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Squamish votes 2022: Council candidate Eric Andersen's Q&A

Watch the elevator pitch and read an election Q&A of Eric Andersen, who is running for District of Squamish council.

As part of our coverage for the 2022 municipal election, The Squamish Chief sent out questionnaires to all candidates running either for council or the mayor’s office. Identical questions were provided to each candidate, who had the chance to send written responses. 

What follows are the unedited responses for this candidate. Those who did not respond by press deadline do not have answers to publish.

Furthermore, candidates were also invited to film a short elevator pitch. This candidate’s elevator pitch is embedded in this story.




Please state your name and political party

Eric Andersen


How do you think council can help with the housing affordability crisis in Squamish?

1. More of same, with involvement of new Housing Society as appropriate – negotiating for affordable units in new developments.

2. Ongoing: Address processing and transaction costs for developers, which affects costs through entire housing spectrum.

3. Promote innovation in design and construction. Ideas exist also within our local supply chains.

4. Much more advocacy with senior govts who have primary responsibility for housing.

5. New Housing Society can be more nimble than the District in identifying “next projects” with diverse partners.


Some locals have been calling for a pause on development on private land, but council does not have the power to do that. How will you reconcile that disconnect? 

The Growth Management Boundary is one of the few “brake” tools available. If there is a perception of local govt having other real powers to halt development applications on private property, this would be a misunderstanding or "disconnect". However, in jurisdictions with similar or greater growth management pressures and more mature smart growth planning legislation (e.g., Puget Sound, WA), additional regional level planning tools (powers, incentives) are available for balancing residential development growth with local jobs, transit and other development approval criteria. New provincial legislation applicable to our region would be required, which I would support.


Do you own property in Squamish? When was the last time you were a renter?

I own property at present. I was a renter until 2006, and may become a renter soon again.


How do you typically get to work? When was the last time you rode a bus?

To work I drive a car or walk (which I prefer to biking). Due to my location, bus transit has no advantage over walking (to Downtown or Business Park) for me. As Squamish CAN former Transportation Committee co-chair, I helped to organize transit bus orientation trips for (past) councillors, a few years ago – and would do so again.


Have you had to find child care in Squamish? 

No, but I am well aware of the difficulties many families face. I believe the District has a very good picture of our childcare facilities needs and of their critical importance. Childcare support is not a local government responsibility; however, we do the best we can in partnership with local agencies, developers and in applying for outside funding for new facilities. We are still learning as a community, on the where, who and hows of delivering childcare programming.


Do you or have you ever owned a business in Squamish? Do you pay commercial rent? 

I have operated a home-based business. I have had no need for commercial rental space in Squamish.


In your opinion, does Squamish have a parking problem? If so, what will you do about it?

Squamish certainly has diverse parking problems: Downtown Cleveland Avenue congestion; multi-unit residential complex parking spillover to adjacent streets; accessibility issues at some commercial premises and many clinics; the "wild west" at or near certain recreation use trailheads. Clearly, some community members (seniors, persons with disabilities, medical clinic patrons) experience parking issues frequently, especially in the Downtown. New facilities and regulations/ enforcement are required at some of these problem spots. Overall, we must be realistic about parking demands and honest about their impacts. We should be planning long term in the Downtown and other commercial areas with parking stalls and facilities (parkades) designed for potential re-purposing in future. I am a proponent of exploring 2+ level parking facilities in wood construction – with better aesthetics, lesser footprint, greater adaptability.


What ways would you support council addressing the climate crisis? 

1. Reduce the need to commute (i.e., good paying local jobs), as well as regional transit options (including new fast ferry technology) for commuting.

2. Help homeowners with assistance ($ and advice) for energy efficiency.

3. More attention to embodied carbon in and long term resiliency of new buildings, alongside operational efficiency.

4. Do a better job at considering “Emissions from Sources Outside the Scope of the Inventory” – that is, the carbon footprint we are not yet good at measuring or that we don’t have a clear mandate to measure yet. Example: Emissions associated with commuting and tourist visitor highway travel.

5. Let’s prepare for climate change as well as trying to avoid it.


The municipality has control over passing bylaws, budget planning and approval, committees, board and commission appointments and general oversight of municipal administration. Within those powers, what didn’t the last council do that you want to make a priority? 

1. More use of council committees, giving opportunity for more exchange on bigger, more complex topics and opportunity for political leadership.

2. More use of advisory committees – and being mindful of respecting volunteer time of citizens stepping forward.

3. Roundtable, multi-stakeholder, co-management style governance for the estuary and our complicated waterfront. The need for and functions of the Estuary Management Committee are still obvious.

4. Active platforms for Squamish Nation liaison and partnerships at political, staff and community levels based on the solid ongoing work in Reconciliation.


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