The mayoral and city council candidates were asked to reply to four questions that we hope will give voters a better idea on where they stand on some of the most challenging issues of the day.
1. The current city council voted 5-4 to keep Pine Valley. If this matter were to come before council again, how would you vote and why?
1) Pine Valley is one of those green spaces in Prince George that shouldn't be lost. Pine Valley is a gentle par three golf course that is great for young and old alike. It offers an excellent means of learning the game without the intimidation of a bigger course. The par three course is also accessible enough for those with mobility issues that still want to enjoy the game and reap the health benefits associated with a round of golf.
2. City council voted 8-1 in favour of the Northern Recovery Centre for Women in the former Haldi Road elementary school. How would you have voted and why? (Incumbents: how did you vote and why?)
2) I was not a part of the process that brought the Northern Recovery Centre for Women in the former Haldi Road elementary school. Based on the information I am aware of, this seems like a logical program to assist woman suffering with substance abuse as well as other issues. The strength of the Recovery Centre is the commitment of adult woman who are motivated to change. The Recovery Centre provides professional guidance and assistance in an environment away from the distractions of the City.
3. The current city council gave its bargaining committee a target of a net-zero increase to negotiate a new collective agreement with city workers, leading to the first-ever labour disruption by municipal staff. What will be your recommendation when the current collective agreements for city workers expire in 2016 and why?
3) The Collective Agreement is set to expire during the next Council term; concerns need to be identified with the mindset of finding a resolution that will prevent what happened in 2013 from happening in 2016. It is said that City workers are working within a culture of fear. This is not good for productivity or morale. Net zero is not something that will be easily accepted. I cannot see myself supporting a net zero position. Other changes and variables will impact all considerations when it comes to negotiating a new Collective Agreement.
4. Why should residents vote in the Nov. 15 municipal election?
4) 2011 saw a significantly low voter turnout. Voting is a democratic right ... some say duty. It provides a say in the makeup of local government and gives elected officials a mandate to represent the electorate. In 2014 there is a referendum question on the ballot dealing with water fluoridation. Having a say and providing an answer to that question will guide Council on the issue of fluoride in our water. I would like to see much more than 51% of eligible voters turn out and weigh in on the questions of mayor, councillors, school trustees and fluoride.