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Diane Janzen comes out swinging on the Chilliwack campaign trail

‘I’m in this to provide Chilliwack with the strong representation that’s been missing for eight years’

BC Conservative candidate Diane Janzen came out swinging against fellow candidates after a day on the Chilliwack campaign trail.

After spending part of Wednesday talking to voters, Janzen said many said they felt the BC Liberals were taking Chilliwack voters for granted.

“I’ve just returned from spending the afternoon on the street and talking with business owners, family farmers, and downtown residents, and this is what they are telling me: They view the BC Liberals as taking them for granted in what they consider to be a safe riding,” Janzen said in a release Oct. 1.

The candidate was critical of the BC Liberals’ record, and John Martin in particular, asking “where have they been” on the housing, crime, safety and security files.

“Those are the things I’ve been hearing about – the things that are important to Chilliwack and its residents,” Janzen said in a Sept. 30 release. “Honestly, I think most people know John better for his fancy steak grilling and barbecue techniques, and maybe his dog, Dude.

“The bottom line? I really don’t have time for petty party politics. I’m in this to provide Chilliwack with the strong representation that’s been missing for the past eight years,” said the candidate for the BC Conservatives.

Janzen added she also had “serious concerns” about BC NDP candidate Dan Coulter.

“Mr. Coulter as school board chair has presided over the most dysfunctional school board in Chilliwack history and failed to focus on education and students.”

Commitment to student safety also came up, with Janzen pointing to the school board support of The Portal location, a homeless shelter on Yale Road, close to Chilliwack middle and Chilliwack secondary schools.

After listening to all the criticism city council voted in December 2019 to leave The Portal where it was, but to extend the permit to just 18 months, instead of the three years proposed by BC Housing.

Critics of the shelter location at the time focused on the presence of drug dealers, needles and drug paraphernalia, and she noted that 5,000 residents signed the Let’s Take Back the Downtown online petition in opposition.

“The City (of Chilliwack) responded to the community but the school board failed to listen to parents.”

READ MORE: School board votes 4-3 not to oppose shelter location

Janzen also accused Coulter of threatening to “double dip” if he were to remain on the school board, collecting both an MLA and School Trustee taxpayer-funded salary, stating the job of an MLA is “not a part-time job.”

But when asked by The Progress to clarify his intentions Thursday morning, candidate Coulter confirmed he will definitely resign as trustee if elected MLA.

Janzen acknowledged if he resigns his school trustee seat, it would trigger a byelection and cost the taxpayer more than $100,000.

“Either way the taxpayer is not well served,” she said.

READ MORE: Do you live in Chilliwack or Chilliwack-Kent?

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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