With the 2014 municipal election less than a month away, The Omega has created a multi-week rundown of your choice for mayor and city council. We put two questions to each candidate. See last week’s responses for more.
The city will go to the polls Nov. 15. More information can be found on the City of Kamloops website at www.kamloops.ca.
(1) What is your platform and why should TRU students vote for you?
(2) What do you feel is the role of TRU and its students in Kamloops and, if applicable, how do you feel the university can become more integrated with the city?
-Complete openness, transparency and 100 per cent financial accountability at every level
-Quality management with a fondness for innovation will deliver consistently high value services and civic projects destined to last for ages.
(2) People from all over the world are studying at TRU and I welcome that beautiful diversity. TRU and the city can co-operate to stage cultural events to leverage that diversity in a mutually beneficial cultural exchange. Let there be art to integrate us while safeguarding cultural identities!
I want to look at the financial records of the city and I want to responsible for every nickel, and if we’re in debt, hopefully I can pay it off within four years and then be responsible.
(2) I know tuition is very high and I’d like to do something about it. I’d like to sit down with the university administration and work out possibly a deal. So, what I’m going to suggest is a second Lafarge plant, which will build concrete masonry columns and, in return for selling products and opening up new industries in Dallas and Valleyview, that money will pay for local student tuition. We’ll work out the numbers, but I was thinking 50 per cent. If you show your birth certificate, your student fees might be waved.
(1) As a city councilor, I feel I would be able to represent TRU students in a meaningful manner. I work at TRU and think I have a good understanding of their needs and wishes. I am a part of the Vision Kamloops Alliance and we have a progressive set of core values and principles. Details of that platform can be found at our website, VisionKamloops.ca.
(2) I think TRU is integral to the health of Kamloops, economically, culturally and socially. Council should lead the way in encouraging major players such as Interior Health, School District 73, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, industrial partners and TRU to work collaboratively in an effort to make our city a more dynamic, sustainable place to live. If these important groups joined forces on a regular basis, the sky is the limit.
I feel that the students of TRU will take a significant lead within the city and region in building a prosperous and sustainable future. The skills and energy they have will encourage emerging industries such as high-tech, tourism and green energy to locate here. That translates directly into jobs.
– Focus on the long term future of the city
– Expand multi-sectorial collaboration for economic growth and diversification
– Foster civic participation
– Enhance quality of life and social connectedness
(2) I feel that TRU and its students represent innovation and growth, not only for the city of Kamloops, but also for our region. Having graduated from TRU, I feel we can further bridge partnerships between TRU, the city and various industries and organizations. These ongoing partnerships would expand student experiences and also strengthen job creation and retention within our city.
(1) Students at TRU make up a significant portion of the Kamloops population. There is a need for greater public engagement in shaping Kamloops and enhancing and protecting our quality of life. As a former Councillor, I see the potential for a positive change on Council. I believe your choice this election should be based on who has the best skills, common sense, and who will be mindful of your tax dollars… not simply name recognition.
(2) I would like to see more accessible alternative transportation options for everyone. This would be for transit, walking paths, safe biking lanes and other modes to get easily and conveniently from point A to B.
If elected, I would discuss with my colleagues on council the benefits of increasing the options, the regularity, and extended hours for transit service.
As my most important initiative, I would encourage regular transit riders such as TRU student to form a powerful transit lobby group to represent the people that really know what is wrong, what is right, what we need, what we want, and how it will benefit our community.
Beyond the status quo: fiscally responsible, socially conscious.
-Approach City Council with a progressive perspective: Decide based on new information, not status quo.
-Challenge Kamloops mindset about labour: Specialized workers will create long-term employment in emerging industries.
-Budget in a way that makes sense for Kamloops residents: Gain commitment from citizens prior to large capital expenditures.
-Embody social responsibility: Understand barriers of Kamloops citizens and create a connected city.
(2) TRU plays an integral part in the future of Kamloops as I see it. There needs to be continued diversification of our economy, but we also need to take into account the health of our community. Educated and specialized workers will create long-term employment opportunities in sustainable, emerging industries, such as those highlighted by Venture Kamloops: green energy, high-tech and tourism.
(1) My platform is about building community resilience through the retention of current business, continued pursuit of sustainable industry, fiscal accountability and equitable taxation, addressing the challenges of a changing environment and depleting resource base, and promoting health living programs while developing infrastructure to support them. These issues will affect students more than any other segment of society. I believe I can offer a fresh perspective while working with the student body and the public.
(2) The role of TRU is to educate and prepare individuals to enter the workforce as highly trained individuals in specific fields, ensuring strong economic stability and growth. The challenge is to create opportunities that accommodate the training students have received while attending this fine university. This rests with the city. In concert with university staff, students and economic development agencies, council can identify emerging markets, industrial opportunities and independent business opportunities. I believe in connections and feel that the university could be part of a larger group made up of members from other agencies such as Interior Health, Chamber of Commerce, and Venture Kamloops and ultimately be instrumental in determining a long-term vision for the city.
(1) I support Kamloops growing sustainably, such as increasing density and preserving farmland. I will advocate for services for people of all abilities such as wheelchair accessible facilities. I support making Kamloops a diverse, vibrant city including the downtown core. Finally, we need to invest in infrastructure like storm drainage.
(2) Through its students, TRU increases the number of skilled, educated people in Kamloops. This helps the individuals as well as the community. The research done by TRU and its student helps organizations grow. TRU and its students also enhance the city economically. Money spent by TRU and its students helps local businesses thrive. TRU speakers and cultural events benefit the entire community. As well, students support a vibrant local live music scene.
Integrating TRU more with the community includes enhancing city services, like additional transit, as well as building partnerships, like further community-based research. It also includes collaborating on projects such as cultural events and conferences.
This past session Marg developed and put on two workshops for locally elected leaders on understanding budgets, as well as a session in May on best practices to recruit and retain family physicians. Six Kamloops doctors were the result of working with government and recruiting agencies.
(2) Marg made supporting TRU’s international program as an economic engine one of three pillars of her platform in 2008.
A recent study has shown that the Trades and Technology sector will require thousands of workers by 2017. Perfect timing for TRU to continue the good work of expanding this sector and investing in the students who will replace the baby boomers as they retire. This coupled with the new law school, research capabilities, means that TRU is and must be considered an economic force in Kamloops. We need to support and advocate for TRU funding so that students can continue to rely on an excellent education in a safe, healthy environment.
(1) As city councillor, I will strive to maintain a high level of fiscal accountability and responsibility to all tax payers. Our tax dollars must be spent prudently and wisely. Furthermore, we must make an on-going sincere effort to find efficiencies in current spending to better allocate available funds and minimize tax increases.
(2) TRU is a community within our wonderful community. It plays a significant role as an employer, cultural and arts contributor, helping young people become qualified, confident new members of our work force. TRU has put Kamloops on the map in a very positive way and needs our continued support to ensure its students have a positive experience in our sunny city. By engaging in more events and activities that draw community members to the campus, such as open houses and hosting events presented by students, residents of Kamloops and TRU students will be more connected. Furthermore, working towards more opportunities for job shadowing with local companies will foster a better transition to the workforce.
(2) Thompson Rivers University is truly a gem. This world-class institution is a magnet for cultural and social diversity. It attracts invaluable opportunities for our city in business, tourism, education and the arts. The students of TRU encourage our community to think outside the box, to welcome new ideas and to be proud of the opportunities it provides its graduates. I would be honored to formally represent Kamloops as a destination of choice for education, business, healthcare, quality of life and tourism, but mostly as home.
(1) I have a proven record of dedication to our community through my many years of volunteering including working with the Serv1000 program at TRU. I will equally represent all geographical areas of the city and promote public consultation focusing on issues relevant to social, environmental and wellness issues by building on the strengths, opportunities and diversity that exists in Kamloops.
(2) I feel that we have just started to open the doors of communications and the possibilities for partnerships between TRU and our community. We already have partnership between TRU and the city’s water treatment technologies, as well as TRU and TCC, which allows to the city host to many sporting events while giving tourism students practical experience. Partnerships between TRU, New Gold and Highland Valley Copper allow training and employment within our local area. As a city councillor I challenge you to look at ways to engage yourselves within our community. The last and most important item that you as students must ensure is that you vote on Nov. 15.
(1) If I am elected I promise to be myself! A successful business person, a bold decision maker. The councillor you can count on to ask the tough questions. Thrifty with finances and not afraid to say no. I am a three-term councillor with proven abilities to plan effectively for the future.
(2) I believe TRU is the jewel of Kamloops with positive benefits economically, culturally and socially. The students give our city vibrancy and diversity while making a critical contribution to our economy. Locals can get a first-rate education without moving away. Our city is more desirable to move to and invest in because we have university. Council looks for synergies with TRU, such as putting our Tournament Capital Centre beside the campus and our present negotiations with the university to locate a downtown satellite campus at Stuart Wood School. As a councillor, I make decisions considering the effect on the whole community including TRU.
(1) Students should vote because it’s their God-given right. It doesn’t matter where they are, they have to follow the city council and make sure they do not overspend like this city is doing. Without proper authorization, this city is building round-a-bouts, they are building parkades—spending $100,000 with no authorization, just by somebody saying “Let’s do it.” You need to get involved in politics and learn what your city is doing so your taxes don’t get increased.
(2) The role of TRU is to show Canadian friendship. There should be more advertising on TRU’s International Days. That is a fantastic show and it should be opened up so the public really gets to know what it is and what happens in the whole world.