VOTERS GUIDE: Candidates’ top-three priorities

Mayoral and council candidates lay out the three most-pressing issues facing Abbotsford

We gave each council and mayoral candidate a questionnaire asking for their opinions and thoughts on a range of questions. We also instituted a word limit; mayoral candidates were given more space. Those who went over were told they would be cut off.

For our election hub, with links to all our other election-related coverage, click here.

RELATED: We asked the candidates – What parks, recreational or culture amenity should get more money?

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RELATED: We asked the candidates – How would you address the lack of affordable housing for families?

RELATED: We asked the candidates – Mayoral candidates on public safety

RELATED: We asked the candidates – What can be done to give voice to those who feel unheard?

RELATED: We asked the candidates – If you had five minutes with Justin Trudeau, what would you say?

RELATED: We asked the candidates – If you had five minutes with John Horgan, what would you say?

RELATED: Agree/disagree – Candidates asked their thoughts on 23 statements about the city, local issues and governing philosophy.

• • • • •

Question: What are the three most-pressing issues facing Abbotsford, and how would you address them?

Mayoral candidates

Henry Braun

A:Widening of Highway 1 – continue to advocate with senior Provincial & Federal Ministers

B:Disrupting Gangs – continue to educate our youth down to the grade 4 level so that they are aware of the dangers (death or jail), of getting sucked into gang life.

C:Excessive speeding and other traffic violations. Continue to advocate for Red Light Camera’s. Most accidents occur at major intersections.

Trevor Eros:

A: Afffordable living – by supporting developments that offer lower rental rates and also offer incentives to land owners who provide

B: Reduction in homelessness – by supporting community driven ideas and following up with the results. Be active in the community to ensure we are providing information to the homeless and those in need of services for rehabilitation, as well as improving on those services.

C: Urgency to move forward on initiatives based on needs for the present, not exclusively the future. We are doing very well in some areas but need to discuss and implement ideas sooner and have more residents involved in these processes.

Moe Gill

A:Safety of our community

B:Homelessness / affordable housing

C:Transportation

These three issues are complicated, and as Mayor, I will need to encourage open discussion, debate and seek collaborative realistic solutions. I will need to create an environment whereby all there levels of government, fire and police department, community and church groups are aligned and working together to achieve positive results.

Eric Nyvall

A: Crime/gangs: Meet the gang challenge head on with enforcement. Provide valid programs for the young men to learn mentorship and accountability to keep our boys out of the gangs.

B: Homelessness: Provide a site for the homeless to stay that includes running water, bathrooms, and the ability to lock-up/secure their belongings. That will better serve these people and clean up our parks.

C: Economic development: Start a new chapter in Abbotsford. Waive the business license fee. Aggressively market Abbotsford’s aerospace, manufacturing and farming infrastructures in place.

Gerda Peachey

A: Council seems bent on the destruction of the last single-family affordable housing. Once friendly, lovely old communities are giving way to monster houses that way too often pay for themselves with illegal suite rentals. Enforce the bylaws equitably.

B: City organizational charts show the public at the top, but that isn’t how things really work. Too much of where tax dollars are spent is kept from public view, like real data on Spectra’s running of the Abbotsford Centre, and now the deal with the ‘Fraser Valley Bandits’ Council should not involve the public purse with private professional sports and entertainment businesses.

C: Despite the swelling ranks of people gainfully employed in ‘The Misery Industry’. the numbers of homeless due to mental illness and addictions are swelling. Don’t continue to supply broken humanity with the poisons that destroy them. Work on freeing people, rather than ensuring they stay bound by chains of addiction.

Nadine Snow

A: Affordable/low barrier housing – Construction of transitional housing projects, low barrier housing, subsidized housing.

B: Health care – create better follow-up programs for all health issues – liaisons at hospitals, community support workers, outreach workers on site 24/7. Create 3 on site treatment centers on the hospital grounds,1-non life threatening 2-mental health 3-addiction/recovery.

C: Lack of awareness of our residents of issues/changes happening in our city that may impact them. I would implement the use of existing advertising mediums to raise public awareness and gain more input from residents on how they feel about what is planned for, and presently adopted by our city, and to make our decisions based on that input.

• • • • •

Council candidates

Jas Anand

A:affordability

B:homeless

c:

Bruce Banman

A:Good paying jobs, we need an economic development strategy to attract the jobs of the future to Abbotsford, which include high-tect, aerospace, and value added Ag-food to name a few

B:Crime Currently many residents are fearful we will once again become Canada’s murder capital. We need to engage our youth, their parents in meaningful dialogue. In addition we need to provide safe healthy alternatives for our youth in the private sector and through Parks Rec and Culture. … (word limit exceeded)

Les Barkman

A:Traffic, Enforcement of speed limits, distracted drivers, cross walk non compliance

B:Homeless issue with wrap around services to deal with mental health and addictions.

C:Gang issues and giving youth positive activities in our schools, sports team, and faith based gathering places as partners with our Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.

Sandy Blue

A: This is a great city. Why do we still have a grass is always greener attitude?

B: We are part of a region so must continue relationship building /w senior government & neighbours for funding

C: Need to be more inclusive & welcoming

Kelly Chahal

A: Ensuring we have the infrastructure including housing, recreation, and facilities in place to meet the needs of a growing community

B: Ensuring we plan for the maintenance of our assets

C: Working on complete community: including social justice issues, assisting vulnerable people, bridging gaps between cultural groups

Vince Dimanno

A: Highest Property Tax rate in the Lower Mainland

B: Water Rate increase without any justification

C: Both of these compound the issue of affordable housing

Brenda Falk

A: Building foundations of vision and leadership to implement plans that have been

developed through OCP and masterplans

B: Building a complete Community where everyone is welcome and has a home

C: Ensuring businesses, families and youth have a vibrant, safe community to call home

Aird Flavelle

A: Multi-modal transportation including walking, scooters, bicycles, transit

B: Abundant housing of all types – with appropriate urban parks and trails to suit

C: The New high tech economy and all the jobs that it brings with it.

Harvey Jongsma

A: homelessness B:crime C:available land for development while preserving farmland.

Dave Loewen

A: Manage rapid growth responsibly without burdening property taxpayers unreasonably (includes housing)

B: Resourcing our police and fire rescue departments appropriately to ensure our community is as safe as possible.

C: Providing employment lands for rapidly-growing population.

Harry Manocha

A: Gang violence, specifically youth violence

B: Drug Crisis

C: Homelessness

Paul Redekopp

A: Affordable Housing; Look at best practices around the country and duplicate it in Abbotsford.

B: Taxes; A review of property, commercial and business taxes

C: Crime on our streets. Engage with parents, volunteers, police and bylaw enforcement to find better ways to resolve our current situation and prevent more.

Josh Reynolds

A: Housing – Lowest rental vacancy rate in Canada (2017). Rising purchase prices.

B: Homelessness. Empty promises in the last election – homelessness has gone up 79% since then

C: Crime – Ensuring our residents feel safe in their homes and neighbours is a necessity.

Patricia Ross

A: Transportation: Hwy 1 congestion affects our economy, health and quality of life.

B: Balancing quality of life, environmental preservation with growth

C: Opioid crisis

Dave Sidhu

A: Housing affordability

B: Transportation

C: Seniors

Ross Siemens

A: Continued leadership to implement the vision established in our OCP and Master Plans. Strong, stable governance to build on the foundation that has been established.

B: Youth engagement and opportunities for their future.

C: Building a complete community where everyone has a voice and a home.

Lawrence Tilley

Aging, booming residents, Industry and transportation.

Dao Tran:

A: low income housing

B: homeless

C: City road

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