Sunday, October 9, 2011

One of the first questions I received was, "Why would the people vote for an ex-Reform Party member who has worked on campaign to elect our Conservative MP and our BC Liberal MLA?"

First, while the Reform Party is now part of the governing party of Canada, I am not an ex-Reformer.   Reformers like to look at government systems and ... reform them.  I like change structures when something doesn't work as well as it could.

As a member of the CNV's Task Force on Civic Engagement, I proposed practical recommendations aimed at increasing our voter turnout.  In this election, we will have more polling stations, more days of advanced polling and information kiosks available to candidates.  We won't get a ward system so you will have to choose 6 from over 20 candidates instead of 1 from 3 or 4 candidates who have concentrated their campaign in your neighbourhood. A little too much reform style change for the other members of the Task Force.

I will be proposing a referendum during the next election on amalgamation with the District.  That is a much needed reform. It is the best way of cutting the cost of local government in the long run.

Municipal politics is not about right and left, it is mostly about pro and anti development and where a person sits on that scale.  There are no right wing pawns of the big developers on our Council, in fact the ones most likely to support a large OCP busting development are more likely to be members of Council associated with the NDP.

The first priority of my platform is to strengthen and respect the OCP which is being redrafted right now and the new Council will vote on in just over a year.

The second priority will focus on the City budget, we need to cut spending so that utility charges and new taxes are being brought in like the new Eco Levy and a new sewer treatment plant are not an extra burden on the taxpayers.  In the long term, an amalgamation will give us the ability to deal with rising costs.  In the short term we must cut luxury items like sister cities and limit the Councilor trips to conventions.  We must publicly, in detail go over each line of the budget not just the proposed changes which are usually increases.

If elected, as my share, I would take a $20,000 pay cut and not take the $9500 car allowance. Further, any compensation I receive from attendance at Metro Vancouver meetings, I would donate to a City based charity.

The third priority is renter's rights.  Our City issues licenses to the businesses that own our apartment buildings.  Our bylaw enforcement officers should be doing an annual inspection to see that sure that all laws concerning health, safety and disabled access are being obeyed.  Further, we should establish a Rental Ombudsperson so that when citizens are being mistreated by owner not providing the basic services and repairs that they have an legal obligation to, the City can assist.

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