Mission mayoral candidate Colin Renkema.

Mission mayoral candidate Colin Renkema.

Mission mayoral candidate – Colin Renkema

Candidates answer three questions about issues impacting Mission

The Mission Record asked every candidate three questions about local issues impacting the community.

The following are their answers. (The Mission Record asked the mayoral candidates to limit their answers to 200 words.)

1. The Fraser Valley Regional District’s 2020 Homeless Count and Survey shows that Mission’s homeless population has nearly tripled in three years. At the local level, what are the policy prescriptions needed to tackle the issue? Council has been fairly unified on their approach, what would you add to the conversation?

Homelessness is a national disgrace. Canada is a rich country, so why do so many stay silent while our most marginalized live in squalor? A roof over your head, food to eat, clothes to wear and the medical help you need should be guaranteed in Canada.

The 2020 homeless count shows that, per capita, Mission has twice the number of homeless than Abbotsford and three times that of Maple Ridge. These two cities rose up about the destruction homelessness was having in their communities.

The media picked up the story and refused to let it go at the end of the news cycle. Due to this extensive reporting, the provincial government could no longer ignore the problem and brought in the professionals and services only they and the federal government can provide.

Mission has two MLAs that are both with the party in power in Victoria. I would leverage this and have staff work with the non-profits and other government agencies already trying to assist the homeless for the wrap around services they need.

The District needs to be at the table but does not have the expertise or financial capacity to solve homelessness in Mission alone.

2. Mission’s waterfront development has been a hotly debated topic for decades. Council has been moving forward recently with a masterplan, and designated 297 acres as a comprehensive planning area. In your opinion, what needs to happen to turn Mission’s waterfront from a plan into a reality?

The waterfront development has the potential to become the jewel of Mission. Council and staff chose to spend $1.4 million to have a Canadian-based company of experts develop a Master Plan for our waterfront. I support this contract because the scope of this massive project is beyond our capabilities.

The question will be if Council selected the right consortium. Time will tell. I hope Council will be taking credit for their choice for years to come.

What I really like is that several options will be presented and the public will be asked for input as the project moves forward. This will allow for “changes on the fly” rather than at the end of the process. Mission’s website with the details on the waterfront project is an excellent resource. Please log in as the project moves forward.

No matter who is elected, this Mayor and Council will not be involved in significant decision making for this project because there is only a year and a half remaining in the term. The waterfront master plan will be several years in the making. I will be an interested and engaged Mission resident just like you, but from the sidelines.

3. What do you want the people of Mission to know about you, and your policies, before they cast their ballots?

Julia and I moved to Stave Falls in 1983. We raised our boys in this beautiful rural area of Mission. Like many of you, I commuted a long distance as I was a Vancouver Police Officer. I was twice seconded to the JIBC Police Academy during my 29 years of service and retired as a Sergeant. Both of our sons are self-employed and raising their families in Mission. Our oldest son is a paid-on call firefighter at Hall One. We downsized and moved into central Mission in 2018. I understand the uniqueness of living in rural and urban environments.

The District of Mission is not a small business; it has over 400 full-time employees with an operating budget of $82 million. The VPD is approximately four times larger. The JIBC is likewise a very large government organization. I understand how to work within these complex civic services.

I will be laser focused on working with Council to speed up building permits and minor zoning requests quickly and with certainty. I will work to have bylaws that unnecessarily restrict your property rights removed. I will not run in the next election cycle and, if elected, will decline the salary offered.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

Kassandra Clack of Abbotsford has been named one of 18 finalists in the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search, taking place in June.
Fraser Valley country singer Kassandra Clack a finalist in national talent search

18 finalists vie to win Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search in June

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

This vehicle is suspected of being involved in a suspicious incident on Friday (May 7) on Mouat Drive in Abbotsford.
Driver in Abbotsford tries to lure teen girl into his vehicle

Man tells 14-year-old that her mom sent him to pick her up

Michael Proud, a clinical nurse educator at Mission Memorial Hospital, standing outside the hospital. Patrick Penner photo.
Local nurses shine perspective on the last year through COVID-19

Stressors, challenges and successes on the pandemic’s front line

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Most Read