Subject: Re: Questions from Global News re: Abbotsford municipal election profile
To: Jon Azpiri <Jon.Azpiri@globalnews.ca>

Hi Jon: I’ll keep these answers short, and thanks for this opportunity to communicate.

What are the biggest issues in your municipality and what do you plan to do about it?  Abbotsford has a pro-development council, seemingly bent on eradicating every old neighbourhood that provides affordable housing and a sense of community.  But the rush on densification and monster houses outpaces the ability for our city to keep up in other vital ways affecting quality of life.  The city is growing ugly as it grows bigger.

What makes you uniquely qualified to be mayor?  Over the last decades there has been time for me to engage in things I consider important, and politics has been integral to my life.  I’ve watched our mayors and councils and had a lot of engagement with people.   We need fresh faces around the Council table.  My own journey has been banking, landscaping, volunteerism (a lot) and engagement in political and social issues that deepen my conviction to run for mayor.  I have actively engaged in many issues of importance to life in Abbotsford.

What are the key parts of your platform?  Mayor and Council write the rules and regulations that guide our communal life.  Make those rules, clear, doable, sensible, enforceable,…..and then enforce them with equity.  Make this a city with a level playing field.

Stop with the mindset that says we can grow up to become a mini Surrey, or Vancouver.  We can’t.  We are bounded by the Fraser River, the mountains and the Agricultural Land Reserve.  So why sacrifice the beauty and quality, affordable community.  Mayor and Council show a rush to cram in more people, housing density, heavy traffic, increased homelessness and increased crime. The infrastructure in not there to cope with the speed of this building surge.

Keep taxes low, and do not allow the wage gap between city employees and the general public to get any wider.

Local government should stay within their mandate to take care of general community needs and stay out of providing professional sports and entertainment.  If the professionals see an opportunity for profit, they will come and they will know how to succeed.  Government never generates money, they only take it from workers by taxation.  It’s too easy for government to fail at business ventures, and simply take their failures out of the pockets of hapless taxpayers.

Municipalities have to join to push the Province to get serious about providing housing for the swelling numbers of people sleeping outside in the rain and cold.  No politician in BC should live in the lap of luxury until they deal with this degradation of human life.