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?
Our development council wants to prepare for 100,000 more people regardless of the impact that has. Residents come to public hearings sometimes pleading for council to deny developments that diminish setbacks, destroy trees and bushes and max out property lines, cause parking problems and increase crime. Often it’s futile. Old neighbourhoods are coming down fast. The “grow bigger, faster” mentality doesn’t ensure quality of life. I’ve run for council numerous times. It’s an opportunity to speak to issues that matter to me. If people like what I stand for they vote for me.
2. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a good councillor?
I would be a good councillor because I want a city where people are safe, can find meaningful work and enjoy life. I’m old enough to have acquired some discernment and common sense. People are well off when government leaves them to freely pursue life, liberty and happiness. I worked for CIBC in southern Ontario and B.C. After studying horticulture at UCFV, I started my own small-scale landscaping business. Richard, my husband, taught high school math and science and left me lots of time for volunteer work and some peripheral politics.
3. What do you believe are the two biggest issues in Abbotsford and how do you think they should be addressed?
The number of people living all over Abbotsford, huddled away in filth and personal danger, is a drain on public resources and a societal failure. I volunteered at the women’s federal prison for over a decade where many found life too hard to manage on their own. People need a helping hand to develop skills and job training that confers self-respect. They don’t need government to supply more drugs that cripple and keep them imprisoned in their addictions. And we really need a council with the backbone to enforce city bylaws without favour or bias.