Abbotsford voters go to the polls on Saturday, Sept. 25 for a byelection taking place to fill the vacancy left by Bruce Banman after he was elected the MLA for Abbotsford South in the October 2020 provincial election. Nine candidates are vying for the councillor position. These are their responses to three questions (each with a 100-word limit) posed by The Abbotsford News.
1. Why are you running to be a member of city council?
Abbotsford is a great place to live, and I believe we’re all in this together. Our strength is best seen in our communities characterized as safe, strong, and sustainable neighbourhoods. I’m running to create a long-term plan for our city – a plan that promotes sustainable economic development, futures that are built better, demonstrates strategic leadership, celebrating our communities, and a sense of identity. I’m running to serve my neighbours and to work hard on their behalf, to return their immediate phone calls and address their concerns quickly and effectively. When we work together, we can move Abbotsford forward. That’s certainly something worth fighting for.
2. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a good councillor?
I have extensive education, training, and expertise in senior management and public administration. As a team player, I can relate well and feel comfortable to work with diverse cultural communities. Emotionally mature, being able to cope with difficult, hard, and intense emotions of others. I will be staying engaged, welcoming dissent, and not overreacting to it. I believe in a commitment to clear, diverse, and regular communication with the community as a key focus. Leadership means listening carefully to others with a desire to understand concerns, ideas, and perspectives.
3. What do you believe are the two biggest issues in Abbotsford and how do you think they should be addressed?
Business-friendly: It’s time to streamline and leverage business connections as a business-friendly hub in the Fraser Valley and beyond. Starting from zoning regulations to tax policies, existing governmental structures that can be revamped to revitalize a business-friendly environment. Create conditions that attract more business, and support and empower small and medium-sized enterprises. Community engagement: Did you know there is a big divide between east and west Abbotsford? Love Abbotsford was an initiative by local congregations celebrated once a year as an intentional way to show acts of kindness towards our neighbours. Can’t we do this throughout the year in all our communities?