Squamish-born business student Rajan Hans is running for council.
“For me, it’s a way to serve my community,” he said on Tuesday.
“I was born and raised in Squamish, I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’ve never had the heart to move out. Every time I leave to go to school, when I come around the corner and see the town, my mind just goes to ease,” he said.
Hans currently works part-time as an insurance agent at Squamish Insurance and is completing his final term of a Bachelor of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University.
Hans said going into the campaign, his main priority is “strategic development,” particularly to promote affordable housing. He’s also interested in increasing green building, preservation of green space, trail connectivity and increased parking.
“A lot of our neighbourhoods are lacking right now, due to a lack of planning, and in part because they are old,” he said. “I think moving forward there is a lot of development moving forward in town and I think we need to be strategic in what we let develop and how we go about that development.”
Hans said he’d like to see more private sector collaborations to help fund infrastructure upgrades, such as at Brennan Park. He said especially in cases where development is changing the Official Community Plan or zoning, more amenities should be provided.
“I want better negotiations,” he said. “I think every development that comes through Squamish should benefit every citizen.”
“If we’re going to change our plan, change our OCP to help accommodate your project, then do something for us in return — help us put a new sheet of ice on our rink. I’m really trying to push collaboration, and working with developers and people who are investing in our community.”
His other priorities are increased economic growth and regional transit that would connect the Sea to Sky Corridor – although he said he doesn’t want to limit options to just public transit buses.
“Those are the issues facing our community,” he said.
Hans is also the first candidate to put up campaign signs.
Previously he has volunteered with the Squamish Railway Heritage Park, Squamish Eagle Watch, Squamish Sikh Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Hill Top House.
He is currently a board member for the Squamish Sikh Society and director for the Squamish Youth Soccer Association.