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?
I have gone to many of the homeless “camps” and spoken to many of the people. I asked questions and listened. I did not know that many services have been cut or reduced, due to Covid-19.
The once a week shower opportunity stopped March 2020. Imagine that. No laundry business has operated for almost two years. Imagine you can not wash and dry your bedding, clothes and you can not shower.
I assisted the laundry business and it seems they are back on track to re-opening.
Communication and adapting services during covid-19 must be done. Through my business, I have been around the homeless issue in Mission for 27 years now. I ask the people I know about services and needs. The response has been eye opening and I have learned much.
One camp by the river said “garbage removal.” I walked across the street to a fellow entrepreneur I know, and asked if the camp folks could use his dumpster, a few times a week. He not only said yes, he wanted to meet them and they talked about the “neighborhood” and the things they could work together on.
We must work with our local Aboriginal communities to tackle this issue as the homeless population is far too over-represented. Local bands also have lands and resources to help. Getting those affected by homelessness to “buy in” to solutions is essential. When I arranged that camp to use that businesses dumpster, I achieved a “buy-in” by both. Not all challenges are going to go that easy. Dialogue and listening created that solution.
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?
I am concerned and nervous about the sewer “twinning” and I have many questions that remain unanswered.
What is the status of the negotiations on the Braich property with regard to the sewer pipe and sand removal?
Where is the transparency regarding the purchase of four lots on the Waterfront by the District of Mission with taxpayers money?
Why the rush to borrow $23 million when have no public knowledge as to the potential total costs? Legal fees? Expropriation costs?
Are the four lots purchased part of a B.C. Government plan regarding the completion of the Bridge By-pass over the CPR to Hwy 7 east? Will this “Surprise announcement” be coming prior to the election?
Are we “twinning” the sewer pipe so large Corporate developers can continue to build houses doubling Mission’s population? Will developers assume the responsibility for the cost over-runs not the tax payers of Mission?
As a long-term resident, I recall a referendum narrowly passed to renovate the Mission Leisure Centre for $5.3 million.
The council at that time had the enough respect to ask the voter, before spending the money. The end project exceeded $20 million and this makes me nervous. When will transparency return to Mission politics?
3. What do you want the people of Mission to know about you, and your policies, before they cast their ballots?
I am passionate about Mission and it’s future. My whole life I have been a “service to community” person.
I believe in honesty, integrity and transparency and will do my diligence to ensure what is best for Mission. I have been an avid social justice warrior my whole life. I want Mission to be a place we are proud of in the future.
If you want to learn more about me look at wwwvotedave2021.ca.