It may be unusual to hear a local developer advocating for cautious growth, but council candidate Edward Archibald said on Thursday that the pace of construction in town hasn’t kept up with amenities.
“[My family] moved here three years ago — and it’s funny for a developer to say this — but we’ve been recklessly building, with no ability to actually handle the growth with our infrastructure and our housing needs,” he said.
Archibald declared Thursday that he’ll be seeking a council seat .
He currently sits on the board of directors for the Squamish Helping Hands Society, Squamish Hospital Foundation, Squamish Community Foundation and the Business Improvement Association.
He said his campaign goals revolve around affordable housing, transportation, economic concerns, and leadership.
“There needs to be leadership on council, there needs to be leadership in the mayor's seat, to be respectful and work together,” he said, adding he’s seen too many “spectacles” around the council table.
Archibald said his professional experience gives him an insight into the building process that would be valuable in finding solutions to a lack of office space or affordable housing.
“I’m a builder, so I understand the inner workings of how to put together proposals for housing, how to work with the public sector, and how to work with the private sector,” he said.
Archibald began his career in housing construction as a carpenter and project manager. He is currently president and CEO of Accorde Properties Corp., managing a portfolio of approximately $1 billion-worth of real estate throughout the Lower Mainland, according to the company's website.
His company is currently developing the Vantage project in downtown Squamish, but he said most of his projects are in Vancouver and unlikely to intersect with council business.
On economic policy, Archibald said improving infrastructure is critical in Squamish — including both indoor and outdoor recreation facilities and sewer and water upgrades.
With his main office located in North Vancouver, he said his young family is able to represent the 46 per cent of residents who commute to work and wants to address a lack of office space in town and the high price of gas.
“If we’re not able to come up with a regional transit strategy that involves a transit tax, then we look at how we tax gas stations in our taxation regimes. If we’re going to get gouged, we need to back it back in the community somehow.”
Archibald said he also supports expediting employment-based development applications, and high taxes based on new land evaluations in Squamish need to be addressed.
He said council will have an important role in determining property tax for Woodfibre LNG — and personally supports keeping public access to Darrell Bay.
“If [WLNG] is here, then we need to get what is due to us and not just roll over and give concessions for the sake of giving concessions, for 80 jobs, if that,” he said.