©2018 by Vernon Candidate Questions.

AKBAL S MUND

 

QUESTIONS - SOCIAL

IF ELECTED, WOULD YOU SUPPORT THE CURRENT PRACTICE OF PROVIDING MUNICIPAL LAND (UNDER A HOUSING
AGREEMENT) AND WAIVING DEVELOPMENT COST CHARGES TO NON-PROFIT AFFORDABLE HOUSING AGENCIES
WHO
ARE SEEKING TO CONSTRUCT NEW HOUSING PROJECTS?

Yes I will continue to support these projects.

DO YOU SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT HIGH-DENSITY, COMPACT HOUSING IS ANOTHER IMPORTANT WAY TO ADDRESS AFFORDABLE/ATTAINABLE HOUSING? IF NOT, WHAT SOLUTIONS DO YOU PROPOSE TO ADDRESSAFFORDABILITY?

One of my strategies since 2014 has been to bring high density to the
downtown core as well as infill within certain residential areas close to
downtown.

VERNON IS ANTICIPATED TO EXPERIENCE INCREASED IMMIGRATION FROM ELSEWHERE IN THE PROVINCE AND
COUNTRY AS WELL AS OTHER COUNTRIES. DO YOU SUPPORT THESE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF IMMIGRATION AND IF
SO, HOW WOULD YOU FACILITATE NEW IMMIGRANTS’ INTEGRATION INTO THE COMMUNITY?

I support immigration, we need both skilled labor and service/retail
labor.  Providing free busing as this Council did is only one way we can
facilitate new immigrants integration to our community.

IF YOU ARE ELECTED, WILL YOU CONTINUE THE POLICY OF PROVIDING FREE BUS PASSES FOR REFUGEES IN THEIR
FIRST YEAR?

Oops, and the answer as above is yes.

 

QUESTIONS - ENVIRONMENTAL

IF ELECTED, WILL YOU SUPPORT THE CITY'S GROWTH STRATEGY AND LAND USE PLAN, AS CONTAINED IN THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN 2013 BYLAW 5470, OR WOULD YOU OPEN UP GREENFIELD AREAS FOR
DEVELOPMENT?

I will continue to support the OCP plan, but if development fills, we
will work with our partner communities to create more.

IF ELECTED, WILL YOU SUPPORT THE CITY'S ADOPTED MASTER TRANSPORTATION PLAN, WITH ITS EMPHASIS ONMORE TRIPS TO BE MADE BY WALKING, CYCLING, TRANSIT AND CARPOOLING (COLLECTIVELY KNOWN AS ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION) INSTEAD OF IN A SINGLE OCCUPANT VEHICLE (SOV)?

Yes another initiative we strongly believe in, as we have had more bike
lanes built in the last 7 years then the previous 20 years.

DO YOU SUPPORT DEVELOPING BYLAWS THAT REQUIRE BUILDERS TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE BC
ENERGY STEP CODE (A SINGLE PROVINCIAL STANDARD FOR ACHIEVING MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDINGS).

The BC Energy Step Code should become the provincial standard.
California's push to solar power is something BC should look at.

 

QUESTIONS - CULTURAL

DO YOU SEE ARTS AND CULTURE AS HAVING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MAKING VERNON A MORE DESIRABLE PLACE TO LIVE, IN BUILDING COMMUNITY, AND AS AN ECONOMIC DRIVER? IF SO, HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SUPPORT IT IN THE FUTURE?

 I have publicly stated I support the Arts and Culture Center  because we have to have different amenities to bring young families and business to Vernon.

WILL YOU VOTE ‘YES’ IN THE OCT 20 GREATER VERNON REFERENDUM ON BORROWING UP TO $25 MILLION FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTING A NEW CULTURAL CENTRE IN DOWNTOWN VERNON?

Yes, with educating others that we can bring 30 million in grants to
Vernon!  We should only need to borrow ten million, I will work with the
Province to secure more funding.

 

QUESTIONS - ECONOMIC

IF YOU ARE ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU PARTNER WITH OTHER COMMUNITIES IN THE REGION TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; AND WHICH INITIATIVES HIGHLIGHTED IN THE REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT LANDS ACTION PLAN INTEREST YOU MOST, AND WHY?

The relationship between the City of Vernon and all other jurisdictions
has not been better.  Over the past 7 years we have managed to accomplish
many agreements, and for us to succeed we need to work with the partners to
help them develop industrial lands which Vernon lacks.

PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE OF THE WAYS YOU WOULD SUPPORT BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION IN THE CITY?

Most of the business we have in town are growing.  We have completed
some work with some of the bigger employers in Vernon and seen increased  in
their growth.  Working on smart development with our economic development
officer  Kevin Poole has kept big business here.

OVER 40% OF BUSINESSES IN EVERY SECTOR ARE EXPERIENCING LABOUR AND SKILL SHORTAGES. HOW SHOULD
THE CITY SUPPORT OUR DEMANDING WORKFORCE NEEDS?

We will continue to support immigration into Vernon.  This is one of the
few ways to fill the role.

HOW SHOULD THE CITY SUPPORT EMERGING SECTORS SUCH AS CANNABIS, TECHNOLOGY AND ENHANCED
MANUFACTURING (IE. LARGE SCALE BUSINESSES THAT MANUFACTURE PRODUCTS FOR SEVERAL COMPANIES IN
ONE LOCATION, SUCH AS ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS FOR THE MILITARY OF HOSPITALS)

We as a City have to be careful not to support any specific business
while excluding others.  All business is important and should be treated as
such.

 

QUESTIONS - HEALTH

GIVEN THAT VERNON’S OVER 65 POPULATION IS AT 25% (HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE OF 16.9%,), THAT CHRONIC DISEASES ARE ON THE RISE AND INCREASE WITH AGE, AND THAT SOCIAL ISOLATION IS MORE PREVALENT IN OUR SENIORS, 


IF ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROGRAMMING TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND REDUCE ISOLATION FOR OUR SENIOR POPULATION AND THOSE WITH CHRONIC DISEASES, AS DESCRIBED IN THE DRAFT RECREATION MASTER PLAN

We had a new facility open in the Hamlets, our tallest building in the
downtown core.  Phase 2 will also provide senior housing.  The recent
opening of the Parkwood Retirement Resort behind Rona is another example of
seniors housing.

THE 2018 CANADIAN PARTICIPATION REPORT CARD WAS RELEASED WHICH IDENTIFIED THAT 91% OF CHILDREN AGES 5-17 DO NOT MEET MINIMAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH. IN CONSULTATION WITH PARENT ADVISORY COUNCILS, LACK OF SAFE AND CONNECTED BICYCLING AND WALKING CORRIDORS FOR CHILDREN HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS THE MAIN BARRIER. VERNON HAS BEEN DEVELOPING SEPARATE ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDORS THROUGHOUT THE CITY BUT THERE ARE GAPS IN CONNECTIONS WITH NEIGHBORHOODS, THE DOWNTOWN CORE, AND TO THE RECREATION CENTER.


· IF ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU PROMOTE AN INTEGRATED AND CONNECTED ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SO ALL USERS FROM 8 TO 80 CAN FEEL SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING BY NON-MOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION?

We have been working on connectivity throughout the community,
concentrating in the core of the City and school areas, such as Hillview.
We moved forward with the 25th street sidewalk in one year as we had the
money to do so, but as we know, we can only do so much with the funds we
have.

DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT ADVERSE HEALTH RISKS OF USING PESTICIDES FOR COSMETIC PURPOSES, THE CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY HAS RELEASED A POSITION STATEMENT URGING MUNICIPALITIES TO BAN THE USE OF THESE CHEMICALS. THERE ARE CURRENTLY 40 MUNICIPALITIES IN BC WHICH HAVE BANNED PESTICIDES FOR NON-ESSENTIAL PURPOSES.


· IF ELECTED, WHAT IS YOUR STANCE ON PESTICIDE USE FOR NON-ESSENTIAL PURPOSES IN AREAS WHERE CHILDREN AND PETS ARE AT RISK?

We have moved forward with a bylaw with the banning of certain
pesticides.  A recent court case in the US should be noted, as the courts
treated an individual damages for their exposure to pesticides over many
years.  Yes I support the ban!