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
Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this regard.
- 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.
- 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
wholisticapproach, getting people from point to point, reducing congestion means giving people a legitimate reason to leave the cars at home.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Why would you be a good candidate
inaddressing the homeless problem?
I understand the many complex causes of homelessness and
seewhere the housing first strategy was successful and what factor made it successful. Attended many forumon the subject.
- 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.
- 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.
- How would you describe your opponents in this election?
I wouldn’t, will not be fair to create preconception.
- What do you promise NOT to do if elected?
Fear mongering, bullying, playing one side against another, create division between groups of people….
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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?
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 industrywith a small foot printand 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