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Subject: Questions for all Candidates for Mayor and Council

As it is unlikely myself and my family will have the opportunity to attend events with each of you to obtain answers to questions which are important to us during this election period, I felt the easiest way to obtain respective positions on these matters would be to email all candidates (please find questions below). 
As you aware, it is the opinion of most Citizens that this years election will be a turning point in the future of our community.  As such, I am certain that most will be diligent in carrying out their research, rather than relying on information received from the news or social media.
Please find my questions below.  If each of you could kindly take the opportunity to review and respond accordingly.  It is my intention to attend advance voting on October 6th, as such, I would respectfully request that your response is received no later then Wednesday, October 3rd.  This will provide me with an opportunity to review respective responses and ensure that I make an informed decision when my ballot is cast.  Please note that your responses may, at my option, be shared publically.  If you have any objections to this, please advise and I will respect your wishes accordingly.

Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this regard.
Shannon Gibbs

  1. What’s more important for our city right now: building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing/expanding/better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?
    Rehab, renovate, revitalize would be preferred which include rebuilding and rezone, repurpose. Upgrade existing infrastructure in the urban boundaries and core area.
  2. How do you feel about the transportation options currently available in our city? Do we have enough options? If not, what will you do to address this?
    Unless we create core density we won’t see any improvement in public transit provided by Translink. We could upgrade our roads and trails to encourage more practical cycling and walking, plan a with walkability model, planning more walkable neighbourhoods. Supporting ride-share once the province passes that legislation. Making sure multi-use paths are connected in a practical way. Also look at synchronized traffic signals to ensure the new B line bus can be fast and effective at all time. Plan roads to support multimode transport meaning that people can bike or ride share to the main transport hub. We need to look at the wholistic approach, getting people from point to point, reducing congestion means giving people a legitimate reason to leave the cars at home.
  3. If you could change one thing in our zoning, what would it be and why?
    I like to see more intermix of boutique hospitality commercial, high and low density residential mixed. Smaller neighbourhood group. i.e. silver Valley and Albion have multiple commercial retail high-density cores.
  4. If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
    My vision of Maple Ridge is being Ecotourism destination creating a thriving industry that attracts hotel investments, and creating jobs and business support a non-invasive hospitality industry. I use the money to a multimode trail system that connects strategic villages/hubs zones with boutique shops and café, and connect them to the downtown and other hubs. This will act as a catalyst to allow our industry to thrive.
  5. What will you do to attract investment?
    Along with ecotourism vision and branding, I would also attract technology innovation business and education by creating an innovation center to facilitate industry and post-secondary into the partnership.
  6. How do you plan to further increase sustainability and reduce GHG’s?
    Removing engineering barriers for renewable energy implementation, Incentives for electric car charge stations in commercial and residential complex, creating and improving local economy to have a real industry that creates good local jobs, practical trails that connect to centers so people don’t have to drive so much. Implement Waste Management strategy so we do see 5-6 diesel garbage truck every week.
  7. How can the city increase rental housing for low-income people at the same time that it works to attract middle & upper-income home ownership?
    Allow development of Micro-housing creating an affordable entry-level market. Consider the development of tiny home communities. Solicit federal funding for Co-op.
  8. Why would you be a good candidate in addressing the homeless problem?
    I understand the many complex causes of homelessness and see where the housing first strategy was successful and what factor made it successful. Attended many forum on the subject.
  9. How do you plan to end homelessness?
    I plan to continue to educate myself on effective method and work with local business and the provincial government to make sure these strategy and their plan are comprehensive to provide the proper long-term solution for these people.
  10. How would you address the chronically mentally ill homeless population?
    Since mentally ill and addiction tends to go hand in hand, I would want the Province to provide a comprehensive plan – to guarantee the number of service-workers in a ratio that is adequate to support each client, to clearly identify what is needed as they are being housed or sent to treatment, and to ensure that affordable housing is available for those coming off treatment so they don’t end up on the street. Also, we should be provided with added security at any initial intake or triage facility, and full details on the mode of operation at this facility. I don’t want to see a shelter like what we had.   
    I might propose the idea of a City task force, staffed to coordinate between MLAs, BC housing, health authorities, non-profit partners, BC mental health and substance use services, and family and social services, to work towards objectives and a timeline set by our City.
  11. How would you describe your opponents in this election?
    I wouldn’t, will not be fair to create preconception.
  12. What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
    Fear mongering, bullying, playing one side against another, create division between groups of people….

Subject: Questions

Hi Peter,
I have read your bio and would like you to answer the following questions:
If elected, what will be your top three initiatives?
Are you aware that the current fee structure at the rec center is most costly to families with children compared to PortMoody, Coquitlam, and MIssion…all of these facilities offer free parking and easier access than Maple Ridge rec.
What are your plans to address homelessness and the negativity by residents who oppose helping the homeless
Andrew G

Hi Andrew

  1. Work on a strategy to turn Maple Ridge into an eco-tourism destination. This includes looking at ways to create a catalyst to attract investment and development in the hospitality industry. We have to make the best use of our natural resources and geography.
  2. We’ve been trying to bring in a post-secondary institution in the past 20 years without success. I will look at out-of-the-box ideas, like creating a facility that will be a 3-way partnership between the City, a few educational institutions and businesses in the tech industry. To create an innovation technology centre.
  3. Work to resolve hurdles that are keeping the Province from building the necessary housing or facilities to address our homeless population. We need to revitalize the downtown, attract business investment, and the key is picking the most effective method and move on.
    And yes I am aware of our high fees for many things, because of the imbalance of our residential and commercial tax revenue. That’s why my first initiative is to go for the low hanging fruit that has the potential to generate an immediate return on investment.


Subject: Climate action

Hi Peter:
Now that the IPCC report is out calling for immediate action on climate change, how will you address this urgent problem if you are elected to council?

Hi Kirk
I’ve been working on Climate Change action for the past 12 years. I helped put together the first Earth Day celebration in Maple Ridge, organize an annual Climate March, and ran as a federal and provincial Green candidate to bring the issue to the spotlight.   How do we as a city reduce emissions?

  • More incentives for EVs with simple things like more charging stations, like one on every lamp post beside a street parking spot in New West.
  • Better practical bike lanes that have real connections, so that people can bike within and to the town core, to the train or bus station, and people can use their bike to shop.
  • Make our town core and neighbourhoods more walkable, having more gathering places like commercial and retail in neighbourhoods.
  • Increase density in our urban core, which will help increase transit, walking and cycling and reduces the cost of providing services.
  • Develop a strategy to attract eco-tourism and technology businesses to 1) create good local jobs 2) have industry with a small foot print and with minimal impact on our environment.
  • Create incentives for innovative clean energy development.
  • Climate Change has been a top priority for me and you won’t find any other candidate with more knowledge or conviction in this field than me to be on council.


Categories: Uncategorized

Answers to Questions from ARMS (Alouette River Management Society)

2018 Candidate Questions

  • As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

I’ve attended committee meetings on OCP, sat in on council presentations, was part of a neighbourhood delegation to voice our opinion on the urban boundary and residential development.   Participated in development of the Silver Valley Area Plan.

  • What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

It’s very good but many things are left open for interpretation and we need to understand the spirit of these recommendations when enforcing guidelines in developments.

  • Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

Yes, absolutely.  Everything from drainage management, waste management, tree by-law, to how we design our neighborhood to reflect nature,  to using renewable energy, to cycling, to electric vehicle charge stations. And the list goes on and on.

  • What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

I would not allow any less.  We should also find ways to acquire some grand fathered properties to create a continuous green space along the rivers for public use.

  • What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

Most home owners are fencing off their property for privacy and security, but because we are developing in wildlife habitat, our structures are creating barriers and cutting off wildlife’s natural movement to food.  Planning our development with nature corridors whenever possible allow wildlife to get around the fences we put up allows them to get out of our urban trap.

  • What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.    

There is a reason why it’s called “floodplain”: it’s at risk of flooding.  I do not support allowing someone doing something risky and then come back to blame us.

  • Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

No, except for the learning partnership with the scouts.   Advocating for fish ladder.

  • Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

Absolutely, such as pointing out risk of development on floodplain, warning about the impact of storm drains in to the Alouette, warnings of hillside development, failing to contain silt and the effect it has on salmon, and so much more.

  • ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed.  We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

Yes. What ARMS is doing with the amount given is a miracle.

  • Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

I believe it gives greater protection when it come to development close to the river.

  • Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

Yes, I have. We have to make sure developments must contain all run-off to prevent sand and silt covering Salmon spawning habitat.  To make sure spawning fish can travel without any barriers such as a dam.

  • What have you personally done to protect the environment?
  1. Drive electrical vehicles.
  2. Ride Bicycles.
  3. Buy local produce. 
  4. Plant vegetable gardens to replace grass in the yard.
  5. Minimize the use of heating and cooling energy by using maximum insulation.
  6. Compost and recycle and avoid products with extra packaging.
  7. Top efficiency electrical apparatus (LED bulbs, Energy Star..)
  8. Teach kids and others.
  9. Ran as a candidate for the Green Party to bring environment and climate change issues to mainstream politics. 

Why are we lacking the choice of retail shops and vibrancy in our city?

Retail shops, restaurants and all businesses, in general, are attracted to a city if there are opportunities to make money. They will assess the attractiveness of a city’s opportunities by estimating their likely return or profit and will be drawn to cities which offer them the best combination of scale, risk and return. Many businesses evaluate the impact of return based on these following factors:

Economic fundamentals

  • Growth rate of businesses and jobs
  • Quality and affordability of infrastructure
  • Skill-level of the workforce, and quality of education
  • Sector make-up of the economy
  • Quality of life, city environment, and livability

City governance

  • City vision
  • Strategic plan to realize vision
  • Attitude and consistency of leadership
  • Quality of city management
  • Access to Information

Practicalities of investment

  • Scale of the city, population size, and the number of jobs and businesses
  • Amount and type of land/assets available
  • Planning system, Policies and permits
  • Taxation and incentives
  • Construction costs

Our city has the potential to bring in the vibrancy and improve our economy, but we need to address the deficiencies, identify the barriers and remove them pragmatically. It’s time to move beyond the status quo.

Categories: Uncategorized

Security, Safety and Prevention

It is a priority to make our city safe and keep our citizens protected. Our economic development plan includes bringing vibrancy to the downtown, in addition to reviewing other factors that may prohibit business investments.  We need to keep business owners safe and their property protected in the downtown area.  We need to review policing strength, city infrastructure planning to deter criminal activities, volunteer programs, and drug enforcement.   Our city will also need to review our strategy on addiction prevention, youth wellness (depression and suicide prevention), poverty, and seniors care. 

Downtown revitalization plan

  • Support Housing First Strategy
  • Set a realistic timeline to work with the province to find a mutually acceptable location to build supportive housing.
  • Allow the province and social workers to house the homeless population while identifying the type of care is needed
  • Give realistic time for the province to address the remainder of the homeless with the objective to provide the service needed.
  • Support enforcement to clear the camp and begin restoration
  • Enhance police presence around area of high possibility in criminal activities such as drug dealing or thefts.  

As we move forward in working with the province to solve our homeless problem, we can’t ignore that that criminal element of drug dealing, theft and gang activities need to dealt with. The national standard of police officer per population is recommend at about 180/100,000 where we are at 122/100,000.  The best method of crime prevention is deterrent.

Crime prevention Plan

  • Finding the budget to add 12 to 15 police officers
  • Provide well-lit streets and urban walkways
  • Security Cameras at a few strategic locations
  • Encourage volunteer crime prevention programs like citizens on patrol

Youth and Seniors activities

  • Silver Valley needs a Community center
  • Design park space for active play
  • Partner with existing Schools to upgrade and create community center and activity centres

Categories: Uncategorized

Vibrant Community

Make Maple Ridge the Live Music Capital of the Fraser Valley

I am a semi-professional musician, and sing and play piano in multiple performing groups. I’ve been a JUNO award judge and served on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council. I wholeheartedly support Arts and Culture because I understand the benefits and impact it has on both our well-being and our economy.

We can create vibrant venues for live music by removing barriers (such as permits and fees), provide incentives (such as a tax credit) for venues to hire local talented artists, and build our tourism industry to provide steady local jobs for artists to earn a living wage. We need to provide funding and support for festivals and special events that support local talent. We can create a live entertainment zone in the downtown area where local merchants are encouraged to contribute to a vibrant nightlife.

When a clear vision is defined and shared by many, it will become a reality.

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