2011 Civic Election Candidates

Here’s a list of candidates are officially listed as running for mayor, council or school board in New Westminster’s 2011 civic election.

Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name. Incumbents and party affiliations are noted where applicable. If you see that someone’s missing, or if I’ve missed a candidate’s campaign website or Twitter account, please let me know in the comments. I’ve also created an aggregated list of all tweets by New Westminster candidates on Twitter. If you want to talk New West politics on Twitter, we suggest searching for the hashtag #nwelxn.

Wondering where to vote in New Westminster?  Follow the link for a full list of polling places & other essential voter info

You may also want to check out the following links for more information on the candidates:

Feel free to leave a comment to endorse your election picks, but since I don’t want to encourage negative politicking, comments attacking specific candidates will not be approved. Keep it positive!

Mayoral Candidates


James Crosty

  • James Crosty

    James Crosty

    How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 22 years

  • What do you love most about our city? – The People
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Affordability of our city for all its citizens
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – That there is a disconnect between residents and our elected officials.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire 
More: 


Vance McFadyen

Vance McFadyen

Vance McFadyen

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 33 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – Our river front location and unique neighbourhoods
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – neghbourhood infrastructure
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – traffic congestion
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire 

More:



Francois Nantel

François Nantel

François Nantel

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 12 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – central to the mainland
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – ease congestion at rush hour
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – traffic
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire 



Wayne Wright – Incumbent

  • Wayne Wright

    Wayne Wright

    How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 34

  • What do you love most about our city? – he wonderful people and a community built of neighbourhoods
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Columbia Street
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Reducing homelessness
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire 
More:



Council Candidates

 


John Ashdown – Voice

John Ashdown

John Ashdown

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 30 Years
  • What do you love most about our city? – Community Spirit, Diversew neighbourhoods.
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Political imbalance on city Council
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Taxpayer representation
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire 

More:


James Bell

 

James Bell

James Bell

  • No website
  • No response to candidate questionnaire

Jonathan Cote – Incumbent, endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council

Jonathan Cote

Jonathan Cote

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 10 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – New Westminster has an incredible sense of place. We have some wonderful parks, historic neighbourhoods and commercial main streets that are truly unique in our region.
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Transportation
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Building an environmentally and socially sustainable community.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Cal Donnelly

Cal Donnelly

Cal Donnelly

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 41 years in the Westend
  • What do you love most about our city? – People and their community spirit
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – traffic and infrastructure
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – livability
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More info:
  • No website

Bill Harper - Incumbent,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
Bill Harper

Bill Harper

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 32 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – its inclusiveness of all peoples
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – our industrial and commercial tax base
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – making a place for my grandchildren
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:


Gerry Liu
Gerry Liu

Gerry Liu

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – Born and raised in Sapperton 50 yrs
  • What do you love most about our city? – Centralization and its tight knit community feeling
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Communication, Planning & Transparency
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Incinerator I am opposed we could use that property for business development
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:

  • No website

 


Vladimir Krasnogor
Vladimir Krasnogor

Vladimir Krasnogor

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 17 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – Community spirit, historical charm, rich heritage
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Library, sports arena, aquatic centre, roads
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – traffic, taxes, city transparancy and accountability, heritage preservation
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Jaimie McEvoy- Incumbent,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
Jaimie McEvoy

Jaimie McEvoy

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 25 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – It’s strong community and the way people get involved.
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – The level of traffic.
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Successfully reducing homelessness by 45%.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Betty McIntosh- Incumbent
Betty McIntosh

Betty McIntosh

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – since 1968
  • What do you love most about our city? – The sense of community and welcoming.
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Continued work on traffic issues.
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Listening & working for the peoples issues of New westminster.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Paul Mulangu

Paul Mulangu

Paul Mulangu

  • No response to candidate questionnaire
  • No website

 


David Noshad – Voice
David Noshad

David Noshad

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – for the better part of last 15 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – people of New Westminster…the friendliest people in the lower mainland
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – economy, transportation and environmental considerations
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – economy, jobs and affordable housing
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Bob Osterman- Incumbent
Bob Osterman

Bob Osterman

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 38 Years
  • What do you love most about our city? – Our sense of History and our small town “compactness”
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Traffic Flows, Rat Running, Gridlock morning & night
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Traffic, Congestion, School Children Safety
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:
  • No website

 


Gavin Palmer – Voice
Gavin Palmer

Gavin Palmer

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 14 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – The people, our history and the City’s future
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – Traffic movement through the City
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – Developing a “CAN DO” attitude amoungst City staff.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:

  • No website

 


Chuck Puchmayr
  • Chuck Puchmayr

    Chuck Puchmayr

    How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 33 years

  • What do you love most about our city? – quality of life, heritage, people,
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – transportation, keeping us affordable
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – continuing to work of safe streerts and homelessness
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:


Harp Sihota

  • No photo
  • No response to candidate questionnaire
  • No website

Susan Wandell – Voice
Susan Wandell

Susan Wandell

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 23 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – small town feel
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – some communities feel disenfranchised and needs to be remedied
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – the arts need to be supported and not just by adding salaries to City Hall expenses
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:


Lorrie Williams- Incumbent,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
Lorrie Williams

Lorrie Williams

  • How long have you lived in New Westminster? – 25 years
  • What do you love most about our city? – its village-like appeal
  • What do you think most needs improvement? – traffic
  • What is the civic issue that is the most personally meaningful to you? – infrastructure deficit
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire

More:

  • No website

 


 

School Board Candidates

 


James Bell
James Bell

James Bell

  • No website
  • No response to candidate questionnaire

 


Jonina Campbell,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
Jonina Campbell

Jonina Campbell

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – Yes, two. My son is grade 3, my daughter is in kindergarten.
  • What do our schools do well? – When I am talking with parents and students, they respond to this question with the same answer: the teachers. It takes a team of people to make a school a welcoming, safe and inspiring place to learn and we need to everything possible to support our schools.
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Services and support to children with complex and diverse needs.
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Encouraging more students to lead an active life, starting with walking or biking to and from school.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Casey Cook – Voice – Incumbent
Casey Cook

Casey Cook

  • Do you have kids in the system? Both of my kids were in the system, currently my grand-daughter is.
  • What do our schools do well. Every day, a myriad of wonderful things take place in our schools. The wonder of teaching and learning. We have a diverse curriculum, which features several programs of choice and a wide array of support programs. We are moving forward with the reality that we are in a digital age, and the need for our technology to also move forward with that.
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building school) that needs improvement? The area that needs improvement the most is the process of decision making. We need to have policy, practices and procedures in place to ensure that we make the correct decision the first time. To be able to achieve this, we need to have the appropriate organizational elements in place:
    1. A strategic plan
    2. A communications plan
    3. A performance management plan
    4. A transparent budget management plan

None of these, are currently in place (no. 4, partially). Having them in place will enable the School District to engage the community on a Community Development Model, where it is viewed as a resource, of knowledge, passion and commitment. We need to listen, consult,inform and have procedures to jointly identify issues and then, also jointly, resolve them. With this approach, appropriate outcomes can be delivered effectively and efficiently.

  • What education related idea is most important to you personally as a candidate? The goal that all children are able and encouraged to reach full potential. As a board, we represent all kids
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Michael Ewen – Incumbent,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
  • Michael Ewen

    Michael Ewen

    Do you have kids in our school system? – no, they have all graduated

  • What do our schools do well? – Increasing student achievement, and providing choice
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – communication with the public, and trustees need to be more respectful to each other
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – providing choice for students and support for staff as we move forward into 21st Century Learning
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Jim Goring – Incumbent, Voice
Jim Goring

Jim Goring

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – Both children attended K to 12 one has graduated one is in Grade 12
  • What do our schools do well? – Our schools do many things well including inspiring, challenging and including all our children
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – One that is in our control is Communication
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – We must explore how we will engage children and teachers in the future. We need to make the right choices very soon so that we can attract and retain students and teachers.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Lisa Graham – Incumbent, Voice
Lisa Graham

Lisa Graham

  • Do you have kids in the system? My youngest, my daughter, Julie (NWSS honour roll student, grade 11)
  • What do our schools do well? The New Westminster School District supports a variety of choice programming — from Montessori to French Immersion to our Alternate Programs to IB to vocation training (in partnership with post-secondary institutions), etc. Launching Early-learning initiatives and Smart Starts provides critical bridging into the school system. In a context that extends beyond the typical application to special needs students, “inclusion”; with available resources, our staff does an outstanding job of addressing the non-school needs of many of our students (weather-appropriate coats and footwear, breakfasts in the morning, hot lunch programs, extra-curricular out-of-school programs and clubs, etc.) unfortunately, there is more need than there are resources to address it. Why do we do this? We do this because we know that when a child’s physiological needs are met, their capacity for learning increases exponentially. Similarly, for new immigrants, we work very hard to support our “new” students as they adjust to a new language and culture, as well as an expanded new role within their own family unit — it is an uncommon stress for children to act as the conduit between their family and the larger society but it is a common occurrence for newly landed immigrant students. With regard to both learning and teaching conditions, when we meet all these kinds of needs, it benefits the whole classroom/school. I could go on citing other areas of particular merit starting with our football-program but there are more questions yet to be answered … .
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

James Janzen – Incumbent,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
James Janzen

James Janzen

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – no
  • What do our schools do well? – too many things to number – offer choices to children and parents
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Engaging kids in educationally sound ways with new technology
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Making sure that children and parents have choices in public education.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

Brenda McEachern-Keen – Voice
Brenda McEachern-Keen

Brenda McEachern-Keen

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – 2 graduates of SD40 2009 2011
  • What do our schools do well? – programs of choice – many ways for students to excel
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Structural readiness for new learning opportunities
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – see above. Also business company disclosure. Is it the best use of our resources?
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

MaryAnn Mortensen – Voice
MaryAnn Mortensen

MaryAnn Mortensen

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – Yes, a daughter and a son
  • What do our schools do well? – From my observations, Principals and teachers and support staff work collaboratively and support each other. I see a great respect between Administrators and Senior Administrators. The selection of program choices from mainstream to Early and Late French Immersion, Punjabi, Montessori, Trade apprenticeships in Plumbing, Culinary Arts and Hairdressing, Music Program, International Baccalaureate Program, Home Learners and our alternate programs (SIGMA, POWER and RECAP) provide many pathways to success and I strongly believe this is vital to encouraging families to send their children to our schools and offers children greater opportunities to achieve success. I see a dedication in our teaching staff that goes beyond their duty from the District Track meet to every day after school activities such as basketball, track and other extra-curricular activities that further deepen the important bond between teachers and students. I see support staff that care deeply about our schools (remembering on particular Custodian who would use his break to teach students how to play basketball and hockey and join in on games with students who already played these sports. There are so many things that our schools do well and they do this even while waiting for our buildings to be built and upgraded.
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Bar none, the biggest issue in our school district is how decisions are made at the Board table. Consultation must happen before decisions are made. I believe that we need a Board and District Mission and Vision Statement and that our policies must be guided by the principles agreed to by those who work in our school district and the parents/guardians who send their children to our schools and the community of New Westminster. We must evaluate our communications in the district using a communications audit. To keep more dollars in our district, I believe we can cost-share the services of other districts communications staff to perform the evaluation and from that our Mission and Vision Statement will guide us in how we address the communication gaps in our system.
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Children are our most valuable “asset” and we must foster in them a love of learning, offer them many pathways to success and ensure that we provide a positive, healthy and safe environment to achieve their full potential. Equally, we must ensure that we provide a healthy and safe environment along with the services and resources to our staff to ensure that they have the best teaching environment in which to teach, inspire and challenge our children.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
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James Pepa
James Pepa

James Pepa

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – Yes, two currently and more on the way
  • What do our schools do well? – Our schools and teachers have a done a great job in helping our students excel as we heard at the debate the other night. That students in our district are in the top in many areas across the board.
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Communication with everyone in the community including PACs, DPAC, Teachers, School Board and others.
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – As well as looking at new programs to offer, we need to strengthen the current programs we offer like reducing wait lists in popular programs by looking at ways to expand them within our district.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
More:

David Phelan,  endorsed by New Westminster and District Labour Council
David Phelan

David Phelan

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – Yes, my 6 year old attends our neighbourhood school. Our 4 year old will follow next year
  • What do our schools do well? – Our school district offers a variety of programs to suit the needs and interests of our students. We have French Immersion, Montessori, and Home Learners Programs. In addition we have a variety of International, Community, Adult, and Alternate programs. In comparison to many school districts, New Westminster provides easy access to the facilities for different community groups.
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Our school board needs to ensure that the primary focus is on creating the best education system possible. This involves an understanding of contemporary issues in education and a desire to continually improve. According to a number of international standards, we have one of the best education systems in the world in Canada, and B.C. in particular. We need to protect what we do well, and be aware of current trends in education to continually move forward. We have the opportunity with our new school construction to be leaders in education.
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Everyone is in agreement that we need to build new schools, but we are lacking discussions regarding the types of learning environments we wish to create. We are a small city and the capital projects will have an enormous impact on generations of New Westminster students. We need to start these discussions now. We must plan our schools so that connections to the environment can be created. Innovative use of outdoor space in our schools could involve the creation of School Learning Gardens. Relationships with various community resources (such as the increasingly popular community gardens and farmer’s markets) should be explored, with the goal of creating a setting that can be used for learning experiences while at the same time enabling students to become more connected to their communities. The natural landscape and topography should be used to optimal effect, and could include options such as outdoor amphitheaters and seating. We need to create an environment that will allow technology to be integrated seamlessly, but also have the ability to adapt to future change and trends. We need to discuss the evolving role of libraries in our schools. They are places of reading, exploration, thoughtful reflection and group collaboration. The various programs that exist in our schools need to be protected. Since the new high school will have a smaller footprint, we need to develop strategies to protective our shops, automotive and culinary arts programs. This could involve partnerships with organizations in the community. The key is to ensure the school board maintains control of the programs.
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
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Glen Richmond
Glen Richmond

Glen Richmond

  • Do you have kids in our school system? – My 3 children graduated NWSS with Honours.
  • What do our schools do well? – Communicate issues & concerns (PACs).
  • What is the biggest area (aside from building schools) that needs improvement? – Traffic & street safety in and around our schools.
  • What education-related idea or issue is most important to you personally as a candidate? – Quality of educational experiences (adequate funding for technology & special-needs students, and quality of life for students/parents/teachers & support staff).
  • Read more from our all-candidates questionnaire
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46 thoughts on “2011 Civic Election Candidates”

    1. Thanks Pat – both for councillor right? I have added them. Couldn't find a link to their campaign sites, but their names are now on the list.

  1. Just a reminder for all commenters that negative attacks on candidates will be deleted. Help all candidates to see what matters to you and how you would like our city to evolve by sharing what you'd like to see and who you think is most likely to share your vision for New West.

    Thanks,

    Briana

  2. It's not so much as who's declared as who hasn't yet. And no negative attacks? So I suppose a comment about the fact that the Mayor's race has come down to who best defines themselves as a piece of outer space material is a fitting comment to the "race" will get deleted? One's a shooting star, the other one an asteroid. I was really hoping for a third candidate in the race, who could refer to themselves as perhaps a meteorite or a comet. And this isn't an attack at Mayor Wright, but a piece of advice. You should really be guarded with the words you use in describing your opponent and differences between yourself and him. The word "lifestyle" and talking about living different lifestyles can have many many connotations, intentional and unintentional. Best to be succinctly clear in what you are trying to convey.

    1. I don't want to see comments dedicated to tearing down specific candidates, but I think it's fair to comment on the race as a whole. I think your comment about the tone of the rhetoric in the mayor's race is on point. The asteroid/shooting star exchange was so bizarre! Bring on that third 'comet', and maybe an oort cloud or two.

      1. We all know where the space war began. Remember Jaimie's "Star Wars Tie"? Wearing it when going places no one dares to go! Like the "fair living wage" that was to be the savior for ACORN. Has it? Or has it simply increased costs to taxpayers and increase the stipend his CUPE organization.

  3. I think that in terms of the race as a whole, seeing as Puchmayr has entered the race, Osterman could be in some serious trouble on the West side. Other than that, I don't see anyone on the outside that represents a credible or realistic change from how the council is currently constituted.

  4. Ok. Here's an analysis of the race for Mayor, Council and School Board. Yawn. There you have it. One possible change on council might be Osterman who may find himself on the hotseat with Puchmayr in the race, as well as Ashdown. Ashdown and Osterman draw from pretty much the same field, and those on that side of the fence may throw the support from Osterman to Ashdown, looking for a change. Puchmayr has a tonne of cache being the former MLA in New Westminster, not too mention being a former 3 term city councillor. Had he decided to run for Mayor instead of council, I think that the Mayor's race would have been a walk for him, with Crosty and Wright fighting over pretty much the same votes, the other side of the spectrum isn't well represented in this race by the other 2 candidates running for Mayor. School board will hopefully see Janzen returned as he has done an extremely good job in his time on the board, and shown a willingness to be open minded and concilliatory on a great many issues. I thought that it might be time for James to step up to the council level, perhaps, but he clearly doesn't agree. And the council race. Well I see all the incumbant councillors being returned, except for perhaps Osterman, who like I said faces a fight from both sides with Ashdown and Puchmayr. I would give the nod to Puchmayr, should he run aggressively and hard as he did in 2005 to secure both the nomination and the election as MLA. With his record on council previously, plus his brief time as MLA, and given the current make up of the council, he would be a fine addition and substitution for Osterman. But ultimately, it will take a tonne of work to ensure that. Should he rest on his laurels and expect those that voted before to just pony up and do it again for him, he may find himself out of the race before it starts. I hope that this analysis fits the "non negative" "tear down" component required to get posted on here. I'm truly saddened though not to see David Brett's name amongst those on Voice running for council. Now that would have really caused some fireworks. But I'm sure there's a few people who are equally disappointed not to see me put my name in the cross hairs as well.

    1. Good Summary. I bet some agree (and some dont!) As for D. Brett, I think his wife Lorraine was a good contender last time. She is pretty involved in the CPC now and perhaps has other fish to fry but I was impressed with her even managerial style and thoughtful responses last year. David B and I have a few things in common, one of them is that our spouses are truly, our better halves!

  5. Ok. I was trolling on the TTTF site and came across this post from a regular contributor to the TTTF site who happens to be a candidate for city council, and the views expressed in the posting have pretty much gone unchanged in his views, based on his opinions expressed both to myself and also through postings on this site and various other social media sites. After I post the quote I do have a couple questions for the "candidate". It comes from the thread "What the…." by Jocelyn Tomkinson and is a post by John Ashdown. Also please note, this isn't an "attack" by merely an enquiry in the interests of backing up statements with tangible facts. With that… there's the post:

    John · 149 weeks ago
    I agree New West neds more small and large business however with Tax rates .08% higher than our neighbours, a constant threat from organized Labour, why would any business consider New West. We had the chance to remedy at least some of these negatives however by severe apathy we allowed labour candidates to take control of our city just as they are attempting to take over our country and Province. The old boys club have yet to realize without business who needs labour. They should be working with business rather than demanding something from which there is none. Watch New West become a ghost town under our present labour majority council.

    My question specifically addressed to John Ashdown is this: I would appreciate it if you would provide specific facts and occurrences of your position that businesses in New West specifically face " a constant threat from organized Labour." Concrete specific examples where the city council in particular, as its an illusion, err allusion to the fact that because we have people who are endorsed by labour groups on council as well as community groups, business groups, and a wide variety of other interest groups, somehow provide " a constant threat from organized Labour." Or is it that your position on this issue has specifically changed. I'm asking for specific occurances and incidents over the past 3 years since you made this statement or are you recanting it.

    A supplementary question to my point. What specific ideas and policies are you proposing in your candidacy for city council, to attract business to New Westminster that don't currently exist through the various Business Improvement Assn's and Chamber of Commerce. Perhaps are taxation rate that downloads more costs onto the residents while lightening the load on business and industry?

    And one other final supplementary question for you John. Why is it that you are so for lack of a better term anti organized labour? What has happened to you in your past that drives this at times, venemous ideology against anyone who's in organized labour of any type being involved in the political process? In short, what makes you tick politically John?

    As I said, this isn't an attack style posting Briana. It asks some specific questions of a specific candidate wishing to sit on city council, who's voiced some very controversial viewpoints in the past on your site and others. And I believe that people from all political stripes have the right to know where people are coming from, what their motivations are, and why they are so passionate about what they espouse. And when they espouse an idea that something is going to happen, they should back it up with facts, not just assertions. It's ironic to find John's posting 12 weeks short of 3 calendar years to the day he posted it, shortly after the last civic election. He's now a candidate for council and should have to defend his positions. So let's hear it.

    1. Dave Thanks for refresjing my previous posts. Your witch hunt is impressive. You are right, my opinions have not changed. You are wrong about my feelings in general about unions. I am not against organized Labour and their leaders fighting for improvements through proper negotiations.. What I am against is special interest groups and affiliates dominating City Council. Last election saw an additional special Interest councillor succeed and throw the balance off. Now the Mayor has no vote on issues favouring this group.
      I don't have the privilage of time, like you, to debate every one of your issues. I don't think we will see you anytime in any crosshairs as stated in the previous post. That might put you in the hot seat on some of your commentaries. I am running to provide possible solutions to problems we face in Taxes, Economical Developement, Private Sector Job creation by free enterprise and simply a Voice for all Citizens. I feel it is not the time to bare my visions as yet but that will come when I am ready, not you, so be patient.
      One of the main things I will advocate for is accountability from all departments.

    2. Dave, you make your point clearly and the observation is fair. Mr. Ashdown opened the door to this question by making a dramatic statement that "organized labour" poses "a constant threat" to the city. Instead of receiving a full answer to this concern though, you get accused of being on a "witch hunt". Hmmm, is that what we are to expect during an electoral campaign? At any rate, the tone of the response is combative. How would this communication style inspire greater accountability from others? That is a crucial question for voters to consider.

  6. Witch hunt? Oh John. I'm sorry to see you think that researching issues and asking valid questions would be a "witch hunt." I call it doing my homework. Afterall, I do alot of research into all things political.

    "I don't think we will see you anytime in any crosshairs as stated in the previous post. That might put you in the hot seat on some of your commentaries. I am running to provide possible solutions to problems we face in Taxes, Economical Developement, Private Sector Job creation by free enterprise and simply a Voice for all Citizens."

    Here's freebie for you John. As a "Voice" candidate, how would you address "job creation by "free enterprise" without a shifting of the tax load from businesses onto citizens? Somewhat akin to the what the HST was and still is?

    Also a sidebar, in your letter to the editor printed in the October 19th edition of the Newsleader, you attacked the "fair wage policy" in New Westminster, talking about how it costs $20/hr to do even the most menial task. Could you please cite specific examples of where the city has incurred greater costs (remember I said specific) as a result of adopting the fair wage policy? Keeping in mind that the majority of city workers are covered by collective agreements, and or employment contracts that actually pay higher than the "Fair wage". As well, a great many contractors that do business with the city of New Westminster pay higher than the "fair wage" policy because of the type of specialized work that they do. In case you haven't noticed John, Election Day is less than a month away. Advance poll open the first week of November.

    You don't have the luxury of time to "bare your visions" as you think. "Advocating for accountability from all departments" Hmm once again, specific examples on where there has been no accountability in regards to the reporting of financials etc from "all departments."

    John, you're right, I'm not in the cross hairs. Fact is, I'm a struggling truck driver, who was a full time employee until this passed July, and am now working part time, trying to get by. I don't have the time or access to financial resources someone like you does, to forego working at a job that is paying the bills right now. I thought of running, but frankly, I'm too outspoken and stubborn to really be able to serve the city as a city councillor or something else. Unlike some people, I realize that I wouldn't make a good city councillor. Because at times, it means having to be really, really nice to people that you would rather tell the truth to. It's like the famous Jack Nicholson line from the movie "A Few Good Men". Tom Cruise.. "I want the truth." Nicholson…"You can't handle the truth." People don't want blunt, honest, straight up reality in their politics. Alot of people don't like certainty. They like things airey fairey as it were. There are alot of people in New West who are like that. I'm a lot of things. Diplomatic isn't one of them. And I'm waiting to see how diplomatic someone with your stances and positions is. I thought for a time, that maybe I should run for council. But why would I subject myself to being opened up on, when I already know what the end result is going to be. That's why I'm surprised you're running John. We are alike in so many ways. And if I'm self aware that I couldn't get elected dog catcher in New West, because of the bluntness and directness of my words and statements (which I stand by with courage and conviction, because otherwise why would I say it?) and because I tend to be a lightning rod, I would have thought that you would have seen the same in yourself and saved your money and time.

    But, like you said, you're out there, not me. And you are to be commended on that. But, please, you chose to run. Don't try and put my basic questions and queries on your beliefs and ideas for running the city as a "witch hunt." I am after all, a voter and a tax payer. And out of respect to the TTTF I have tried to not be attacking or pointed. You have a record of statements John, that are at times contrary with what you are espousing. I'm not really that interested in what you have said, its what you haven't come out and said yet that's interesting to me. The truth is out there. And please, John. If you do get defeated on election night, don't blame me solely ok. I'm but one voice in the wildnerness.

  7. Couple of things:

    1. I think you'll find it's "Vance McFadyen" (as shown on the New West official page you've linked to), rather than "Vance McFayden." Although perhaps predictably, Google is pretty agnostic on the spelling, and either one kinda gets you there.

    2. What is the most efficient way for me to find out from the candidates their feelings/positions on laneway housing in New West?

    1. You're right Greg – I had written it correctly the first time and then saw the other spelling somewhere else and thought I had it wrong! I'll correct the spelling in here. Thanks for your comment.

      I'm curious about laneway housing as well. I'll see if I can find out what the candidates think about that! You're also welcome to approach the candidates you are most curious about to ask them directly. Any of the ones I have spoken to have said they will respond to questions and comments that come directly from voters (not just the media or bloggers like me).

      1. Yes, I hope to find the time to ask candidates directly about their opinions on whatever issue(s) interest me most. Which, at the moment, is laneway housing (but may include other things later, as I think of them…!). If I do the research and find out something useful, I'll pass it along.

        In any case, I think you've answered my question — I just wanted to confirm that there isn't some previously-prepared table of candidate answers or other Q&A out there that I wasn't aware of. Doesn't sound like it!

        1. The plan for the Meet&Greet on November 2nd is for people to have a chance to actually meet the candidates and chat with them one-on-one in a non-confrontational, respectful atmosphere. Speechifying will be kept very short, and there will definitively NOT be questions from the floor to anyone on stage: if you have a question, you can ask them at the same level.

  8. Interesting reads. I agree with Dave, I have often found School Board politics rather dry and sleep-inducing. To be fair though, I always did my research before I voted. My view of municipal politics changed in 2008 when the School Board of the day decided to put one option billed as two for the placement of an elementary and middle school out for public consultation – Grimston Park. What followed has changed my view of our neighbours, our school district and Board and our community in New Westminster in a most positive way.

    My husband and I began attending School Board meetings out of a desire to learn what was happening in the school district our daughter was about to enter and to lobby for better community consultation. This lead to being asked to volunteer on the Parent Advisory Council at our daughter's school and the the District Parent Advisory Council which I have done for the past three three years, as Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair (2011). Once your name is on a volunteers list, soon other opportunities are made known and I began volunteering on the New Westminster Montessori Society in 2009. Briana, Gavin and I started Summerfest at Grimston in 2010 and were it not for the School Board's decision in 2008, I don't know that this great west end festival would have happened so soon.

    I have attended School Board meetings and had the opportunity to get to know trustees and Senior Management in New Westminster school district and it has markedly changed my view of the scope, value and volume of work that these individuals do. It is not an easy decision for any of us to run for office and make no mistake, part-time "job" or not, it requires a lot of time, effort and commitment.

    I wish I could remember who wrote the article I read last year on municipal government but I do recall the gist of the article and that is that municipal politicians have a greater impact on your life than any Provincial or Federal politician does both in the short and long term. Dave, have you attended School Board meetings? If not, I highly recommend people attend at least a few a year to get to know the issues – our schools and the people within them are a vital part of our community.

    If you're still awake, I'm also on Facebook, have a Blogspot website and I'm also on Twitter. You can find me here: maryann-mortensen.blogspot.com. Great discussion leads to great ideas, thanks to TTTF.

    1. Hi Mary Ann, this is Vladimir Krasnogor. I run for council, but all newcomers face same challenge – incumbents, there few ways we can create synergy by coordinating our campaigns. Would you like to talk about in some detail? I am trying to organisze a meeting of newcomers, as soon as possible. Please let me know, and ask other newcomers who may be interested. In fact, I can suggest issue that covers both council and sch. brd. http://www.vladimirkrasnogor.ca, vkrasnogor@telus.net

  9. Hey folks,

    just to alert you to a typo (guilty myself as proven above), Brenda 's last name (board of ed. school trustee candidate) is McEachern-Keen not Kenn.

  10. Thanks for your response Mary Anne. When I talked about the civic election as being a "yawn" I wasn't referring to specific people or policies. I'm more about the races themselves. In reality, there maybe one or 2 changes in the 3 areas that are being voted on this time around. In terms of fireworks, James will try, but at the end of the day, nothing will come out of it. Council? Same thing with a few knocking on the outside? School board? Well there's some openings there. I have attended school board meetings in the past. It was one, but I was so off put by not the board but by another 'stakeholder' that I didn't go back. Without going into details it had to do with the asbestos issue at NWSS and the culture of entitlement, regardless of training or qualifications.

  11. cont'd. I guess I don't have much of an interest in the intracies of the school board, or the machinations of those desiring to be on it over the past years. I don't have kids in the system, but based on my overall perception of the school district in New West, well I think the children who currently attend NWSS will be great grandparents before the new school is ever built. I'd love to be proven wrong, but to me, there's too many people with too much to say, and not enough action taking place. That goes for the incumbants and those desirous to be on the board. That's not meant to be an attack, that's just my opinion. Look at Burnaby. In the 8 years I've lived in New West, they've built 2 brand new secondary schools. They've also refurbished Burnaby Central. In that time, what's New West done or more to the point what have the various stakeholders in public education in New West done???

  12. conti'd. That's also the provincial government. Talk, talk, talk, bicker, argue, fight, play NIMBY, shot everything down. The PACs have become political playgrounds for some people. Some no doubt are well meaning, but others are looking for political opportunity. I don't have kids in the system. But I do pay property taxes and other taxes. I'm supporting James Janzen this election for school board. Beyond that school board wise, really to me its a toss up. Because until someone at the provincial level steps in and says 'we're building the school' or someone from the board steps up and says 'lets get this thing going now.' its all talk. And there's already been enough yak on this.

  13. Dave, I hear what you are saying but I would stress that the health of our community relies on the health of our school community. As we know, most New Westies stay New Westies. Yawn or not, it is vital that our school district is run efficiently with the monies to be had, that we represent all children and not merely special interests groups. This does not mean that as a trustee I would not listen to special interest groups, reality is that they form part of our community but we must be mindful of our duty to build these schools and run the school district. I agree that it is absolutely shameful that this has not been done to date and know all too well how many schools Burnaby has built while our district has yet to put a shovel in the ground. I am a member of the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Council and often speak to members from Burnaby.

    I long for some positive change and rather than sit on the sidelines frustrated, I decided to take a run at trustee in the hope that I can be part of the positive change for New Westminster School Board. Much like many, I have a healthy skepticism about politicians but find myself now running for office. Actions speak louder than words and I would like a chance to prove myself to New Westminster.

  14. Could anyone tell me how many City Council members and School board members I will end up having to vote for? This will be my first civic election and I don't want to have a list of two people and end up having to pick six.

    1. You can vote for as many candidates as you like up to a maximum of 6. I really hesitate to recommend NOT voting for a full complement of 6 councillors though. If enough folks don't vote for 6, you get (typically less popular) candidates getting elected with very, very few votes. With very low voter turnout already, this makes me quite uncomfortable. While I too have trouble finding 6 candidates I can whole-heartedly support, I really UNsupport some – so I will vote for some less bad candidates in the hopes of preventing those I really don't want on council from winning.
      My recent post Leotarded Traffic Ideas from Candidates

  15. @MaryAnn. You keep going back to my "Generalization" comment of what I thought the entire civic election race was going to be, "yawn". But you have shown me that you like to take that one assertion completely out of context, inspite of my previous explanation. So, I'll ask you a simple question based on your own words, if you truly feel this way ("I agree with Dave, I have often found School Board politics rather dry and sleep-inducing…") why are you now running for election on a slate, the only real 'slate' in New Westminster? Are you going to find it hard to stay awake during meetings of the board? For the record, I never used the term "sleep inducing" in my post about school board politics or meetings. Here's a softie for you Ms. Mortenson? How are you or would you react to the walkout by NWSS students to fight for their new school? What's your views on the current events?

  16. @ Bryan. You can vote for all 6, 2, 1, none. You can if you wish spoil your ballot as a protest vote if you don't like any of the choices. The only thing you can't do is wear any type of advertising at the polling station if you're working there.

  17. Change of topic, but what the heck is going on in regard to the responses on this site? I had to cut my posting a couple of days ago to 3 segments of very short length while others seem to have carte blanc on size of their postings? To me, with moderator approval before posting, this seems a bit harsh? This comment is not for posting but for information to the admins. Thanks. Dave

    1. Hi Dave, I posted your comment (though I know it was intended for my eyes only) because I know others have had the same question. Comment text limits are not something I have set. It is different for different people because of a bug related to Internet Explorer. Users of other browsers can write much longer comments, but those using Explorer get cut off earlier. It is a bug in the Intense Debate commenting system, and not something I can change on my end without switching to another system. Try using Firefox or Chrome and see if that resolves the problem (plus, they are way better – and faster – browsers!)

  18. A campaign sign has appeared on my lawn. I do not want it there. I can find no way to contact that candidate. What should i do with it?

    1. #1: make sure it is actually on your property, not on the City boulevard in front of your lawn.
      #2: if it is on your lawn, remove it, like any other trash, and recycle/dispose of appropriately. Perhaps contact the Candidate and see if they want it back (it may have been moved by someone out pranking, and have nothing to do with the campaign).
      #3: If it is on City land, call City Hall and ask that it be removed, as it is illegally placed. Engineering Operations are probably the best contact 604-526-4691

  19. Dave,
    when you generalize, you do leave interpretation to your readers and that is how I interpreted it. I did not state that I found school board meetings boring Dave, I stated that I found school board "politics" dry and boring. To politicize what is to be the representation of our children in the school district by politicking at Board meetings, PAC meetings, DPAC meetings and in the media is boring. New Westminster school district has a lot of choice in pathways to success and a lot to offer our children. We have fantastic and enthusiastic teachers and staff and great kids. I am running because I would like to contribute to better governance of both the finances and the practices of the board.

    I don't know what my running with an electors group or, as you put it, the only 'real slate' has to do with anything you referenced in your post to me. Are you trying to make a point and if so, what is it? Perhaps a read of the NewsLeader's latest editorial by Chris Bryan would put things into perspective.

    I'm not sure what you refer to when you say, "softie" but I am aware that students of NWSS walked out in protest of the slow movement of the Capital Project and I understand and appreciate their frustration. I don't know anyone in New Westminster who would argue that NWSS should have been rebuilt years ago. When you ask what my opinion is on current events, what specifically are you referring to and this time, perhaps you could leave the generalizations out?

  20. The thread of comments here refers often to “special interests”.

    Miriam Webster defines “special interest” thusly:

    Definition of SPECIAL INTEREST:

    a person or group seeking to influence legislative or government policy to further often narrowly defined interests; especially : lobby

    There is nothing inherantly wrong with the existance, aims and goals of “special interest groups. Society, as someone commented earlier, is replete with them.

    Where the process goes off the rails however, is when the legislative or government body is essentially taken over by the special interest group. Vast amounts of money are spent to accomplish this. For instance, developers would not put up the huge amounts of money in supporting candidates if they did not see it as a sound investment.

    All of the candidates that are supported by these huge infusions of money will all spout off the right things. Their mantra is always “residents first”, or “we need to put the child at the centre of the equation”. Of course, all of this is mere poppycock, because these politicians always see things through the lens of the “special interest”.

    It is in response to this that Voice was formed. Voice grew out of the Residents’ Association movement. People were sick and tired of having to protect their neighbourhoods from the overwhelming influence of developers at the Council level. At the School Board level, people were turned of by the dysfunction caused by the resources and dominance of one group.

    Voice’s membership is a grass-roots thing, people from all walks of life and from varying political persuasions. It matters not what sort of a card you carry in your wallet or pocketbook. These, then, are the people that determine who Voice’s candidates will be.

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A blog about life in New Westminster