©2018 by Vernon Candidate Questions.

VICTOR I CUMMING

 

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 support the expansion of the current Rental Housing Incentive Grant, which was adopted
by Council in May 2015 and provides grants in lieu of development cost charges to support new
housing projects. As Mayor of Vernon, I would continue to work with community partners and
the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to create more affordable housing.

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 ADDRESS

AFFORDABILITY?

I support medium density, compact housing as a means of creating more rental and
attainable/affordable housing units. Some great examples include duplexes on single family lots
or four-plexes/row houses on larger lots, in particular in the inner core and residential
neighbourhoods close to downtown such as Lower East Hill, Alexis Park, Lower Mission, and the
Hospital area.

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?

Immigration policy is in the federal jurisdiction and it is not in the mandate for local
governments, as per the Community Charter. Therefore, I leave this question for federal forums.
On a city level, as Mayor, I would continue to support immigration services and the important
organizations that ease the transition of immigrants to our City.

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

Yes, I would continue the policy of providing free bus passes for new refugees in our community.

 

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?

Yes, I support the existing Growth Strategy and Land Use Plan and would not open up greenfield
areas for development. Vernon has a number of currently available and undeveloped lots in the
already approved greenfield areas including in The Rise, The Foothills, Adventure Bay, Turtle
Mountain, Predator Ridge, The Seasons and other residential developments.

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

Yes, I support the further development of alternative transportation within our community with
an intense focus on increasing the walkability and short cycling trips of the interior core. As well
as improving cycling and walking paths that link residential neighborhoods and the inner
downtown core.

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).

Yes, I support developing bylaws that require builders to gradually meet the requirements. It is
critical that this be accomplished in regular increments over time in order to avoid driving up the
costs of attainable housing and risk sacrificing new housing projects. In BC, we are in a fortunate
position to use hydro energy for heating/cooling and domestic hot water. This does not produce
greenhouse gases and reduces the overall environmental impact of new housing in comparison
to most other areas in Canada.

 

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?

Yes, arts and culture is critical to maintaining the diversity of Vernon, which I see as one of the
City’s key strengths. This is clearly demonstrated by the success of the Performing Arts Centre
and the Vernon Community Arts Centre.

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, I am now a supporter of the Greater Vernon Culture Centre Proposal. During an earlier proposal, that I carefully reviewed, I was not a supporter because both the capital and operating requirements had not been clearly thought out. I now believe that the concept as it has been proposed with shared financing between Greater Vernon taxpayers and senior levels of government , will be good value for money spent creating solid social and economic benefits for
the community. It will also provide significant dividends to our downtown.

 

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?

One of the critical initiatives raised in the Regional Employment Lands Action Plan is the shared-services agreement for marketing, site selection and promotion, and shared land use planning for the creation of industrial land between Vernon, Coldstream, Spall, Election Areas B and C, and OKIB. This will ensure efficient service provision for roads, rail, and worker transport within the communities in the region. These shared efforts will also continue to create additional opportunities for light and heavy industrial businesses and jobs in the North Okanagan. Infill along industrial corridors will also happen organically over time, limited only by the industrial land availability, and will provide much needed modest increases in density in existing industrial areas. These are all solutions which are low cost for the municipalities and high value for the community.

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

Examples of ways that I would support business retention and expansion in the City include:
continue improvements to the downtown to increase walkability; develop the new proposed
cultural centre downtown; assist in linking businesses with speciality skills development
programs at OC and UBCO; and promote attainable housing for working families.

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

Skill development is primarily within the Provincial mandate, however, the City can play a crucial
role by attracting and retaining young workers. To support the workforce needs in our community, the City can encourage increased housing availability. There is a critical gap in Vernon with regards to attainable housing and I support expanding the existing initiatives for affordable housing and medium density housing projects. I also support maintaining affordable and high-quality recreational and cultural activities, supporting the expansion of specialty skills training in the North Okanagan, and promoting links between the City of Vernon and our local training institutions. One way to accomplish this is to improve the busing routes between Vernon and UBCO and OC which will enable more students to live, work, and establish roots in Vernon while attending post secondary institutions.

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 OR HOSPITALS)

The North Okanagan has exciting new and long-established businesses firmly entrenched in
emerging sectors. Operations requiring significant build footprint, e.g. True Leaf, Kingfisher
Boats, Kohler, and New MGO plus many others have located in the surrounding communities.
The Northern Italian success clearly points to the City and region assisting these types of
operations to join forces, encouraging the use of each others advanced capabilities and linking
them to high end business support services which are also here. The City, with the only staffed
economic development capacity in RDNO outside of OKIB and Splatsin, needs to expand the
economic development staffing to focus on critical sector including agriculture. It is through the
City partnering with the adjacent jurisdictions, as they have the land, that the mix of opportunity
and capacity can be linked to expand these enterprises with significant land requirements.

 

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?

I am in full support of expanding aquatic and fitness programming for seniors as well as people
with different abilities based on the development of the proposed new pool and expanded
fitness facilities. I also support conducting seniors programming in different parts of the City
using existing community facilities in low use times, such as during weekdays. Working with
community partners to make good use of shared spaces will increase the availability of senior’s
activities within the current facility and space constraints. Providing programming for seniors in
neighborhood meeting spaces will also encourage a sense of community and help seniors
establish local connections to reduce isolation. Access to walking paths is also critical to local
seniors and it is important to enhance neighborhood trails with gradual grades.

THE 2018 CANADIAN PARTICIPACTION 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 NEIGHBOURHOODS, 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?

To promote non-motorized transportation, I support the further development of separated
pathways that link major residential neighbourhoods with the downtown core. It is critical to
work with the existing infrastructure to ensure that further expansions are viable for the City.
Routes from some areas will be more challenging than others, but I believe this is key to
promoting an active lifestyle for residents of all ages.

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?

I am in support of banning pesticides for non-essential purposes and believe that the City of Vernon needs to join the other 40 municipalities.