Election 2014: Candidates asked for their unique ideas to improve Chilliwack

City of Chilliwack: 16 of 17 candidates provided (complete answers at www.theprogress.com) their out-of-the-box ideas

Council candidates were asked about their out-of-the-box ideas for Chilliwack this week in the Progress' ongoing Elections 2014 coverage.

Council candidates were asked about their out-of-the-box ideas for Chilliwack this week in the Progress' ongoing Elections 2014 coverage.

The Chilliwack Progress asked city council candidates to outline their “out-of-the-box” ideas this week as part of ongoing Elections 2014 coverage.

Sixteen of 17 candidates replied (complete answers are here) with what they would bring to the table if elected to “significantly improve” some aspect of how the City of Chilliwack is run.

Candidate Patti MacAhonic tackled poverty.

“I believe the root cause of some of the largest problems facing Chilliwack today is poverty. Social entrepreneurship—a drive for social undertakings that combine business principles and motivations—are emerging as promising approaches to combating poverty,” she said. “I am proposing that we develop a poverty elimination strategy and policy using these innovative approaches that are measurable and address key areas such as income security, housing, food security, employment, health, and childcare.”

Many of the ideas from first-time candidates had to do with “engaging” the electorate in a variety of ways.

Two of them zeroed in on youth.

For candidate Kim Harder, the idea is to establish a Youth Health Centre.

“Plenty of evidence exists to show that engaging youth early on creates, healthier, safer and therefore one could say, more attractive cities,” said Harder, adding she also favours youth representation at the city level. “When you look at the excitement young people have around events like We Day, it’s clear that they are wanting to make a difference and be involved. The University of the Fraser Valley is large untapped resource for potentially increasing youth engagement in municipal politics.”

Incumbent Jason Lum said he’d like to see a “youth advisory committee” set up at city hall.

“With declining voter turnouts, it is clear that we must work harder to educate, engage, and include a new generation of voters in the decision making process.

“What better way than to learn hands-on about the roles and responsibilities of Local Government than having a direct say in some of the recommendations to Mayor and Council.

Incumbent Chuck Stam went out a snow removal limb to solve the problem of snow clogged roads.

“My ‘out of the box’ idea is more of a back to the basics, citizen engagement idea relating to heavy snow fall events,” Stam said. “The concept is city would pre-qualify and contract with owners of heavy equipment and farm implements to be available and ready when called upon to remove the snow from pre-determined third and fourth priority roads.

“This would free up our equipment and operators to remain focused on our first and second priority roads and provide safer passage to our less travelled neighborhoods and country roads.”

Candidate Philip Maxwell said he’ll be active on social media, and in person, to keep people informed, and to counter the idea that council is unreachable.

“With the social media craze, people have forgotten how to talk to each other. I want to bring this crazy idea of talking to someone face to face back.

“I will attend public events, have open forums and talk to local business owners to ensure there is a ‘personal touch’ to my seat on council,” said Maxwell.

Candidate Phill Bruce is also out to “engage” folks.

“My Out of the Box idea is to continually engage people throughout my term to find out what the real issues and concerns are from the people in the street to the farmers in the field, facilitate from the people of Chilliwack how to fix there issues and concerns and how to make this community better,” said Bruce.

Candidate Michael Kha’s idea is a city council meeting that goes mobile to take the issues directly to the people.

“We could call this initiative the ‘Road Show’ and let everyone be comfortable in their own environment while learning about how the city works. I believe that if we can bring city hall to ‘people’ more people would be interested in politics, and be more engaged with the current issues.”

Getting more Chilliwackians out to vote, and getting key info out to them, through accountability and transparency seemed to be the over-arching theme for several people.

Candidate Brenda Currie said she would like to see “voting promoted on a continuous basis,” such as going out to schools and educating the youth to vote, “and not just at election time. I feel getting more citizens involved will allow them to have more input.”

Candidate Richard Williams said his “top priority” is “strengthening the foundations” of public engagement.

“For instance; we must start making all public (non-council) meetings/forums part of the public record like council meetings. Social media and other online forums (as examples) must become an integrated part of ‘regular council’ meetings as well as the other public meetings. Processes like the rezoning applications can also be enhanced with more online engagement.”

Candidate Brigida Crosbie vowed to “listen” to the people.

“Letting the people know and feel confident that their issues and their voice have been heard,” she said. “To be more open and honest about what is happening in our City and to stop pretending that Chilliwack doesn’t have the same issues as any other City and to acknowledge them and be proactive in dealing with these issues.”

Being approachable was Chris Kloot’s idea, adding: “I want people to feel they matter, because they do! I want to hear people’s visions, dreams and wants for this community.”

Incumbent Sue Attrill praised the amazing staff team, with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and they were part of her idea.

“I would like to see monthly seminars offered to the public on any number of topics. It can sometimes be difficult for citizens to understand our zoning for example.”

Candidate Dick Harrington said the answer is a city-run Wi-Fi network for the community, patterned after one in Fredericton, NB that began in 1998, with an initial investment of $65,000.

“That investment was paid back in full. The non-profit agency that runs it is owned by the city, with the city being the sole shareholder.The taxpayer contributes nothing into the costs.

“We need such a service for Chilliwack and I will push for this when I get elected to Council,” said Harrington. “Let’s work together to make Chilliwack the Internet capital of British Columbia.”

For candidate Sam Waddington the key is bolstering tourism.

“We have an opportunity to build a tourism industry here that reflects our position in the Fraser Valley as the best place to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. If we capitalize on this opportunity there are vast economic benefits that await us in this sector, and tourism could feasibly become a cornerstone to Chilliwack’s economy in the years to come.”


Just Posted

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
Student’s quote in Chilliwack high school yearbook equates graduation with end of slavery

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Doses prepared at pop-up vaccine clinic in Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood, in the M3N postal code, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. ( THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)
4 vaccine clinics coming to Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Fraser Health made clinics ‘low-barrier’ meaning pre-registration not required

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read