I am currently completing my third term as Councillor in Prince George. This term I served as Chair of Finance and Audit, and was elected nationally as 2nd Vice President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I first came to Prince George in 1996, planning to stay for two years to get my Masters’ degree at UNBC. After getting the degree in International Studies, I didn’t want to leave. I met my wife Sue, we started our family, bought a house, and spent ten years building an award-winning technology company. After ten years in business, I accepted a new position building links between the University of Northern BC and the business community. By then, my volunteer time in the business community had led to 5 years on the Chamber of Commerce, including as its President. I also served 6 years appointed to the Province of BC Small Business Roundtable. I now teach entrepreneurship and economics at the College of New Caledonia.
We need to continue to diversify our economy, and seek more support for replacing water, sewer roads and other infrastructure. The infrastructure challenges facing our city, clearly shown by the Massey/Carney sinkhole, can’t be funded solely by property tax. If elected, I will continue my work keeping municipal priorities at the top of mind to federal decision makers.
Infrastructure repair and replacement costs are far and above the most significant financial issue. The major roads, water and sewer were built 50-60 years ago, and have reached their average life expectancy. There is major work to be done.
- Road Maintenance
- Economic Development
- Snow Removal
- Social Housing
- Recreation (pools, arenas etc.)
- Population Increase
- Downtown Revitalization
- City Image
The policy has been in place since the early 1990s and needs to be reviewed. it was never designed to handle a wildfire emergency that requires staff to deal with 708 days of emergencies. Unfortunately, long emergency summers may become more common and less extraordinary. Different times call for different measures.
Primarily governance, and setting the direction of the city. Council sets strategic direction at the beginning of term. During the term, Council debates the nature and scope of services the city will provide, then makes it policy by voting on it. This sets the direction for administration to follow in operations.
This is right for the first year at least. I supported this motion.
These hours are effective at the current time, and should be subject to the demand of the public, and open to review.
This means that the public has access to information they need to understand the operations of the city, except for legal, land or labour issues that must be kept confidential by law. A specific example that illustrates my general philosophy: I brought forward motions requiring councillor expenses be made public in the open agenda of council, so that the public would know exactly how councillors spent money, and why.
I offer 10 years experience, a background in entrepreneurship, a commitment to the city, a deep understanding of critical issues facing Canadian municipalities from nine years as a nationally elected representative on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I have a technology background, and want to help diversify our economy so that the the next generation in Prince George have attractive job opportunities here in their home town.
Secure predictable, sustainable funding from the federal government on a directly funded basis (not through grants) for covering infrastructure costs.