford, and great recreational opportunities and choices.
In short, be the community where people of all ages want to live; simple vision that would take tremendous commitment to achieve.
3. I am again asking for people’s trust because I have proven over four mayoral terms that I have the knowledge and experience to lead and unite councils of very varied backgrounds. Having served 12 years as an MLA, I have great connections on both sides of the Legislature. I have the courage to make difficult decisions and I always put principles ahead of politics.
The past four years have seen a united council that voted unanimously on almost every issue and made solid progress. Do we really want to chance changing leadership now when there will be at least half of our council with no municipal experience?
1. Creating an ease of movement with innovative and proactive traffic flow measures, while building a walkable recreation-friendly city with strategic speed reduction measures in key places to manage and maximize safety for our growing families and community.
Secondly, putting a directive on developing key areas and working toward the major capital infrastructure projects that Mission requires to create a healthy and sustainable environment – namely, developing a vibrant waterfront and connecting it to downtown.
2. Mission is an enigma and is a jewel in the rough. There are many upcoming opportunities. The next 10 years will be a very fast growth period with an explosion in population and so many considerable decisions. This will require a motivated, imaginative individual with a fresh, unique approach and perspective, someone with creativity, innovation and someone who thinks outside the box. It’s time!
3. Leadership is in my blood and Mission is my home. Volunteering in my community since I was 12 years old has given me invaluable skills, knowledge, confidence and empathy for the marginalized. Seven years of post-secondary education and over 10 businesses at 41 years of age: I get it!
Being the mayor is more than a full-time job! As a Gen Xer I’ve had the opportunity to grow up at the tail end of the golden era, which gives me a unique perspective to bridge the way between the previous and next generations.
Whether it was working for the BC NDP or at UFV, I have always been a driving force of pragmatism and positivity.
My leadership style is one of inclusiveness while working with and mentoring the next generation.
Physically, mentally and spiritually in my prime, I have the energy, innovation and creativity to unite a fresh council and make Mission what it could be!
Want to talk to me, check out:
In Person: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 33130 First Ave., Monday through Saturday