The following questionnaire was sent to all New Westminster candidates for mayor and council a little over a week ago. A separate questionnaire was sent to trustees (their responses are also being published this week). Questions were selected based primarily on comments from readers of Tenth to the Fraser collected via Twitter and Facebook, with a few of my own questions added in. Responses are published in the order they were received. Spelling/grammar are not corrected and candidates’ responses are published unedited.
1. First, let’s hear a little about you:
- What’s your name? – 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
2. What are the top three initiatives you believe would improve economic development?
- Small business incubation and support
- Funding a ‘buy local’ campaign
- Cutting red tape for businesses at City Hall to streamline processes to obtain permits, inspections, etc.
3. How would you like to see city council improve engagement with younger citizens?
As a candidate for Mayor I would like to attend assemblies to talk about city issues and their importance to the well being of our youth and their families.
4. What should New Westminster do to improve access to recreational programming and indoor public spaces in neighbourhoods that lack amenities like rec centres and libraries such as the West End, Connaught Heights and Sapperton?
Involve Resident Associations in planning these types of ammenities, use of existing facilities for after school programs/activities. I would also like to see a chapter of South Western BC Boys and Girls Club established in New Westminsterand I have made initial contact in this regard.
5. Which approach best describes your philosophy towards City budgeting and spending?
New West should spend within its means. Borrowing money to fund community projects should only occur after a public consultation process to get a mandate from citizens to do so.
6. Which of the following most closely reflects your views on taxation?
Taxes should not exceed the regional rate of inflation
7. Beyond voting, serving on City committees and appearing at council meetings, what do you think citizens can do to become more involved in civic life?
Become volunteers, encourage children to play outdoors in safe surroundings, support festival and donate to worthy causes.
8. What should be done about truck traffic through our city?
It should be diverted to perimeters and through our neighbouring cities more useable roadways.
9. What should be done to improve our recreation facilities? Specifically, what would you like to see done with Canada Games Pool, which is in need of repair/upgrades?
I am in favour of refurbishing and expanding the Canada Games Pool facility providing ther refurbishment portion has a minimum 25 year life span.
10. Let’s conclude with some ‘blue sky’ thinking. What is one big-idea project or improvement that you would propose for New Westminster if cost was no object?
Build vehicular and pedestrian ramp at foot of 6th Street that goes over Front St. and railway that connects to new pier park and quay thus when completed eliminates the need for the Begbie Street intersection for both vehicles and pedestrians. This would eliminate the need for train whistles in the most irritable location.
If you’d like to know more about Vance McFadyen, you can find him online: