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?
Serving my community allows me to continue to lead by example – with honesty, integrity and a profound sense of community care. My extensive experience in law enforcement from the operational, management and leadership levels will serve Abbotsford well in these challenging times. Challenging times are not left just to fiscal restraint – good stewardship of public funds will always be a top priority and typically the most tangible one. The city and citizens deserve a safe, healthy and vibrant community – a city they can be proud of – so it was time for me to step up.
2. What skills and attributes do you have that would make you a good councillor?
Passion for doing the work, inclusive, superior communicator, engaging, accessible, life-long learner, leadership by walking around – experiencing the community in person. I’m in my element when rolling up my sleeves to get the heavy lifting and hard work done. Someone has to do the “hard yards” and I’ve spent 35 years fighting crime and saving lives. Knowing and understanding what it takes to work with a community’s vulnerable population all the while being firm, fair, and treating people with dignity and kindness is an asset I want to share with the city.
3. What do you believe are the two biggest issues in Abbotsford and how do you think they should be addressed?
Addressing street crime, guns/gangs and homelessness are at the top of my list to build a safe, healthy, vibrant community. The Abbotsford Police have laid a path deploying resources to reach out to the community where they live, on doorsteps and in schools, taking calculated risks, and that needs to continue. Homelessness is a complicated social and community issue. A timely, coordinated and collaborative response by human service professionals working closely with partners and stakeholders such as in the Hub Model/Situation Table would be one strategy to support our most vulnerable citizens. Community safety is everyone’s responsibility.