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. In this case, Gord Addison did not schedule a time to film this segment. No video is embedded in this story as a result.
Please state your name and political party
How do you think council can help with the housing affordability crisis in Squamish?
1) We need to do everything we can to help the most vulnerable as the top priority. 2) Keep going with the fledgling Squamish Community Housing Society. This is the best way to get housing units under our control and available to qualified people. 3) Pursue "Rent to Own" opportunities or work with developers & the Housing Society to create opportunities where people can build equity in homes. Squamish Council has no control over interest rates, immigration, or other macro-economic factors, but we have to do what we can to address this crisis for our town.
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?
Our planning department is flying along at 200km/h on a road filled with potholes with 22,000 backseat drivers, half yelling at them to speed up, and half yelling at them to slow down, and then a whole bunch saying we are going in the wrong direction. It may be a good idea to pull over, tune things up, check the road map with a new council, do some much needed maintenance, and then get going again at a reasonable speed.
Do you own property in Squamish? When was the last time you were a renter?
Yes, my wife and I own our house. I last rented in 2008.
How do you typically get to work? When was the last time you rode a bus?
I currently work from home. When I worked in Downtown Vancouver I regularly took the Squamish Connector.
Have you had to find child care in Squamish?
Yes. my kids are grown now, but even in 2002-2008, it was a challenge. I am acutely aware of how difficult/impossible it is now.
Do you or have you ever owned a business in Squamish? Do you pay commercial rent?
I worked with a partner to build "The Adventure Inn" at the entrance of town in 2002-3 and owned it for a while after. It was a while back, but I don't think commercial property taxes were near as high then as they are now.
In your opinion, does Squamish have a parking problem? If so, what will you do about it?
It absolutely does. We hear about it regularly. It is not just about downtown appointments, it is about employee parking, and parking around new developments that are not providing adequate space for their residents and commercial users. I will be a hard "No" on parking variances.
What ways would you support council addressing the climate crisis?
We need to take care of our own part of the world and make sure we are protected from the impacts from extreme weather conditions. This is one area where the current council has made good progress. The wildfire protection plans, in particular. We are also making good progress on diking, but there is still some work to be done.
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?
One important power is the ability to negotiate real community amenity contributions when they re-zone land. We need to collect more calculated on "Land Lift", not square footage or units, because the lift in value is based on the re-zoning. Vancouver has a benchmark of 75% of the value. This can be millions of dollars for some re-zonings.