Group Debate/Meet October 4th 2018: Candi-dating at the Library
These are some rough notes from the Candidating Event hosted by SPAN at the Nelson Public Library on October 4th 2018. These are from the group forum held between 8 and 9pm.
Due to the number of candidates at the event, there were rotating questions and random draws for who-answered what. From these notes I kept as much of the substance as possible while transcribing; I did not use an audio recorder and this is not a transcription.
The 5 questions in rotating order were:
- How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
- What are your priorities in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and mental illness?
- Nelson has a housing crisis, we’ve been at 0% vacancy for 5 years, how will you address this?
- What is the city’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable youth?
- How do you suggest the city of nelson adapt to climate change?
Questions are repeated after each name.
Brain Shields - How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
Employment ops. come from small bus. Promote home based bus. New bus. Cannabis industry. 100’s of jobs. Keep the economy health will keep employment. Liveable wage through city council.
Robbie Kalabis - What are your priorities in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and mental illness?
No silver bullet, project management, bring people together to make a change. would like to define exact barriers and prioritise the problems and find a way to come up with some solutions. and prioritise and implement a methodical way to implement positive change.
Robin Cherbo - Nelson has a housing crisis, we’ve been at 0% vacancy for 5 years, how will you address this?
Difficult one, nelson cares is helping so is pastor Jim. Affordable housing bylaw to allow laneway housing; we’ve just given a bylaw to deal with AirBnBs. The hardest part is we have no land. The youth centre needs a new roof, we think housing can go there, the city can borrow money at a cheap interest rate.
Travis Hayuuk - What is the city’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable youth?
teaching youth mountain biking, encourage youth to get outside and be healthy and exercise. creating some kind of junior council. Encourage youth, give them things to do through grant writing. Endless opportunities.
Rick Loghtenburg - How do you suggest the city of nelson adapt to climate change?
This is why I ran. Climate change is an existential threat, we’re on track globally to face potentially catastrophic consequences, and nelson is on the edge of that; we’re one of the most at risk cities in BC. That’s wildfire. If you remember the taste of the smoke in the back of your throat.
. We’ve got to step it up. West Arm provincial park; the making of a mega fire. Pyrocumulous clouds; not just the interface. Forest enhancement society. .5 billion of dollars. We have people we can imagine the city we want to have.
Deb Kozack - How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
Every $ we put into infrastructure we put into building our city attracts people who want to live and work here. Local government does this each and every day. We have interested parties who do presentations to the CoW meetings, and present their ideas, technology companies who are very interested in being here; new tech coming: traction by design. strong tourism industry and a community of education, health and well being. maintain our services and spaces. we’re open for business.
Bob Adams - What are your priorities in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and mental illness?
Poverty has to be addressed through jobs, more jobs means more businesses, poverty is hard to look at. Jim Reimer looks after 100s of people, it helps people who live in the city. I’m not really sure how we’ll address them. a
Cal Renwick - Nelson has a housing crisis, we’ve been at 0% vacancy for 5 years, how will you address this?Housing Crisis
we do have a shortage of land in nelson, if we could incentivise a developer to come in that’d be one way. There’s a few places around, but they probably wouldn’t be popular choices. Rental suites guidelines from the province are onerous. Can’t be this, can’t be that, charge you double for sewer and water. We need to lobby the government to make some changes. More funding for programs from the government. Now’s the time.
Laureen Barker - What is the city’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable youth?
It’s difficult for the city to address vulnerable youth, that’s largely a job for social service industries. The city needs to support these groups. Land for housing, kids ageing out of foster care could have supported transition time. Youth in foster care there should be a place for them to go: the youth centre project. Housing committee was talking about this four years ago. Zero vacancy rates is a problem. Assisted housing we need to look at.
Jessie Woodward - How do you suggest the city of nelson adapt to climate change?
whatever Rik said: my main thing is running the markets for seven years, every year it gets a little more intense. I’d like to see what the fire-hall is doing. This town is #1 for fire risk in this BC > we have nothing if this town burns down. We need a secondary water source; we have a new intake, up to 20% of nelson can be supplied from there. If a huge fire happened we could drain our reservoirs and we’d have nothing. Fire risk and water shortage are key, we don’t have any time to waste. The more fun side: Kootenay car share for electric bikes; stop driving from uphill; more renting electric bikes; small vans as transit around town in a quick and easy fashion. we’re not going to solve it globally but we could become a model for a small town.
Britney Anderson - How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
support for local businesses to survive, we don’t have an industry, our economic engine is our small businesses. The city is not easy to work with; people are being blocked; development is not able to happen. Castlegar is extremely easy to work with. We want to have a diversity of businesses. Our economy is thriving because of cannabis; every cannabis dollar in the community is circulated 10 times. Feds have forced it to be corporate, pressure the federal government to ensure our local bus. survives. we have an op. lets take advantage.
Charles Jeanes - What are your priorities in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and mental illness?
Tax the Rich, House the poor. 8 times running. Try to be more normal. Not a problem with money in the world, 8 people own half the worlds money. Market capitalism isn’t working.
Keith Page - Nelson has a housing crisis, we’ve been at 0% vacancy for 5 years, how will you address this?
Affordability crisis, I’ve lived it, our employees live it. There’s a 0% vacancy rate creating perverse incentives in the market, we’re unable to set an efficient price. THere’s no other option. The city council says there is no land, we’ve completed a vacant land survey already, we need to complete phase two so we can connect our social services with the available land. We need to be ready here, “this is ready to sell”, we need over 200 units to reconnect the market, we need to approve as many things as we can so that seniors can go from their big houses and find small units to free up houses for young families. Laneway housing
Janice Morrison - What is the city’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable youth?
We have a role, we’ve already started some of it. What is a vulnerable youth: foster care, youth that id as LGBTQ community; looking for housing, cicada place built that helps house 10 youth. We have the NDYC, youth housing on top but lets talk about the centre itself, we need to keep expanding the services it provides. Hiring youth programs, housing opportunities with training for youth to become service workers to working tourist industry; I hear there’s jobs. Ryan martin ran a job fair, and the first day there was only 5 people. Training ops in town, we need to advocate to other levels of government.
Stephanie Wiggins - How do you suggest the city of nelson adapt to climate change?
It’s hard to answer after Rik and Jessie. We need to continue being adaptable as a city, climate change is happening right now, we need to work with professionals who know about the biggest issues: logging and thinning to help protect the city from threats of forest fires. Solving water system issues; we don’t have a shortage of water, we have an inadequate storage issue. Brian and her noticed while speaking that we have been looking at pumping lake water up the hill, that’s working against gravity; get water from the source in the mountains [drilling into an aquifer?].
Rob Richichi - How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
Attracting more tourists, we’re a tourists town. Need to create jobs but they’re not as high paying, we should be open to everything including the tech industry. we’re not going to be a big producer of jobs. we need to improve our presentation of nelson, under utilised lake, bring development here, don’t turn into Kelowna; don’t sell our soul. Look at development in a different way, talking about development, \$20 million into community, need return on investment, putting up condo, 400$ a sqft. That’s unlikely to help us, we need to be careful going forward
Joe Reiner - What are your priorities in addressing issues of poverty, homelessness, and mental illness?
Front line social service working within community for over 15 years. I currently work with ankors, so I know the marginalised individuals, I know them by their first names, they don’t need a hand out, they need a hand up. We need to be working with all stakeholders within our community, businesses, and the social service sector—working to create jobs. when you speak to many of the individuals they want to be contributing members of this community. Working for 4 years as a job developer, there are programs out there we can utilise that are already in existence to bolster our small businesses, the backbone of our community. what small business wouldn’t want help to hire! lets do this more! mental illness is an issue, lets embrace it. We need made in Nelson solutions.
John Dooley - Nelson has a housing crisis, we’ve been at 0% vacancy for 5 years, how will you address this?
Best position in 15 years to solve this problem. We should be sitting on Michelle’s doorstep; the province and federal government have backed away substantially; I’ve met with many ministers. The current government is suggesting they’re getting more involved, first thing is to talk to Michelle to find out how they can help us. We’re in a community that is in dire need of housing. We want to help develop it. Municipal government doesn’t have the capacity to build housing, but we can talk to higher levels of government. Start with the most vulnerable, we can streamline the operation at city hall to make it easier to obtain permits. I’ve developed. two suites over the last year - I have to rent them at 1100$/mo to recoup money I put in [because of the city permits].
Leslie Payne - What is the city’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable youth?
How can we better engage that demographic? Where are the people who will inherit this town. Bring a youth to vote, find one somewhere. Help them understand what democracy is about. Stand up and have your voice counted. Vulnerable youth, we do have them, and lots of them. One of the things I’ve heard recently, Tim Muchimanski(?) VP of LVR, found stigma was kept a lot of homeless and vulnerable youth from seeking help. Remove the stigma! We have the programs, we need to match them up. More Career Development, more heart and soul.
Bernie Brown - How do you suggest the city of nelson adapt to climate change?
Michelle Hillaby - Fire
Two really good answers, funding to be the number one leader in fire suppression, limiting the forest buffer, increase storage buffer. We’re nelson and we know we’re the coolest, we can take this further past the fire safety, lets ban plastic straws and plastic bags. Electric bikes! Styrofoam ban. Be the leader, be a green city, be known for it. Increase the amount of recycling stations, replace them with better recycling options. No newspapers in the garbage. Composting, using less, recycling better. Education so we know what we can recycle.
Marge Stacey - How can local government improve employment opportunities for all citizens?
The city of nelson can’t hire all of you, so what we do is study, nelson area economic development partnership, funded by nelson and regional districts, manufacturing labour market project. Recommendations go to colleges and schools; also reports and BRE, succession planning for business and gaps. Study best practices for businesses to setup here. Some areas a professional consultation or constructions: insist on local; employment meet-ups! Employment meet-up every day at 7am for temp workers. Chamber could take the lead on this. We also need to listen to sector needs.