CLIMATE ACTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Humanity is facing more and more impacts with devastating storms, massive wildfires, floods, landslides, heat domes and heat waves impacting the air we breathe, the water we drink and our ability to function.
We must be innovative in our approach to making life more livable, sustainable and comfortable for all people. We are well beyond just lowering our carbon emissions at a moderate pace. It is going to take bold moves on climate action to give us any hope of making a difference for the future generations to be able to thrive. We need to confront these unprecedented obstacles with integrity, hope, courage, and optimism and elect leaders who understand what is at stake.
We have so much to learn from Indigenous Peoples about how to be better stewards of this land and we need to be open to the terrible truth of our shared history, at the hands of settler colonialism. We need to meet people where they are at on this path to a better way forward and accept that we are going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Acknowledging the truth we move forward towards becoming true partners in our collective healing.
I will work towards implementing the 11 recommendations of the Joint Working Group with ɬəʔamen Nation and would create a Task Force for assisting with intergovernmental relations and collaboration with First Nations partners.
Like many other communities, we are facing a crisis in housing access and affordability. After implementing several strategies to support local not-for-profit housing providers to build new affordable housing units, we now need to expand our scope as a local government to create more opportunities to meet the needs of everyone.
I support the City establishing a Municipal Housing Authority (similar to Whistler's) so we can provide below-market rental housing and affordable home ownership for our residents who work hard and aren't being paid wages that match inflation creating challenges to make ends meet. We have to continue to reduce barriers and create all types of housing stock until everyone has a home that meets their needs that they can afford.
Just over 30% of our population is over the age of 65. We need accessibility improvements to streets, community spaces and public buildings and to continue building safe, affordable housing for seniors.
We must continue to advocate for improved access to healthcare services, and support the replacement of our aging complex care facility with increased capacity. This will free up hospital beds and reduce risks for those who can no longer live at home. We also need to continue programs like Seniors Together to create social outlets and keep people active and healthy.
Working with young people through the Youth Council has been one of the highlights of my time in local government. Mentoring youth in civic governance, guiding them in advocacy to other levels of government to make real change is how we grow the leaders of tomorrow. I will continue to engage with the youth of our community and listen to how we can do things better for them.
In addition to starting up a new Youth Council, I would create a Mayor’s internship with youth to learn about what Mayor & Council do, have a voice in creating change and better understand the role of local government.
I would also like to explore implementing a Youth Action Workforce to help youth gain experience working on local climate action and other projects.
TRANSIT & ACTIVE TRANSPORTION
In collaboration with BC Transit, we should implement on-demand transit ‘Zunga Bus’ as a permanent part of the transit service throughout the municipality along with encouraging BC Transit to convert the bus fleet to electric and make routes more efficient and direct in peak times.
We must continue to advocate for a public transit connection from here to the Lower Mainland.
And by implementing the Bicycle Network Strategy with substantial accessibility improvements, it will make moving around the community by walking, biking, and mobility scooters safer for more members of the community which will make their lives better, healthier, and more affordable.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & PARTNERSHIPS
There are many opportunities for sustainable economic growth in our community. Working to maintain respectful relationships with our regional partners including the ɬəʔamen Nation is a good way forward.
I will take the lead from ɬəʔamen Nation and continue exploring the possibility of a Local Community Energy Trust with our regional energy providers. Revenue from energy generation belongs in our shared communities.