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Squamish votes 2022: Council candidate Lauren Greenlaw's Q&A

Watch the elevator pitch and read an election Q&A of Lauren Greenlaw, 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

Lauren Greenlaw


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

Affordability is hollowing out our community and affects everyone. We need to prioritize lower priced units coming to market (eg- townhouses and condos); increase the availability of rental units; increase the number of rent-controlled dwellings on the market. This will help make the housing market accessible to more people, and improve housing stability for those in the rental market. 


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? 

By prioritizing livability we can strategically approve future development applications to keep up with community needs, like affordable housing, active transport, preserving greenspaces and transit while minimizing negative impacts, like sprawl, traffic and resource degradation.


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

Yes- we own a single detached house. We were renters 4 years ago.


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

I work from home, and I try to bike as much as I can. I haven't actually used the transit system here, because I am usually bringing children to and from time sensitive events. 


Have you had to find child care in Squamish?

I have been put on several multi-year (literally) waiting lists for childcare. In the 4 years that I have lived here with my two small children I have never once had access to regular, reliable childcare. The childcare situation here is an absolute disaster that disproportionately affects women. It is a huge problem that I will work on, because I know what it's like to be a mother with insufficient resources.


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

I do not.


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

Parking seems to be getting harder to find downtown. 

Part of the solution lies in supporting and promoting active transportation: potential bike trails and lanes, improved lighting for pedestrians and cyclists at night, emphasis on plowing sidewalks in the winter time, etc.

I would reconsider allowing new developments to pay in lieu of building parking stalls. This approach is placing strain on the community when it should be part of new development design, and to my recollection of the article in The Chief last year: there is a significant discrepancy between the amount paid by developers and the cost to the municipality per stall, which translates to even more burden on our community that should be on the developers. 

We also need to make sure that all of the neighborhoods that should have community mailboxes actually do have them, to reduce the people going downtown to get mail. Every little bit will help!


What ways would you support council addressing the climate crisis?

The climate crisis is quite possibly the most pressing issue facing humanity right now. Last year in BC alone we lost over 600 people and had over 9 billion dollars in infrastructure damage as a direct result of climate change. This is happening in real time: we cannot afford further indecision and inaction on behalf of our governments. I will support measures in council addressing climate change, oppose any new oil and gas infrastructure beyond safety upgrades, and lobby the provincial and federal governments to stop the billions of dollars of annual subsidies currently being handed to oil and gas operations at the expense of the taxpayers.


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? 

I will not presume to know what considerations went on behind closed doors of sitting council, regardless of whether I agreed or disagreed with final decisions. I know the sitting council to be hard working individuals who did their best to represent their constituents interests, and some were victims of aggressive misinformation campaigns that have, unfortunately, effectively obscured the facts for many. I will say that the sitting council has done an exceptional job of working as a team to find solutions, which is quite impressive in an increasingly polarized political atmosphere, and I hope that approach is carried in to the next term. 

Moving forward, there are some serious issues in Squamish that technically fall under the provincial jurisdiction, like education and healthcare. I would like to see what we can do within our municipal powers to get creative about finding solutions for updating our schools and improving access to healthcare. 


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