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2022 Civic Election: Q&A with City of North Vancouver's candidates

There will be a rematch for the mayor's chair and 12 people vying for the six seats on council
NV City Hall Sign Flowers Building CG
In the City of North Vancouver, Guy Heywood is challenging incumbent Linda Buchanan for the mayor's seat, and five of the six incumbent councillors have filed papers to run again in the next civic elections, Oct. 15.

As we do in every election cycle, we have asked the candidates running in all three North Shore municipalities a series of key questions about how they would govern and what impact they could have on the community.

Responses from City of Vancouver candidates for mayor, council and school board are posted below in alphabetical order, sorted by position they are seeking.

Candidates for mayor

Linda BuchananCNV

Name: Linda Buchanan (incumbent)

Age: 56

What neighbourhood do you live in? Ridgeway

Occupation: Currently I am the Mayor in the City of North Vancouver. Before becoming Mayor I was a public health nurse for 30 years on the North Shore.

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Mayor for four years, served seven years as a councillor, three years on the Board of Education. Currently, I serve on the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and am the vice-chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. Ridgeway Heritage Committee

What are your priorities if elected?

Delivering housing options; Creating new childcare spaces; Protecting our natural environment; Delivering transportation solutions; Delivering Harry Jerome and NSNH; Supporting the business community and attracting investments.

What is your plan for local climate action?

As mayor, the city has committed to a carbon net zero future by 2050. We have developed a bold, region-leading climate and environment strategy that puts us on a path to meet that goal. I want to make the green choice the easy choice for people so we are climate resilient. Key priorities include cutting carbon pollution from major sources - buildings and transportation, expanding urban agriculture and food recovery, growing our urban tree canopy, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, creating a circular economy, ensuring homes can remain safe and cool during extreme weather events.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Access to affordable, adequate housing is a right we all share. But not everyone in our community is well housed and there is more work to do. That’s why I will continue to partner with stakeholders, senior levels of government, and others to deliver the range of housing we need. Over the next term, as mayor, I am focused on new rent-to-own home financing programs for first time buyers, purpose-built rental for people of all income levels, pet-friendly housing, options that work for seniors, deeply affordable housing as part of the North Shore Neighbourhood House rebuild, accessible and supportive housing.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

We all want to move efficiently and safely. More and more, people are asking for alternatives that are more affordable, accessible, and healthier. That’s why I will continue to deliver solutions that work for everyone. As mayor we have delivered RapidBus across the North Shore, increased SeaBus and Handydart service, piloted 30 km/h speed limit, delivered cycling and sidewalk infrastructure, moved forward with Casano-Loutet overpass, implemented the first-ever electric bike share program in B.C. Over the next term, I am focused on continuing this work and delivering Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

I am focused on streamlining the process of doing business, retaining and attracting businesses and protecting industrial lands. I will continue to advocate for split assessments to reduce small business tax. The positive impact the Shipyards BIA has made fostering a sense of place for people, while supporting businesses led to expanding their mandate for 8 years. I championed support for a Central Lonsdale BIA and the creation of the Brewery District. I will also be focused on the creation of a Health Economic Hub and a new hotel to the city.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

When I talk to people in the community, I never hear about this. What I do hear are concerns about affordability, housing, public transportation and childcare. These challenges will not be solved by amalgamation. These two distinct municipalities have a strong track record of providing services and programming in a collaborative, cost effective way. We must focus on progressive and inclusive action that will move all people forward. That is what I’ve been doing for the past four years and what I will continue to push for as mayor.

Website/social media contacts:
lindabuchanan.ca  
facebook.com/BuchananforCNV/
instagram.com/linda_buchanan_cnv
twitter.com/LindaCBuchanan

GuyHeywoodCNV

Name: Guy Heywood

Age: 63

What neighbourhood do you live in? Lower Lonsdale

Occupation: finance consultant

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Two terms on city council, three terms as school board trustee, seven years North Vancouver Rec Commission, member of many boards: North Shore Neighbourhood House, North Van Arts, Vancouver Food Bank, volunteer income tax prep, St Andrews Community kitchen

What are your priorities if elected?

Management of development. Control/reduce cost of government. Transparent, humble leadership.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Reduce traffic congestion, since transportation is the biggest source of GHGs. Integrating traffic planning and management will make bus transit more attractive as well. Building emissions are also significant source of GHGs. Standards in North Van for new building should be the same and as high as the rest of Metro Vancouver. LEC still replacing clean hydro-electric with mainly gas-fired sources. City needs to admit it was a mistake.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

I support all initiatives that address the housing crisis so long as they do not create a subsidy that favours a special interest group and ends up being paid by other city taxpayers in perpetuity. Growth of the city (10 per cent) has been three times faster than the District or West Van. The city is doing its share. Given both provincial political party leaders say they will override local governments to fast-track new housing, in future the city will need to focus on protecting the livability of its neighbourhoods.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

I will break down silos for planning, operating and maintaining roads and transit infrastructure in three governments, a provincial ministry and transit authority. Create one North Vancouver (or North Shore streets and transportation infrastructure department to replace two (maybe three), separate departments and work more closely with BC Transit. Did you know there is still a bus depot in North Van? The West Van Blue Bus depot is actually in North Van District and very likely to be closed before any consideration of other potential uses.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

I would start with combining the business license functions at the city and district. Consider contracting with the Chamber of Commerce to do it. Replace city mayor’s business roundtable with a North Vancouver business roundtable, organized by the chamber. Both the mayors of the city and district will attend and listen more than talk. Consider property tax abatement by way of direct tenant reimbursement for certain categories of small business. Support development of BIAs (provided they do not make donations to mayors’ campaigns).

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

My position is pure common sense. It eliminates wasteful spending on duplicated services. It cuts costs resulting from a lack of co-operation and co-ordination. When I was on Council, I proposed the City and District hire a consultant to look at ways to save money and improve services. District Council approved, the Province would pay half the cost. City Council, including the current and former Mayors, said no. Like everybody who hears that North Vancouver has two governments: Isn’t that a waste of money? We must be able to do better.

Website/social media contacts:
guyheywood.ca 
twitter.com/rguyinnorthvan 
facebook.com/Guy Heywood's North Vancouver Page

Candidates for council (six seats)

HollyBackCNV

Name: Holly Back (incumbent)

Age: no answer provided

What neighbourhood do you live in? Lynn Valley

Occupation: North Vancouver City councillor

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

City councillor since 2014, civic naming committee, finance committee, policing committee, recreation and culture committee

What are your priorities if elected?

Accessible mental health resources, LGBTQ+ friendly initiatives, completion of Harry Jerome, Silver Harbour, North Shore Neighbourhood House, continue work on affordable housing and traffic management.

What is your plan for local climate action?

I am proud of what we have accomplished to become a leader in local climate action. My goal is to make it easier to move around our community while reducing our dependency on vehicles. That includes increasing walking and biking paths and improving the routes and frequency of public transit. Being environmental stewards, by planting more trees, use of less plastics, making it easier for you to recycle. While each action may seem small, they all add up to making our community more sustainable. The decisions I make on council will continue to support these goals.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

We need to continue creating affordable housing options for residents at all life stages and all income levels. While the City has made considerable progress, there is more work to do. Creativity and thinking "outside the box" are key, such as working with developers to ensure below market housing, allowing stratification of coach houses, exploring cost-sharing ownership, and increasing purchase and rental options will benefit younger residents as well as allow seniors to age in place. I believe everyone, regardless of their financial status, deserves an affordable place to live.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

There isn’t one magic solution to improving transportation on the North Shore. The city needs to continue working with all levels of government to provide solutions that work for us. We need more rapid transit and improved options to cross the harbour, such as SkyTrain, increased bus and sea bus service. And, as much of the congestion is caused by people commuting through our city, we need to work with other levels of government, such as BC Ferries so that their ferries do not arrive at peak commute times. I will continue to push for solutions that benefit our community.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

As a former business owner, I know how important small businesses are for our community. The city needs to continue with the roundtable discussions we started during the pandemic, so that we understand the unique and evolving needs of business owners and their staff. I am committed to doing all I can to help our local businesses. That means listening to their concerns, working with them, and doing everything possible to support them, so they continue to thrive.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

I feel we should focus on collaboration, not necessarily amalgamation. And to reduce costs and increase service where we can. We already work closely with the district on our policing and fire services, supporting each other and cost sharing. I will continue to work with city and district councils to explore ways to optimize service while keeping costs in check.

Website/social media contacts:
hollyback.ca
facebook.com/HollyBackNV 
twitter.com/HollyBackNV

DonBellCNV

Name: Don Bell (incumbent)

Age: 80

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: councillor

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Former alderman/councillor and mayor for District of North Vancouver; former North Van school board tustee and board chair; former vice-chair of GVRD; former North Vancouver Member of Parliament; currently, City of North Van councillor for three terms.

What are your priorities if elected?

Slow development to ensure needed infrastructure and services; traffic congestion and parking; better transit; truly affordable housing; improve parks, sport fields; tree protection; climate change; better public consultation.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Pursue zero emissions in new buildings with better insulation, heat pumps and air conditioning. I proposed the city’s first tree protection bylaw which needs strengthening, and continue to plant new trees. Continue changing city vehicles and maintenance equipment to electric power to reduce pollution and noise. Encourage active forms of transportation as alternatives for those who do not need or want to use drive a gas-powered car. Recognize the car industry is shifting to electric vehicles and encourage convenient EV charging facilities in new buildings and in convenient public locations.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

The housing crisis is national, provincial and at the local level.  The costs to address it are enormous and senior levels of government must play a key funding role. Many city workers cannot afford to live on the North Shore and must choose to live in other Lower Mainland areas which adds to our commuting, traffic and parking problems. We must encourage older, purpose-built rental buildings owners to maintain what currently provides true affordable housing for many residents. We must also encourage new rental, non-profit and co-op housing, and rent-to-own options instead of expensive condos.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Addressing traffic congestion, lack of parking, increasing transit and providing safe, practical provision for bikes, accessibility scooters and pedestrians remain top priorities. The INSTPP (Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project) finally convinced senior governments, including TransLink, that the North Shore has had and still has a serious transportation problem.  Improved forms of RapidBus are coming, but in the short term we need increased bus service and SeaBus service. We must bring the bus depot for our North Vancouver buses back to the North Shore from Burnaby.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Small business is a major source of jobs, needed services and products. Rising land values, high rents and COVID-19 have threatened their survival. I support fair property taxes for small business and oppose the unfair way empty air space above many small businesses is appraised for taxation. I support help for restaurants and food outlets during COVID. Wider, improved sidewalks and street landscapes are intended to attract more shoppers to areas like Lower and Central Lonsdale. I support BIA business associations.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Any final decision on amalgamation will be decided by voters, not councils. I believe the pros and cons of amalgamation should be the subject of a joint city/district study by an independent body. A careful analysis of the cost implications for taxpayers, as well as any resulting changes or improvements in quality and efficiency of services provided, is necessary to provide residents of both communities with factual information to consider. Any final decision regarding amalgamation would require approval of voters in both communities.

Website/social media contacts:
donbell.ca

AnnaBoltenkoCNV

Name: Anna Boltenko

Age: 36

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: Education program co-ordinator, research and municipal policy developer.

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

CNV Social Planning Advisory Committee member; North Shore Young Civic Forum mentor and co-facilitator; Neighbourhood Small Grants North Vancouver committee member; CEO North Vancouver Federal Green Party EDA.

What are your priorities if elected?

A genuine green city; people-centred planning and decisions making; a robust and strong local economy; practical transportation solutions; a complete and resilient city; real affordable housing.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Immediately declare a climate emergency. 490 Canadian cities have done so, including the DNV and the DWV. The City of North Vancouver didn't. Ask council to amend the tree bylaw to include single-family and duplex zones. Support the work to finish climate and environment strategy that includes a pathway to zero emissions by 2050. Propose that council joins West Coast Environmental Law's campaign to sue Big Oil.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Define "affordable rental housing" as housing that costs 30 per cent or less of your area's monthly median household pre-tax income. Use UBC's Housing Assessment Resource Tools to determine how many new affordable housing units are required in the city. Update building codes to promote more innovative housing and low cost development. Encourage transit-oriented development. Support job growth near affordable housing supply and transit corridors.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Prioritize projects that serve disproportionately impacted communities that have historically had fewer transportation options. Redesign residential streets so that vehicles are treated as guests and naturally move at a slower speed, giving streets back to their residents. Work with cycling coalitions, pedestrian coalitions, neighbouring municipalities, and BC Transit to create 15-minute neighbourhoods where people can walk to amenities and public transit safely and easily.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Continue collaboration with local BIAs, chambers of commerce, and independent small businesses. Promote "think local first" and "buy local when you can" campaigns and initiatives. Buying from an independent, locally owned business create a deeper sense of connection between producers, consumers, and the place in which the product is produced. Investigate the opportunity to invest in a workforce training and placement programs that target fields the city would like to grow in.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Separated over a century ago, the city has developed its own character and unique flavour. I’m open to looking for the ways to improve planning and operational collaboration, but as of now I see the lack of evidence that our residents will benefit from merging the municipalities.

Website/social media contacts:
boltenko4northvancouver.ca 
facebook.com/Anna Boltenko for North Vancouver
twitter.com/annaboltenko 
linkedIn.com/Anna Boltenko

JeremyCatoCNV

Name: Jeremy Cato

Age: 64

What neighborhood do you live in? Lower Lonsdale

Occupation: writer/editor/broadcaster

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Community broadcaster (The North Shore with Jeremy Cato). Little league coach.

What are your priorities if elected?

Smart development management. Currently, we have development chaos in CNV. Fight for our fair share of transit billions. Government transparency. Green spaces. Safety and well-being of everyone.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Transportation is the #1 source of GHG. We must find effective ways to transition drivers to other forms of transportation to reduce carbon footprint. Biking/rolling are vital, but big gains will come from light rail/Skytrain connections – the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit (BIRT) initiative is a starting point. We need other public transit solutions, locally. Move quickly to expand EV charging infrastructure, including retrofitting older buildings. Champion green spaces (minimum 30 per cent CNV green canopy). Champion energy-efficient development (solar) and energy efficient construction.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Local development decisions made locally. Implement efficient and transparent development approval process. Require deep consultation with residents affected by developments. End the zombie fallacy that transit comes after development. Not true. Recognize housing and transit issues are intertwined. Fixing transit supports housing. Put CNV’s $633 surplus to work supporting creative housing initiatives, such as robust rent-to-own programs. Drive greater efficiencies in CNV operations to achieve 0% tax increases. 8. Promote mixed housing development -- market and other.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Gridlock is largely the result of poorly-managed development and a lack of will on the part of elected officials to fight for the North Shore's fair share of transit billions. I'm an advocate for smart development and transit options that deliver viable alternatives to personal use vehicles. Let's maintain the existing road network, now for the most part effectively shared with cycling/rolling alternatives, along with robust thoroughfares for walking and other mobility options. CNV to create parking hubs that give vehicle users safe places to get out and walk, taking pressure off roadways. 

What should the municipality do to support small business?

The current city government pays lip service to economic development, allegedly a "strategic pillar." Small businesses want low taxes, efficient government (e.g., permitting) and, transportation infrastructure to support the movement of people and goods. A healthy business development environment calls for effective transit. Let's incentivize initiatives for low-carbon businesses/industries. We can do better at bringing good-paying jobs to CNV with a greater focus on creating the proper environment for healthy economic development. 

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Tough question, an emotional one in CNV and DNV. I do not believe it's possible to amalgamate the City and the District without stirring divisiveness and rancor at this time. We've had enough of a CNV government that divides, not unites. What we can do is formally establish lines of communication and co-ordination on development, safety and transportation matters. Right now, CNV and DNV do a poor to mediocre job of aligning ambitions, goals and plans where it makes complete sense to do so. I would advocate a joint CNV/DNV committee to assure both administrations co-ordinate efficiently on development, transportation and safety matters.

Website/social media contacts:
cato4council.ca
facebook.com/jeremycatoforcouncil
twitter.com/cato4council

AngelaGirardCNV

Name: Angela Girard (incumbent)

Age: 50

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: city councillor / contract investigator / contract administrator

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

CNV4Me Child & Youth Task Force, CNV’s social planning advisory committee, CNV's advisory design panel, commissioner - North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission, alternate director - Board of Metro Vancouver, board member - LGV Housing Society.

What are your priorities if elected?

Expand transit and mobility options to reduce traffic. Build affordable housing targeted for those who need it. Establish actions to reduce carbon to net-zero and build climate resiliency. Create more child-care spaces.

What is your plan for local climate action?

To create a healthy, low-carbon city that is resilient to a changing climate, and ensure long-term sustainability, we need to cut the city’s carbon pollution to achieve net-zero carbon pollution by 2050. We need to implement the city’s draft climate and environment strategy which outlines carbon reducing actions to net-zero, including: accelerating low-carbon building retrofits; diverting demolition waste; transitioning to construction of net-zero buildings and zero-emission vehicles; reducing waste and transitioning to a circular economy; expanding our urban forest and urban agriculture.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

To increase housing affordability, we need to: advocate for the federal government to remove GST on new rental properties to reduce rents; implement an alternative approval process whereby residents have meaningful input earlier, and before significant development costs are incurred (increasing housing costs); increase mid-market rentals and secure funding from senior governments for below-market housing; build rent-to-own for middle-income earners who may lack equity; rezone single-family properties for duplexing to allow these and coach houses to be stratified so families can age in place.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

With strong jobs growth, people are commuting here daily, causing major pinch-points on road networks during rush hour. North Shore Connects (partnership of all North Shore governments) must continue to: push to complete the Burrard Inlet Rapid Transit to give commuters a viable alternative; evaluate extending the Lower-Level Road as a secondary east-west connector; seek long-term solutions for Highway 1 between Lynn Valley Road and ferry terminals with federal funding. We must improve neighbourhood street safety to give residents alternative, sustainable mobility options for making shorter trips.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Having established a strata management brokerage, I appreciate the pressures on small business. Where increases in property taxes are passed down to commercial tenants via the triple net lease, we need to advocate for the Province to change how Class 6 properties are valuated to reduce this tax burden on businesses. We need to: reduce barriers by streamlining city processes; support further development of economic districts; expand local BIAs; and increase tourism by promoting the city’s cultural precinct and creating destination festivals.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

The city is urban compact, with amenities within walking distance and a high proportion of its residents living in multi-family housing, many renting. The district is larger and town-centred, with a greater percentage of its residents living in houses they own. While our municipalities have shared priorities (i.e. transportation, policing, recreation & culture, etc.), these are successfully managed through local government collaboration and shared commissions and agencies funded proportionately by each. Amalgamation would bring little benefit to city residents, especially when the city budgets sufficient reserves for major infrastructure upgrades with historically lower taxes than the district.

Website/social media contacts:
angelagirard.ca
linkedin.com/in/angelagirard-northvan
facebook.com/girard.northvan
instagram.com/angelagirard.northvan

MeAnLecasteCNV

Name: Me-An Laceste

Age: 57

What neighbourhood do you live in? Lower Lonsdale

Occupation: insurance advisor, business owner

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

The Singing Nannies (North Shore Christmas Bureau); The Cooking Nannies (Children's Organ Transplant Society of BC) and Zumba (Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society); volunteer for BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, poetry writing, social connection events.

What are your priorities if elected?

Address safety concerns of some neighbourhoods, for example, street lighting in dimly lit areas, speed bumps that truly slows motorists, and community policing to hinder car break-ins, speeders, and minor offences.

What is your plan for local climate action?

I have seen recyclable items and compostables being thrown in the garbage and as a proponent of recycling, this makes me cringe. Let’s reinforce the programs on reusing, reducing, recycling and composting and bring to everyone’s attention the benefits of doing so. This might not be a lofty ideal for climate action but if the whole city population gets involved, that’s 52,900 (as of 2016) strong and will surely make a difference. Explore other ideas that can be easily implemented by day-to-day people while simultaneously working with existing climate action programs.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Look into, as per residents' suggestion, expediting building permits for laneway houses because getting it after two years is a lot of lost time and opportunity for housing individuals and/or families. Look after and support existing rental accommodations so they’re not vulnerable to developers. Renters leaving their homes due to new developments are faced with availability and affordability problems. Each time they move, the rent goes higher and are then faced with other challenges: get another job or move to another city with affordable rental housing. Look into ongoing and future projects.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

As per suggestions from the residents: increased the sailing frequency of the SeaBus, add more bus stops (some stops were closed which made for a long walk to get to the next one posing some mobility problems for some people), and add more bus schedules. With these, and lowering fares, residents may opt to use the public transportation more. A look at other means to help ease our congested roads like bringing SkyTrain to North Vancouver or building another bridge. This will be a huge task and a very concerted effort.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Businesses have common problems and also have challenges specific to them. Have regular meetings with the council to hear their pressing issues and concerns and brainstorm together to find solutions that can be implemented. Most of the time, businesses have already identified the solutions to their challenges but are needing support to put them into effect. We need to be active partners with our business community because the more they thrive, the more successful they become, and the more our city benefits.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

I will work with both councils and the residents to make a decision which benefits North Vancouver.

Website/social media contacts:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100084039991707

MaxLaiCNV

Name: Maxwell L. Lai

Age: 28

What neighbourhood do you live in? Moodyville

Occupation: lifeguard / instructor

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

DNV community service advisory committee (2019-2021); CNV integrated transportation committee (2020-present); volunteered for federal NDP as research analyst for Justine Bell (2019) and Tammy Bentz (2021).

What are your priorities if elected?

Ensure adequate, affordable housing inventory for all, proactive transportation solutions to deal with traffic, recreation services serving both current and future needs, enhance business community communication.

What is your plan for local climate action?

All policy affects our environment. City council needs to ensure that the city's draft climate and environment strategy have specific goals to tackle our climate crisis with actionable strategies that can be measured to keep council accountable. I would advocate for a climate and environment strategy to set bars for what we want to see in the next four, eight, 12 years. For example: Within the first four years, I want to endorse a green energy program (similar to City of Nanaimo) allowing homeowners to get financial help to pay for green energy technology like rooftop solar panelling.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Municipal policy must focus on who we are building for and what we are building for. It is the council’s purview to ensure adequate, affordable housing inventory for all. Knowing who and what we are building for guides council on deciding zoning new developments. One way to do this is by expanding the current mid-market rental policy. The current council policy only applies this kind of housing to rental developments that are seeking a density bonus. A policy change needs to occur that ensures that this type of housing stock is built and made available in all rental buildings.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Planning for and around our current obstacles is how we should deal with our traffic needs as current policy should not be dealing with traffic needs when it becomes prevalent. We need to address the limited east-west travel routes, creating a safer atmosphere for bikes, exploring and bringing forward transit alternatives like the viability of light rail to ensuring local infrastructure meets TransLink’s vision of Bus Rapid Transit. To ensure accountability, a yearly "Traffic Needs" study ensures that our goals and strategies are being met within our mobility strategy.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Rising housing and rental costs means a majority of our work force cannot reasonably live on the North Shore and are forced to drive through the North Shore’s poor transportation infrastructure. I want to advocate for policies that continuously enhance communication and transparency towards our business community, such as balancing businesses’ need for housing and ensuring investment of rapid transit options on the North Shore, ensuring the protection of our employment / industrial lands, to streamlining the acquisition of a business licence.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Being born and raised on the North Shore, I have lived in both District and City of North Vancouver. I will always see North Vancouver as one community, but I do understand that there are concerns on the issue of amalgamation. I would not be opposed to a research study on the issue of amalgamation as I am interested to learn about what are the costs and benefits of amalgamation for the two North Vancouvers, while also investigating the concerns of residents might have about amalgamation.

Website/social media contacts:
maxlai.ca
twitter.com/maxlaiNV
facebook.com/MaxLaiNV

KathyMcGreneraCNV

Name: Kathy McGrenera

Age: 63

What neighbourhood do you live in? Lower Lonsdale

Occupation: group facilitator

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Team member that guided a co-housing project through all city processes to successful completion.

What are your priorities if elected?

My priorities: non-market housing for rental and ownership; transportation choices; decisions through a climate lens; further connection with the Squamish Nation; supporting small business; green space; and child-care needs.

What is your plan for local climate action?

The City of North Vancouver is fortunate to have experienced climate activist Jessica McIlroy on council currently. We have clear emissions targets and a Climate and Environment task force. I am enthusiastic to work alongside Jessica, the task force and local climate action groups to better understand what is needed locally and potential actions. I would be interested to hopefully collaborate and support their work on climate issues wherever possible. 

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Part of addressing the North Shore transportation issues is making sure that we have housing for our work force. We also need housing types that meet the needs of all current and future citizens. I have been integral to the creation of three successful co-housing projects providing 71 varied homes, with 13 of those units being non-market home ownership or rental units. I have also advised on the first Kiwanis multi-family affordable rental building in West Vancouver soon under construction. I will bring this experience to council to create more collaborative affordable housing in our city.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

I enthusiastically support the North Shore Connects unique partnership between the City of North Vancouver, districts of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, and the Squamish and Tseil-Waututh Nations as they work together to implement the recommendations of the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project. I support all their priorities for a Burrard Inlet rapid transit line, long term road/highway improvements helping to address congestion, growing the e-bike share program and expanding our sidewalk and protected bike lane networks to provide transportation choices for all ages.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

I was formerly a small business owner in the City of North Van, but I need to update my knowledge on current small business needs. I look forward to learning from and working with current council member Holly Back, an experienced small business owner, the North Van Chamber of Commerce, the Lower Lonsdale Business Improvement Association and any other relevant groups to better understand the needs of small business owners in the city in order to effectively support them.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Amalgamation sounds promising, but my research indicates the city would not benefit. Maintaining current services in the two areas would level out most cost savings. In our smaller city, we can focus on being a complete community with services/businesses/amenities close to homes; whereas attending to the needs of many large distinct areas in addition would be challenging. The Shipyards district, for example, could not likely have been created in such a thinly spread entity. I fully support continuing collaboration of both North Vans with transportation solutions, recreation commission, etc.

Website/social media contacts:

www.kathymcgrenera.ca

JessicaMcIlroyCNV

Name: Jessica McIlroy (incumbent)

Age: 44

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: city councillor

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

One-term councillor, including the roles on city library board of trustee, North Van Arts board, Metro Vancouver climate action committee, Lower Mainland Local Government Association executive, and BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council

What are your priorities if elected?

Complete the climate and environment strategy, plans to support the development of compact, complete communities with diverse housing and mobility options, and increase equitable and accessible public spaces and services.

What is your plan for local climate action?

First, to adopt the new climate and environment strategy. The strategy provides direction and action around ecosystem health as well as climate resiliency. This includes mitigation and adaptation measures. The city has set the goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050, which will require energy system decarbonization in buildings and vehicles, as well as individual and system behaviour shifts. The city must also ensure that social and physical infrastructure is resilient to the impacts of climate change, which are no longer an issue of the future.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Local governments need to continue to find ways to support the development of a diverse mix of housing, to ensure there is a strong supply of all housing types present in the community. This can include changing the rezoning, permitting, and CAC and DCC requirements for non-profit and co-op housing, and using tools to expedite rentals and infill housing. We must also continue to advocate to other levels of government for financial support, and work with organizational partners to build non-market housing that addresses the needs of all community members.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

I support North Shore Connects and collaboration between governments for improved transportation options. I also support the priorities proposed by TransLink, including the implementation of bus rapid transit from Metrotown to Park Royal within five years. Within the city, we must continue to expand active transportation and micro-mobility infrastructure and support community members in becoming multi-modal. Our transportation planning is directly linked to land use planning and efforts must continue to have communities designed in a way to decrease the need for commuting and vehicle trips.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

The city is in the process of completing an economic investment strategy, which needs to be completed and adopted by council. To support small business, the plans must include reviewing licensing and permitting processes, supporting economic districts and business improvement areas, and enhancing public spaces in order to improve resident experiences and attract tourists. Land use planning must also allow for retail and commercial spaces throughout the city, with encouragement for mix-used developments and small businesses in residential areas.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

No answer provided.

Website/social media contacts:
jessicamcilroy.com
twitter.com/jessicamcilroy
instagram.com/jessmcilroy
facebook.com/CouncillorJessicaMcIlroy

RonPollyCNV

Name: Ron Polly

Age: 64

What neighbourhood do you live in? Hamilton Heights

Occupation: self-employed

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Parks and environment committee; coach house committee; mayor and council remuneration committee; early public input committee; Mosquito Creek Stewardship Society; various animal rescue groups on the North Shore.

What are your priorities if elected?

A park on city-owned lands on 100 block East First Street. Match growth with infrastructure, hospital and school capacities. Work with DNV on animal shelter.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Preservation and addition of parks and green spaces to offset GHGs. New developments must include green spaces in their plans to offset building emissions and heat they give off. Work towards improving our tree canopies in the urban core. In the past four years our ratio of parks and green spaces to population has shrunk by 30 per cent. My plan is to reverse this trend. Work with BC Transit and the other municipalities to reduce traffic congestion contributing to GHGs.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

Supply and affordability are the key issues. There is no use adding to density if it is not affordable. I would like to work with co-housing groups to turn renters into owners to cut out the developer in the equation to bring costs down. Also look at the supply of affordable housing for seniors that include life care and palliative care in place.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Work with all levels of government and our neighbours to get our fair share of transit funding to improve transportation on the North Shore. Encourage alternate modes of transportation while at the same time improve streamlining vehicle movement.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Increases in property taxes ever year make a heavy burden not only on our local businesses but their customers also. Look at ways to reign in the growing CNV budget. Promote shopping local. Look at ways to increase affordable housing for employees.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

Amalgamation is not a priority for me at this time. I do believe the two North Vancouver municipalities can do a far better job in communication and sharing responsibilities in regards to growth, transportation, inflation and our hospital capacity.

Website/social media contacts: 
facebook.com/Ron Polly

ShervinShahriariCNV

Name: Shervin Shahriari

Age: 56

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: Langara College business and project management instructor

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

Chair and trustee, City Library Board (2010 – 2016); chair and commissioner, Museum & Archives Commission (2002 – 2009); author, North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Neighbourhood (2009). I have lived in North Vancouver for 38 years.

What are your priorities if elected?

Reduce traffic and pollution by prioritizing workforce affordable housing, increase transit, increase the number of doctors and long-term care facilities, support displaced renters.

What is your plan for local climate action?

I will push for housing options for people who work in our city but cannot afford to live here, which will reduce pollution, and traffic congestion. I will develop an action plan to support businesses in reducing waste. I support energy efficient homes and buildings, urban tree planting (trees cool down our streets, naturally absorb carbon dioxide and produce clean air), protection for old healthy trees, community and rooftop gardens, and funding increases for transit service (more bus and SeaBus service). I will also advocate for more bus shelters to protect us from worsening climate.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

The city’s population growth of 9.9 per cent has outpaced metro average of 7.3 per cent. With this surge due to densification, the city’s housing crisis is worse than ever, and city’s health, transit and recreational amenity infrastructure is under increasing pressure. From 2019-2021, 60 mid-market affordable rentals were completed. None were prioritized for the workforce in that period, and we need to aim for a higher number. I will push to increase and prioritize our affordable housing stock (i.e. both purchase and rental options) for the people who work here or live here.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

Being a former senior planning manager of TransLink, I understand how transportation projects are funded. Our community needs a qualified advocate to get our fair share of transit funding from all levels of government. While I support the bus rapid transit, I will work to ensure that projects deliver on their performance targets. I will push to increase overall bus and SeaBus frequency and will advocate for the return of a bus depot to our City for disaster recovery purposes. More efficient movement of goods will follow as we increase transit services and reduce commuter traffic.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

I will push to improve affordable workforce housing, and transit options, which will, in turn, decrease traffic congestion, improve employee recruitment and retention, and will enable more efficient movement of goods for small businesses. I will advocate for consultation with small businesses before committing to any traffic and parking changes. I will work to ensure that small businesses are supported during and after major construction projects. I will advance a review of the small business taxation, with input from the business community.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

I believe it is important that we examine the factual details regarding amalgamation. I support conducting a study on amalgamation that will identify the problems we face (short term and long term) and will identify how amalgamation can solve these problems. We have the experience of other cities, and their lessons learned need to be factored in as well. However, I also don’t think we need to wait for the result of the study to make progress. I would push for joint meetings with the district councillors with the objective of working together on common issues.

Website/social media contacts:
voteshervin.ca
facebook.com/ShahriariNV
twitter.com/ShahriariNV
Instagram: directtoshervin

TonyValenteCNV

Name: Tony Valente (incumbent)

Age: 40

What neighbourhood do you live in? Lower Lonsdale

Occupation: director of risk

List your municipal and/or civic group experience:

I am currently a councillor in the City of North Vancouver, have served as acting mayor and helped on seven council-related and 10 civic committees over the past 12 years.

What are your priorities if elected?

I will prioritize housing diversity, transportation options, and great public spaces – all while acting to address the climate crisis that lies before us.

What is your plan for local climate action?

Climate change is the defining challenge before us. The city currently aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a target of net zero or a 100 per cent reduction in community-wide emissions by 2050. But, we can act faster. More changes to local bylaws will ensure tighter rules for buildings in terms of green construction methods and building operations to reduce GHG emissions. These include higher energy efficiency, water management and local food production requirements. Land use planning, enhanced public transit and active transportation are critical to reducing our carbon footprint.

What is your plan to address the housing crisis?

The city can’t solve this crisis alone, but we must act. During the last council term, I supported purpose-built rental projects, non-market co-housing and co-operative housing as well as increased protections for long-time renters. I will continue to support housing diversity for people of all incomes while helping our most vulnerable including people with disabilities, seniors and youth. We need to advance on workforce housing to ensure people who work in the city can continue to live in the city too. We can also facilitate more diverse shapes and sizes of infill housing like coach houses.

What is your plan to improve transportation on the North Shore?

The only way to address congestion is by giving people options to vehicle travel. I have supported more frequent, reliable transit. This has included more priority bus lanes and better bus shelters. Active transportation alternatives like walking, biking, and e-scooters need safe space or people will not choose these modes. The city has begun building safe mobility corridors, moving to a more complete active transportation network. I support safe mobility network expansion including improved lighting and sidewalks for pedestrians to give people safe active options.

What should the municipality do to support small business?

Many small and family-run services businesses can’t find workers and struggle to pay sky-high property taxes. Businesses are currently taxed based on the highest and best use of land which puts enormous financial pressure on owners and operators. I will advocate for changes to this overly onerous tax regime. Housing affordability links to business sustainability. We need to consider workforce housing to allow people who work here to live here.

What is your position on amalgamation of the two North Vancouvers?

The City and District of North Vancouver should collaborate more closely. However, the city has the most at stake in an amalgamation, so I want the facts. What are the financial implications for city taxpayers? We can pursue the many avenues for greater co-operation that are possible before we talk about amalgamation. Doing more together is an opportunity to save money and do some things better, like investing in regional transportation infrastructure and recreation.

Website/social media contacts:
tony@tonyvalente.ca
facebook.com/tony.valente
twitter.com/tonyvalente
instagram.com/c_tony_valente

 

Candidates for North Vancouver school board (three trustees)

DanielAndersonCNVSD45

Name: Daniel Anderson

Age: 30

What neighbourhood do you live in? Central Lonsdale

Occupation: secondary school teacher

Do you have children in the North Vancouver school system?

I am a bachelor who's raising a little Labrador retriever.

What are your priorities if elected?

Infrastructure maintenance and development, providing programs aimed at post-graduation goals, consulting stakeholders in the board's decision-making and finding ways to best support in-class learning at schools.

What is the biggest challenge facing the school district and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the board is the budget. The recent drop-off in international student enrolment during COVID combined with inflationary pressures have stretched our capacity to fund important programs for children and youth. Careful consideration of where funds will have the greatest impact on the welfare and learning of our students is essential over the next four years. Importantly, this means that the board must consider how additional funding may be secured, manage district assets prudently, and work collaboratively with local council members to grow sustainably.

What is your assessment of how schools handled learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and what should be done differently in future waves of the virus?

We now have the opportunity to retrospectively weigh and assess the impact of decisions made during the height of a global pandemic. Research indicates that unforeseen consequences emerged in response to the migration to distance education and the public health measures that accompanied these changes. These consequences included deficits in learning and a drop-off in the mental health of our student body. We ought to keep these findings top of mind as we approach this year's flu season and work to come up with responses that balance these considerations alongside the risks posed by COVID-19.

Is there any segment of the school population that is not being served as well as it could be by local schools and what should be done about it?

During my time working as an education assistant, I often took note of how individual education plans (IEPs) were partially or wholly neglected in light of understaffing or insufficient training. Many students who require additional learning supports could be better served by our education system. Historically, research has also identified many other populations that can often be overlooked by public education, including those who have recently immigrated to Canada and those facing socioeconomic challenges.

What do you see as the school district's role (if any) in providing day care options for families?

The board's mandate is to provide an exemplary public education to residents. This requires ensuring that local families are well-equipped to work while their children are attending school. By collaboratively partnering with reputable day care providers, the board can help achieve this end. One way of furthering this worthwhile goal is to allocate space for day care facilities on school properties, offer these providers access to school amenities and facilities, and to work with regulatory bodies and governments to ensure day cares are an attractive business to pursue for young entrepreneurs.

What do you see the schools' role as in promoting social justice issues?

The social issues facing our society today may not be the ones facing the next generation. That's why it is absolutely essential that we cultivate critical thinking skills in our youth so that they are well-equipped to think-through any challenge that might present itself. As a researcher who has attempted to tackle this topic over the last five years, I have concluded that the best thing that we can do is to teach youth how to think creatively, collaboratively, and critically: working effectively with those who see the world differently to help improve everyone's plight in society.

Website/social media contacts:
danielanderson.ca

JullianKolsteeCNVSD45

Name: Jullian Kolstee

Age: 31

What neighbourhood do you live in? Marine Hamilton

Occupation: culture and development strategist, actor, improvisor, instructor

Do you have children in the North Vancouver school system? no

What are your priorities if elected?

Like all trustees, my primary responsibilities will be good governance, financial stewardship, and supporting student achievement. The health and well-being of students is of particular priority for me.

What is the biggest challenge facing the school district and how would you address it?

The pace and localization of development in North Vancouver continues to present challenges for the school district. Forecasting the management of capital assets will be key.

What is your assessment of how schools handled learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and what should be done differently in future waves of the virus?

I commend the efforts of all stakeholders in managing the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19. What should be done differently for future waves, or new pandemics, is to improve contingency planning before it occurs. We have a better understanding today of what is possible, and how to respond.

Is there any segment of the school population that is not being served as well as it could be by local schools and what should be done about it? 

Indigenous students have been historically underserved, and one way we can better serve them is by bringing more Indigenous voices to every level of decision making. This can be done intentionally through consultation, advocacy, and employment opportunities.

What do you see as the school district's role (if any) in providing day care options for families?

We have an opportunity to engage with community partners in making day care accessible, including through the use of district spaces.

What do you see the schools' role as in promoting social justice issues?

I fundamentally believe public education inherently includes civics. We are educating citizens, not clients.

Website/social media contacts: 
jkolstee.com
facebook.com/julliankolstee
instagram.com/jkolstee
twitter.com/jkolstee

LailaniTumanengCNVSD45

Name: Lailani Tumaneng

Age: 53

What neighbourhood do you live in? Hamilton

Occupation: registered nurse

Do you have children in the North Vancouver school system? none. adults now.

What are your priorities if elected?

Safety in the school, teachers shortage, lessons from the pandemic, the decisions that are made, did it served the students well? After school programs, do we have enough programs after school that can help the students?

What is the biggest challenge facing the school district and how would you address it?

Before the pandemic we are pre-occupied with social media, children and adults alike. Now violence in school is on the rise, shortage of teachers and support staff in school. We need to go back to basics, we need to listen and communicate. Let's hear and give validation that these two challenges go hand in hand and are still a problem. We need to have frequent meetings, get in touch. Let's work together to give students a safe place to learn and grow. Retired teachers, we can invite them back to work. Invite students for practicum.

What is your assessment of how schools handled learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and what should be done differently in future waves of the virus?

The first thing will be prevention, everyone should wear masks, sanitation (cleanliness in schools), the students and staff with health issues will be studying or working from home so, school can continue, then again we have to think of child care. But the first defence is prevention: wearing mask.

Is there any segment of the school population that is not being served as well as it could be by local schools and what should be done about it?

Because of this shortage of staff, all segments of the school system is not being served well. The ratio of students, teachers, support staff, allied staff and administration needs to be reviewed yearly to see if it still serves its purpose for the students’ learning and well-being.

What do you see as the school district's role (if any) in providing day care options for families?

The school district's role will be advocating for options for child care policies and regulations. Work collaboratively with teachers and work collaboratively with Ministry of Children and Family Development.

What do you see the schools' role as in promoting social justice issues? 

The schools role in promoting social justice issues is to educate the students about social justice issues in Canada and other countries, teaching the students how to be good citizens and members of the community. Make classroom a safe place for learning and how to apply academic knowledge outside of the classroom. Teach empathy, equality and how to work collaboratively.

Website/social media contacts: 
facebook.com/Lailani4northvan
instagram.com/Lailani4northvan

AntjeWilsonCNVSD45

Name: Antje Wilson

Age: 52

What neighbourhood do you live in? Moodyville

Occupation: business owner

Do you have children in the North Vancouver school system?*

three Sutherland graduates

What are your priorities if elected?

To ensure our school board works together, listens to the community and prioritizes enriching and supporting our students to see them achieve their goals.

What is the biggest challenge facing the school district and how would you address it?

The need to balance the needs of diverse learners in a classroom is a big challenge in our public school system. The school board should continue to support our educators and student body with programs that help positive student learning outcomes.

What is your assessment of how schools handled learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and what should be done differently in future waves of the virus?

BC Public School observed public health orders and tried to offer as much in-person instruction as possible while following recommended disease prevention protocols. More suitable ventilation and HVAC installation in our schools and continued best practices in cleaning and infectious disease protocols.

Is there any segment of the school population that is not being served as well as it could be by local schools and what should be done about it?

Students have spent prolonged periods scrolling online during the pandemic, and serious gaps exist in student learning, social connections, and academic achievements. Reclaiming students' attention and having them wholly focused on a task and maintaining that focus is the challenge. Helping students build habits to focus their attention and creating a culture where students must be fully present in the classroom.

What do you see as the school district's role (if any) in providing day care options for families?

Public schools are community assets and should be used by the community. The school district partners with community groups such as the North Shore Neighbourhood House to offer out-of-school care. I support the School District's role in working with community groups that offer a variety of activities and care which are aimed at providing a safe and secure environment for children.

What do you see the schools' role as in promoting social justice issues?

The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society. It is necessary to examine our institutions and policies to ensure they are morally right and fair. The School's role is to educate students to think critically, creatively, and reflectively and be respectful of various perspectives and worldviews.

Website/social media contacts:
antjewilson.com

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