Mission mayoral candidate Earl Babich.

Mission mayoral candidate Earl Babich.

Mission mayoral candidate – Earl Babich

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?

The 2008 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) executive Policy Paper on Affordable Housing and Homelessness Strategy clearly sets out “the primary responsibility for the provision of social housing (homelessness) rests with the federal and provincial orders of government.”

I will provide strong leadership, a vision and a comprehensive plan that can not be written in 200 words. I will move away from the crisis-based reactive management and short term rental solutions and I will make the City of Mission “open for business” and provide local jobs for many.

The federal and provincial governments have failed us, I will generate a state of emergency and organize the Mayors of the UBCM to leverage the provincial government to allow the Municipalities to keep a larger percentage of the property tax revenues until the local issues of homelessness are resolved.

The resolution of homelessness will be for the greater well-being for the City of Mission and will have cost saving benefits. My promise to generate the strategic increase in the supply of housing units and commercial units will provide jobs and is key to the comprehensive plan.

I shall eliminate homelessness in the City of Mission and set the example for all cities and communities. I shall take our “Diamond of a City” and polish it until it shines for all to see.

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 cost effective plan I will initiate to reality and commence in 90 days will start with the site survey of the 100 year scientifically determined height and location of the dike.

The dike will be paved and paved paths will be connected back to the downtown core of the City of Mission to the three planned pedestrian/wheelchair sky bridges I plan to construct over the railway. There will be infill construction of the dike and the adjacent lands whereby the city shall contract a local turf farm to prepare and plant beautiful grass for the public to enjoy.

I expect to install Covid spaced fire pits and picnic tables and plant trees and build a wonderful park. Naturally all work and planning will be done with the complete consultation and approval of our aboriginal friends and I shall hope local art will be incorporated into the park.

Parking lots will be planned and constructed. Major infrastructure projects such as the construction of the next Mission Railway Bridge and next Mission Bridge will be planned in the design of the waterfront.

The planning and construction of housing units, commercial units and recreational amenities will follow in short order. Public safety using the waterfront will be the highest priority.

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

Rainbows are for our children and for everyone that is single and alone during this pandemic including all our seniors in care facilities.

Happiness for all is the goal. There is no amount of suffering that any one person should experience to be where I am today, my story will be a movie some day and I need your vote to change the ending to something special – the theme is love, respect, dignity, social justice and peace on earth. Over the past years I have lost my wife, my four children and my home/development that I invested 30 years of my life towards. Bonny Henry is causing so much damage.

My children have been taught I am outside their six-person bubble so as mayor I will fix this.

The raceway, all churches, recreation facilities are essential services and as Mayor I will open them safely. I will create jobs, develop a progressive green city and do everything I promised. In 10 years time, I hope to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize – “Love Mission.”

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