Henry Braun, the mayor of Abbotsford, touted his record from the last four years and laid out his plan for the city in the next four years, should he be re-elected in October.
The first-term mayor spoke at the annual Mayor’s Breakfast event at Tradex Wednesday morning.
He told the crowd that he has worked with city staff and councillors to streamline development applications, develop a city-wide official community plan and has fostered a positive business environment during his time in office.
Braun said he was proud to see concrete being poured at the future site of the massive upcoming Mayne Coatings manufacturing facility on Clearbrook Road on his drive to the conference centre that morning. He also pointed to transportation improvements either underway or scheduled to start soon, including on Marshall Road, Mt. Lehman Road, Vye Road and the Fraser Highway.
All of this, he said, is part of a plan to make the city more vibrant, livable and with a stronger economy as it continues to grow.
He said there have been some setbacks to the city’s plan for a more densely populated city by the time its population reaches 200,000. Those include the Agricultural Land Commission’s recent rejection of a city request to have about 200 hectares of land removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve to accommodate future industrial growth.
Braun also acknowledged some tough issues that continue to challenge Abbotsford, especially homelessness, the overdose crisis and gangs. But, he said, progress is being made on those files.
He said he announced his plan to run for re-election four weeks ago in anticipation of making his annual breakfast speech because he wanted to use the speech to make the case for his plan for the city going forward.
That plan includes trying to block marijuana from being produced in the Agricultural Land Reserve, continued housing development in the city centre and advocating for the widening of Highway 1.