VOTERS GUIDE: What can be done to give voice to those who feel unheard?

Abbotsford candidates say what needs to be done to hear those who feel under-represented or unheard

We gave each council and mayoral candidate a questionnaire asking for their opinions and thoughts on a range of questions. We also instituted a strict word limit, with mayoral candidates 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.

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• • • • •

Question What should be done to give voice to those who feel under-represented, or unheard, by government?

Mayoral candidates

Henry Braun

The changes implemented for public engagement, especially for the new OCP and Plan 200k have been outstanding. Obviously, there is always room for improvement and we are looking at how to improve two-way communication.

Trevor Eros

We should elect members of local government that WILL represent and listen to them, as well as present their thoughts in relevant decision making conversations. Everyone living in the city deserves to be heard equally.

Moe Gill

One of my natural characteristics is that I am approachable, sincere and welcoming. This is the environment that needs to be embraced at City Hall so citizens feeling under-represented or unheard begin to feel comfortable to voice their opinions.

Eric Nyvall

I door knocked 9,000+ homes this campaign. Councillors can learn from that kind of direct engagement. Actually listen!

Gerda Peachey

Average citizens are ‘The Unheard’. Revisit the extreme limits placed on giving the public a voice. 4 delegations/year for a 10 minute presentation to be begged for 10 days in advance, and maybe denied. Public meetings are a sham as decisions seem mostly made behind closed door.

Nadine Snow

By creating a better communication system to share information with our citizens to hear their ideas and concerns, we can make more of our residents feel heard and represented.

• • • • •

Council candidates

Jas Anand

Give them a voice. Hear them out.

Bruce Banman

When I was the mayor I had an open door policy, as a councilor I would continue this tradition. Further, I would advocate the reinstatement of our committee advisory system. I always valued the grass roots ideas, from those who had interest and passion about

Les Barkman

I have found it quiet interesting the question doesn’t ask what I can do to be heard at all levels of government. Get evolved for the right reasons not agenda driven.

Sandy Blue

While much has been done more needs to be done. Let’s use technology as well as partnering to reach under-represented populations so they are heard. City will benefit from their input. Citizens will benefit from increased understanding of city services

Kelly Chahal

Meaningful engagement is critical in developing relationships with those who cannot get their voices across. As a government, it is our role to be inclusive, communicate to all and to listen. It’s our responsibility to be informed of the latest innovative tools used for engagement.

Vince Dimanno

I would support a 15 minute, open mic, question and answer period at the end of every Council Meeting, and implement a municipal ombudsman office to transparently collect and address feedback from citizens.

Brenda Falk

Being respectful to hear the needs of everyone in our community. Ensuring we have processes and opportunities for all to have access and to be heard. Giving Value to each voice. Bridging Gaps. Building Connections.

Aird Flavelle

Anyone can speak privately to the mayor or to a city councillor and anyone can be a delegation before council so every can be heard. It just takes education.

Harvey Jongsma

no answer

Dave Loewen

Provide regular hours for real-time, online conversations with staff and/or council members; SMS Messaging; having said that, the mayor has been very good at responding quickly to all emails; promotion of mobile Apps for reporting (several already functional).

Harry Manocha

By being available and willing to listen and work with them. By also being realistic and setting expectations. We should keep trying to raise awareness to whatever their issue is.

Paul Redekopp

I campaign on “Your Voice Matters” and I believe that. We need to bring back more conversation via online town hall meetings and in person town hall meetings giving everyone a forum to be heard. We need to be more relational and really listen.

Josh Reynolds

Council needs to reflect our demographics. Median age is 39, but everyone on council I believe is over 55. We need young voices representing young families, students, and youth. The OCP should have influence from people who will be here to see it implemented.

Patricia Ross

Take the extra time to be available to listen with an open mind and ensure those opinions, whether we agree with them or not are brought forward and respected. Continue to go where people gather, rather than expect them to always come to city hall.

Dave Sidhu

I feel that we already do a very good job. However, more community forums and more online platforms could be helpful. Of course, as a councillor I would personally work to create more opportunities amongst citizens.

Ross Siemens

We have had a record amount of public engagement in our planning process that we need to build on. Continue to listen respectfully and find innovative ways to get public feedback through technology.

Lawrence Tilley

We are doing it’

Dao Tran

answer their concern.

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