Candidate running for Councillor


Administration & Governance

1

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
The only employee of Lethbridge City Council is the City Manager. Should a vacancy occur, what are the skills you will look for in a candidate, what recruitment process would you advocate for, and how will you ensure a transparent recruitment process?

Answer

A council’s greatest responsibility is to hire a CAO, as the CAO is the most important person in a municipal organization. S/he is responsible for operationalizing the strategic plan under Council’s governance. The recruitment process should include: a) hiring an interim CAO for up to one year, to give Council time to properly identify and recruit the right person; b) Council holding a public discussion of the preferred skills and character of a CAO; c) using an independent recruiter to identify candidates from across Canada; d) updating the City Manager Bylaw prior to short-listing possible candidates; e) ensuring that the new CAO is hired for a defined term with measurable metrics.


2

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
The revised Municipal Government Act (MGA) is requiring that all municipal councils have a Code of Conduct that represents a commitment by each member to conduct themselves in a certain way. What would you include in the City of Lethbridge Code of Conduct for your council?

Answer

I would include: a) Members* will respect the diverse opinions within the community; b) Members will respect the diverse opinions of all Members of Council; c) Members will understand that each Member brings a different style of Representation and a unique Constituency to Council; d). Members must know the sections of the MGA applicable to Council governance, the role of Councillor and Mayor, conflict of interest and the role of the City Manager (CAO); e) Members must become generally familiar with sections of the MGA applicable to budgets, land use and taxation. (*Members means Councillors and Mayor)


3

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
As a member of Lethbridge City Council, what does “accountability” look like and what initiatives would you undertake to achieve accountability?

Answer

I define ‘accountability’ as “one’s obligation to: a) the legislated role and responsibility of Council, of Mayor and Councillor, and of the City Manager (CAO); b) the principles of democratic representation, and; c) holding elected office with dignity and respect for the community, Council, and oneself.” To fulfill the obligation (achieve accountability), I would propose initiatives to ensure: a) Members understand their legislated role and responsibility; b) policy clearly identifies who is “accountable” for outcomes, and; c) processes serve the community. To further strengthen Councillor accountability to residents, I would propose a ward system.


4

 

Aerris Managing Solutions:
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) outlines the role of council but reality is often more complicated than legislation. Explain how you see your role as an elected official in relation to the operations of the City?

Answer

Aside form my legislated responsibilities defined in the MGA, I see my role as being a part of the governing body (City Council) for the Organization (City of Lethbridge). Within that governing body, I must: a) maintain my obligations (see #3, above); b) bring critical thought, research and an understanding to debate; c) inquire and respectfully challenge, and; d) remain open to all possibilities. While my role is primarily creating policy (policy sets the rules of how Council and City Hall will act), it is also my role to help the public navigate City Hall and to make the CAO aware of operational questions or concerns.


5

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
We should continue investing in expansion of City of Lethbridge public transit services and ensure that public tax dollars are not being used to subsidize private companies or ride-sharing platforms. Please choose from: Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, Strongly agree.

Answer

Strongly agree


6

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
What is your position on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and the function they serve in the future growth of the City of Lethbridge? Please choose: Mostly Oppose P3s or Mostly Support P3s.

Answer

Mostly Support P3s


7

 

Group Questions:
Would you vote in favour of making councillors a full time position for the 2021 Lethbridge municipal election?

Answer

No


8

 

Group Questions:
Would you vote in favour of creating an electoral ward system for the 2021 Lethbridge municipal election?

Answer

Yes


Arts & Culture

9

 

Allied Arts Council:
What are your top three priorities for the arts in the City of Lethbridge and how should these activities be funded?

Answer

My priority for arts and culture is to help steward the creation of a performing arts centre. For me, the question of “where” is less of an immediate concern, whereas “how” – the process to achieve a facility – is paramount. A successful proposal must include: a) a strong business case; b) a sustainable business plan for the operation of the facility, with this plan created and debated prior to construction, and; c) a facility design based on long-term sustainability and multi-functionality. Regardless of the plan, though, the designated theatre space must be built for performances with integrity to the visual and acoustical attributes.


10

 

Allied Arts Council:
What do you believe is City of Lethbridge's role in arts investment?

Answer

I believe that a vast appreciation for creative expression exists in Lethbridge. The City’s role is to offer space to facilitate the relationship between artists and our residents, where artistic expression evokes discussion and dialogue, and where residents celebrate creativity and the creative process. The City achieves this roll through its fee for service agreements with the AAC, our Public Art Policy, facility maintenance, and the renewal of the Yates Theatre. However, we must clearly define measurable outcomes and benefits for our community. Doing so can broaden the public’s appreciation and understanding of artistic expressions, while demonstrating the value of our investment.


11

 

Lethbridge Public Library:
What do you see as the role of the public library in our community and how would you support it?

Answer

As their motto identifies, the roll of the LPL is about “connection YOU to ideas.” As with space dedicated to artistic expression, the LPL uses our two libraries (and bookmobile and special events) to connect residents to literature, which offers escape, expands ideas, promotes learning, and builds creativity. Library space also becomes a venue for exchanges of ideas, a place of solitude and safety, and a destination for education and entertainment. I would support the LPL by maintaining the programs that meet the Library Board’s Plan of Service and are experiencing a demonstrated success in our community.


12

 

Allied Arts Council:
Do you support the public art initiatives being undertaken by the City of Lethbridge?

Answer

Yes.


13

 

Allied Arts Council:
Lethbridge City Council has demonstrated its commitment to building a Performing Arts Centre in its recent Capital Improvement Program. Will you advocate for the completion of this project?

Answer

As I stated in question #17, I would advocate for a PAC but that the successful proposal must include: a) a strong business case; b) a sustainable business plan for the operation of the facility, with this plan created and debated prior to construction, and; c) a facility design based on long-term sustainability and multi-functionality. Regardless of the plan, though, the designated theatre space must be built for performances with integrity to the visual and acoustical attributes.


Economic Development

14

 

Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone:
What are the top three priorities for the development of downtown Lethbridge and how should these developments be funded?

Answer

Three priorities are to increase the core’s residential population, increase employment and economic opportunities, and eliminate the perception that our downtown is unsafe. However, increasing the core’s population will address the other priorities. What we need is constant activity in downtown: business during the day, recreation and entertainment at night. More people living and working downtown increases social and economic activity. With increased activity comes safety as people are always on the street or watching the street. While the private sector has to meet market demand, Council must maintain the Housing Incentive Program created to encourage new dwelling units in the core.


15

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What are your top three priorities for economic development in Lethbridge and how should these be funded?

Answer

My priority for economic development is to ensure that the policies and procedures used at City Hall are not encumbering business development, business growth or new business attraction. How City Hall engages with residents and businesses impacts how we live, and influences the prospects and trials for creating connections and inspiring entrepreneurs. A joint Council-Chamber Committee could be tasked with reviewing business-related processes, permits, licenses and/or regulations. Local growth could be spurred by a policy creating a short-term tax class for businesses that increase their employment through building expansion (surpass a threshold, and maintain it for a period of time).


16

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
Can you identify any areas of Lethbridge where you see increased density as an effective tool to support lifestyle choices, a growing economy, and a healthy environment?

Answer

All areas of Lethbridge could see increased density as an effective tool to support lifestyle choices, a growing economy, and a healthy environment. However, this description is most evident as the ‘work, live, play’ model, which depends on a mix of single and multi-family dwellings and mixed-use zoning. Newly designed neighbourhoods ought to incorporate this type of planning into design. However, with efficient planning and changing dynamics, it could also occur downtown.


17

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What specific message do you have for the business community of Lethbridge?

Answer

As our city approaches 100,000 residents, issues become more complex and demands become more significant. In the face of rapid growth, an increased debt load and administration changes, we need Councillors who understand their legislative roles and responsibilities to make effective multimillion- dollar decisions. We need Councillors who understand that City Council governs City Hall. We need Councillors who understand Good Governance because Good Governance leads to strategically focused services and facilities provided to you with efficiency, open dialogue, and with attention to our limited resources.


18

 

Canadian Home Builders Association:
Recognizing that private enterprises and the City of Lethbridge co-exist in the acquisition and sale of land for commercial and residential activity, what role do you see the City playing in land development?

Answer

The next Council needs to publicly discuss the question, “Why is the City of Lethbridge in the business of residential land development?” This conversation would determine if the original purpose is still valid, given that private residential land developers exist in our community. Regardless of the outcome of this conversation, City Council must establish a Land Strategy Standing Committee tasked with overseeing the City’s involvement in property transactions, public policies and standards to which the Organization’s land holdings are managed by the Administration.


19

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
As a municipal leader, what should the City’s role be when the decisions of other levels of government affect citizens of Lethbridge?

Answer

In situations as this, Council’s primary role is to advocate for our residents. Cuts, downloading and legislation from other orders of government can impact our community and City Council must respond in a timely manner with evidence of the impact upon our residents. Advocacy can take the form of a Resolution by City Council, meetings with our local representatives, meetings with Ministers, or participation with other municipalities either directly or through Alberta Urban Municipalities Association or the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Council has the additional responsibility of publicly examining the impact upon the budget, to determine a clear course of action.


20

 

Chamber of Commerce:
What do you feel are the greatest opportunities and challenges for business in Lethbridge?

Answer

Reaching 100,000 residents will be both the greatest opportunity and greatest challenge. This threshold will spur rapid growth and new retailers, industry and commerce will view our city as a ‘gateway to opportunity.’ With this comes residential growth, which brings a new, diverse population of people with new entrepreneurship, specialization and creative ideas. This same rapid growth will also challenge existing infrastructure, requiring unforeseen changes, new priorities, and re-allocating resources. Therefore, we must re-examine all our policies and procedures to ensure sustainable growth in strategic manner, to meet the new opportunities and challenges of residents and businesses alike.


Environment

21

 

Environment Lethbridge:
What are your top three environmental priorities for Lethbridge and how should these be funded?

Answer

The top three priorities are creating a water conservation, efficiency and production (CEP) plan, increasing renewable energy use, and encouraging a sustainable built environment. A CEP Plan will address how the City uses water and will address our own water use and waste. Increasing renewable energy usage can occur by amending regulations, such as the Land Use Bylaw or electricity rate schedule, to actually promote micro wind generation, solar installation and geothermal systems. Encouraging sustainable built environment also involves reviewing bylaws and plans that may be inhibiting such development. The CEP requires one-time tax funding, while the other two can be regular duties of staff.


22

 

Environment Lethbridge:
Lethbridge's Municipal Development Plan states that minimizing the urban footprint and enhancing public space are important parts of a sustainable built environment. What measures would you take to achieve these goals?

Answer

To encourage and support a sustainable and quality built environment, I would request that City Council: a) review the Land Use Bylaw to amend practices or regulations that prohibit or discourage quality built environment design and development; b) review policies and practices relating to infrastructure, to ensure that infrastructure – roads, water, electric, et cetera - is designed and implemented for growth and technology; c) ensure that statutory planning documents are created around the MDP’s philosophy of active modes and transportation priorities.


23

 

No Drilling Lethbridge:
In 2014, Goldenkey Oil Inc. proposed a project to drill for oil and gas within Lethbridge city limits. If such a project was proposed during your term on council, what would be your position?

Answer

My position would remain as it was in 2014: I am opposed to drilling for oil and gas anywhere within our municipal boundary and I am opposed to any new drilling within the borders of the area covered by the inter-municipal development plan that we share with Lethbridge County.


24

 

Environment Lethbridge:
On council, what would you propose to better manage our water?

Answer

I would propose that the City create a “water conservation, efficiency and productivity” (CEP) plan for Council’s consideration. The plan would address the City’s strategy for: a) water conservation; b) the efficient use of water in its activities; c) water production and wastewater management, and; d) measurable targets to achieve. The planning process would have to include a ‘water audit’ that looks at how we currently use water, our efficiency in use and how much we waste. A second strategy could address new road infrastructure. I would encourage investigating permeable road surfaces and storm water design to manage water runoff and minimize overland flooding.


25

 

Environment Lethbridge:
Giving that City Council has adopted waste reduction targets, what strategies would be most effective to meet waste diversion targets?

Answer

The best strategy to meet waste reduction targets remains through a policy that offers both incentives and penalties. I would propose that if a resident or business reduces (by weight) their waste going into the landfill, their solid waste bill is also reduced based on an incentivized scale. I would also propose a policy that addresses what the City will do with recycling that has no commodity value or can no longer be recycled (i.e. does it just go into the landfill?) as this will also affect reduction targets. (Note: I submitted a Resolution to this issue to Council Jan. 26, 2016 but the resolution was defeated.)


26

 

Environment Lethbridge:
How should the City of Lethbridge support renewable energy projects (solar, wind, etc)? Please choose from: These projects should not be allowed within city limits, These projects should be allowed within the city with the entire cost borne by the home owner, The City of Lethbridge should provide incentives for home owners to develop renewable energy projects, Renewable energy initiatives should be a requirement in all new Lethbridge development.

Answer

The City of Lethbridge should provide incentives for home owners to develop renewable energy projects


Social & Equity

27

 

Arches:
To what extent do you believe harm reduction strategies (such as needle distribution, supervised consumption services, naloxone kit distribution, etc.) are an effective intervention for people who use drugs?

Answer

The goal of harm reduction is ‘to save a life.’ I believe that the strategies you identify are an effective intervention for people who use drugs, as they reduce the chance of contracting HIV or other serious diseases, and lower the risk of an overdose death. The greatest benefit, though, simply comes from the contact that occurs between the user and staff (the “network”), which can result in additional supports - medical care, housing, addiction counseling, et cetera – being provided if requested. Ultimately, these first strategies are aimed at saving lives and I support that goal.


28

 

Arches:
What support services is our community missing in order to best support people who use drugs, people who engage in sex work, or people who are homeless?

Answer

Lethbridge lacks: a) a coordinating agency or organization that can help marginalized individuals access multiple services, such as a physician, mental health and addiction services, counseling, et cetera; b) enough short-term safe spaces for individuals accessing these services, spaces free from harm and abuse, and; c) affordable housing. The City must continue to identify the services we lack in this community and create a strategy for addressing the short and long-term needs. City Council must advocate on behalf of these individuals to other orders of government for the services they require.


29

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
The City of Lethbridge should formally commit to dedicate space for eligible child care services in city-owned, or city-leased buildings and facilities, including community centres, libraries, and other municipal buildings. Please choose from: Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, or Strongly agree.

Answer

Somewhat agree


30

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices & OUTreach Southern Alberta:
What is the City’s role in addressing issues of systemic racism and discrimination?

Answer

While the City needs to lead the community in eradicating systemic racism and discrimination, it must first examine its own systems, structures, policies and practices through lenses of race, gender, equity and inclusion. Doing so will make us more aware of the diversity in Lethbridge and, hopefully, create open and inclusive systems and a workforce that represents our diversity. The City should also re-examine its role and purpose as a member of the Coalition of Canadian Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD), to ensure we are meeting the mandate and objectives through policy development and advocacy.


31

 

OUTreach Southern Alberta:
Do you consider yourself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, what does that mean to you, and how would it be reflected in your actions as councillor?

Answer

Yes, I am an ally, which means that I take action in support of, and to support, our LGBQT+ community. This past term I co-sponsored the Resolution to expand the “Gender” census question, and I sponsored the Pride Flag / Trans Flag crosswalk Resolutions. I assisted OUTReach and marched in Pride. As a Councillor, I would continue my support of the LGBQT+ community through actions, such as participating in LGBQT+ awareness and education sessions for City Council, sponsoring Resolutions that support LGBQT+ efforts, and ensuring the City examines its systems, structures, and policies to address and remove barriers for LGBQT+ inclusion in our community.


32

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices:
As an elected official, what steps will you take to build in processes of decolonization, indigenization, and reconciliation into the City of Lethbridge?

Answer

For Council to build in processes addressing these issues, each Member must understand and acknowledge their personal role in colonization. As a Councillor, I would build-in mandatory, on-going Indigenous awareness training for Council and the Organization. As mentioned above (Q#31), I would request an examination of City systems, structures, policies and practices through lenses of race, gender, equity and inclusion. I would support implementing the findings from that examination, to eliminate barriers for Indigenous inclusion at City Hall and in our community. I would also support “action” beyond the City’s Reconciliation Plan; dialogue is good, but "action" is essential for justice.


33

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Most of our public services and facilities have a user fee but the City subsidizes the cost of the facility or service. What is your position on the subsidization of public services and facilities? Please choose from: Users should not pay at all so that everyone can access the service, Small user fees should be charged but I would consider waiving them for low income people, students, or seniors, A user fee should be charged to all users, The City should not be subsidizing someone’s hobbies or recreation, Private companies should be providing these services and facilities with market forces setting fees.

Answer

Small user fees should be charged but I would consider waiving them for low income people, students, or seniors


34

 

Coalition of Indigenous Voices:
As an elected official, how would you enhance relationships with Indigenous peoples within the City of Lethbridge and with neighboring nations that border the city?

Answer

My starting point is to continue learning about the history and experiences of the Blackfoot people, and to understand and acknowledge my role in colonization. If all Members take this path, then I would support Council identifying how we can decolonize Lethbridge, and begin taking actions towards that end. I would encourage City staff to begin seeking Indigenous knowledge for solutions to on-going challenges. With neighbouring nations, I would support creating a joint ‘social and economic action plan,’ intended to guide the social and economic exchanges between our communities. While our relationship needs dialogue, “action” is essential for justice and for our shared futures.