Name: Tina Stewart
Party affiliation (if any): none
Education: UFV Business Tech with Accounting. Recognized on the Dean’s List.
Occupation: Executive Director of the ADBA
Previous political experience:
Residency (city/neighbourhood): Abbotsford (26 years)
Volunteer palliative and bereavement companion at Abbotsford Hospice (4 years)
10 years helping women and children living with domestic violence.
Committee Member – Purple Light Nights Campaign raising awareness of domestic violence in our community.
Committee Member – FV Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council
Marital status/children: Married 3 children and 2 step children (one boy short of the “Brady Bunch”)
What do you feel are the three key issues Abbotsford voters should be considering in this civic election?
1. Development of jobs that meet or exceed the Living Wage
2. Affordable Housing; increased medium and high density housing
3. Connecting communities with increased/improved transit
What’s your plan to deal with homelessness in Abbotsford?
I believe it is absolutely necessary to fill in the many holes in the list of services Abbotsford does have available, such as detox and a central system to enquire about and access services that one might need. Typically, when help is needed, citizens don’t know where to turn, and unfortunately become tired of trying. We need to help our marginalized community before they are feeling completely helpless and broken.
Many of our homeless population have simply run into hardship in their life. The lack of affordable housing and job opportunities that meet or exceed the Living Wage needs to be addressed.
How would you make city hall more accountable and transparent?
I believe local government must be available to the public they serve; all municipal business must be easily accessible; engagement between staff, council and the public prior to major decision making needs to be more consistent and steps need to be made to inform the public of opportunities to be involved. It’s apparent that much of the population is not aware of the opportunities for engagement that do exist. A marketing campaign to educate the public on the opportunities would be beneficial.
Are changes required in local municipal spending? If so, what are they and how would you address them?
Our community cannot thrive if we do not support it. The City needs to be held accountable for their spending habits and needs to develop a mandate of local spending if the service/product is available. Initially, certainly the cost may be slightly higher, but the overall trickle effect on the community will make up for it with thriving/growing businesses, stronger tax base, more jobs and security for employees.