COUNCIL: Loewen, Dave

City of Abbotsford: Loewen, Dave - council candidate

  • Oct. 24, 2014 8:00 p.m.
Dave Loewen

Dave Loewen

Dave Loewen

Education:     S.F.U. – B.A. (Sociology); PDP

UVic – M.Ed. (Educational Administration)

Occupation: Retired high school teacher/administrator

Previous political experience: 3 terms on Abbotsford Council

Residency (city/neighbourhood): Abbotsford

Community involvement:

Have served on numerous boards and committees: MCC BC Board & Executive, including Chair; national and local church committees; Canadian Mennonite University Council Chair; Director on Federation of Independent Schools Associations Board; on Heart2Heart, Haiti Board; on Mennonite Historical Society of BC Board.

Member of Abbotsford Rotary Club

Member of Level Ground Mennonite Church

A participant in Ken Herar’s ‘Cycling4Diversity’

Marital status/children: married to Grace; two married sons and seven grandchildren

Email: loewen33@shaw.ca

Social media:

Facebook – DaveFLoewen

Twitter – @DaveFLoewen

Instagram – davidfloewen

What do you feel are the three key issues Abbotsford voters should be considering in this civic election?

1. Fiscal policies that build and maintain sustainability – delivering vital services to citizens without jeopardizing future capacity to deliver same.

2. Housing – affordable housing for homeless and those on verge of homelessness

3. Safety – supporting present levels of police and fire safety, while continuing to improve where necessary.

What’s your plan to deal with homelessness in Abbotsford?

The last “Homelessness Count” revealed that 70% of those interviewed said that affordable housing and/or a greater income would be the solution to their state of homelessness. Therefore, we need to continue pursuing the establishment of low-barrier housing for homeless, while supporting initiatives to provide more affordable housing (eg. Lynnhaven Society project). I will support the efforts of the City’s newly-established staff position to facilitate collaboration between City Hall local Service Providers to address this issue. In the short term, I am prepared to consider a “Dignity Village”, however, I will also state I have some strong reservations. There may be other more viable options.

How would you make city hall more accountable and transparent?

To my knowledge, all “public” matters are reported, whether in reports or in public presentations, while certain matters, by law, may not be made public. Having said that, I as a councillor can only be transparent with that which I know. There have been times when members of the public knew details I was not aware of. A part of this issue is also perception, and that can best be influenced by better communication with the public.

Are changes required in local municipal spending? If so, what are they and how would you address them?

I think our present City Manager has brought with him a skill set, which he has applied in making some significant course changes; changes that have reduced operating expenses, increased efficiencies, and maintained present services, allowing us to hold property tax increases near 0%. A modest surplus of approximately $10m. has been realized in each of the past two years, and I’m confident we are on a more fiscally-sustainable path – poised to continue reducing operating expenses, pre-paying debt and holding tax increases at or near zero.

It must also be noted that there is a continual downloading of services on local governments, that are not their legislated mandate, and which I don’t feel will be decreasing. This has the effect of putting an increased strain on municipal budgets. One example of this has been the maintenance of our dikes, where the City has paid 55% of $11m.+ over the last 7 years. Continued lobbying through our MLAs, the Fraser Basin Council, and through the UBCM are required to raise this concern.