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?
I put my name forward for a city council seat because I am deeply committed to Abbotsford and its citizens. I know what it takes to get things done in the municipal system. I will bring an independent, professional and unfettered voice at the council table which will serve every citizen of Abbotsford not just a special interest group. I am concerned about lack of infrastructure, affordable housing or transparency. I bring an “Open for Business” mindset for Abbotsford to thrive as community were we all live, work, invest and play.
2. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a good councillor?
I bring over 25 years of experience from five different municipalities, including Langley and Abbotsford. My municipal experience will be a significant asset at the council table and to the Abbotsford taxpayers. It allows me to see where the red tape or the road blocks are in the system and how to streamline them. My involvement with youth sports for the past two decades, where I have coached soccer and mentored youth of all ages, allows me to understand the infrastructure needs of our community and challenges faced by our youth. You can find more about me at Sohi2021.ca.
3. What do you believe are the two biggest issues in Abbotsford and how do you think they should be addressed?
The two major issues are affordable housing and infrastructure. I believe in housing for all. The city needs to create more market and below-market rental housing. It is extremely difficult for young families to own a home in this community. My experience will help the city streamline its approval process without compromising the social or environmental concerns. A good city leadership will not allow the city to have financial or infrastructure deficit. Just the inflation alone will make our infrastructure project unaffordable and deprive our future generation. The city needs to lobby senior levels of governments for net-zero infrastructure projects.