Name: Kelly Chahal
Party affiliation (if any): Abbotsfordfirst Electoral Society
Education: Master’s in Criminal Justice
Occupation: Independent Chairperson CSC, Probation Officer Ministry of Justice
Previous political experience: Indo Canadian Business Association ran for contested Presidency for two years. Developed Public Relations position and was voted into that position.
Residency (city/neighbourhood): Abbotsford
Community involvement: over 25 years. I’ve been extensively involved in Intercultural, multicultural, interfaith, criminal justice, and social justice. I have been on several Boards and continue to do so. Currently I am on Senate at UFV on my 2nd term, Public Relations at FVICBA, Alumni Board Member UFV, Center for Indo-Canadian Studies
Marital status/children: Single. I have one son and daughter
Social media: Facebook, Kelly Chahal, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you feel are the three key issues Abbotsford voters should be considering in this civic election?
1. Fiscal Responsibility – High taxes, low tax base
2. Lack of encouragement and responsivity towards business development
3. Homelessness, affordable housing
What’s your plan to deal with homelessness in Abbotsford?
Any one of us can find ourselves in difficult situations and one can only hope we are treated with dignity and compassion. We need to work with other levels of government and resource providers to address issues of individuals facing homelessness. A multifaceted approach needs to address multifaceted issues – each individual has found themselves in a state of homelessness for a variety of reasons and there is no one simple approach. Each individual deserves respect and dignity in any approach to any proposed interventions.
How would you make city hall more accountable and transparent?
Just like any other business, City Hall needs to be accountable for costs, including estimating projected costs for projects which often are considerably higher than the projected budgets, leaving citizens having take care of the costs associated.
Are changes required in local municipal spending? If so, what are they and how would you address them?
Decisions around municipal spending requires a lot of information gathering, and not just short term thinking but especially long term thinking. Experience of Council plays a big role when it comes down to making those difficult decisions that have long term effects –the City needs to be mindful and take personal responsibility of the public purse.
We all are paying for the mistakes made with the event center and will continue to feel the residual effects for some time leaving us with little room for other projects. Poor planning, decision making has left the City of Abbotsford with a low tax base and little room for further development.