PLATFORM

"Its time for me to serve and give back to the community I have lived in almost all my life.  After years of encouragement from friends and acquaintances I look forward to giving back to the community that raised me by sitting as a member of council.  My leadership with the Test of Metal and the Squamish Triathlon along with my election to the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and all my other volunteer efforts is the foundation from which I launch this campaign."
LIST OF ISSUES
Economic Development

A significant percentage of our brightest workers drive north and south each day. The District of Squamish plays an important part in creating local jobs. This is best done in partnership with the private sector to reduce the number of vehicles flooding Highway 99.

The economic development department at Municipal Hall needs to be further empowered to continue doing the good work it has been doing. Economic development is a marathon that requires patience. The work of this department needs to be reviewed and the department needs to be held to account to ensure results are being produced. While the private sector has the greatest potential to create jobs that will reduce our reliance on commuting the economic development team at Municipal Hall must do the work required to show the business community the advantages Squamish offers as a place where business thrives.

And, an important component of economic development is getting government out of the way. A prime example of this is the length of time it takes to get a building permit in Squamish. Lengthy waits for permits turns business off. Our processes need to be refined to reduce these waits so municipal hall moves at the speed of business.

Team Work

District of Squamish Council is made up of seven individuals and those individuals need to work together with the Chief Administrative Officer to run the community.

I have seen first-hand how unproductive council meetings get when personalities conflict and the work of council becomes bogged down in petty squabbles. It is my wish that Squamish elects a diverse council with a range of skills, qualifications and knowledge. You can count on me to work with the other six members of council and the municipal staff for the good of the community.

Three basic commitments I am making:

-I'll show up

  • voters expect elected officials to attend meetings and events

-I'll listen

  • I'll hear your thoughts and do everything I can to leave you satisfied that you were authentically heard

-I'll put the community first

  • every time I vote it will be based on what I believe is best for Squamish

Housing Affordability

It is expensive here. Housing is on everyone's mind.

Simply put, demand is greater than supply. The amount of affordable housing available here is lower than the demand. The way to address this is to treat developers like partners with the knowledge that the District of Squamish gets the final say.

Let's make local government's role in the permitting process cost-effective. A review of the municipal hall process is required to determine how to reduce wait times for those who want to build.

I am an advocate for the creation of an organization similar to the Whistler Housing Authority. Such a group would advocate for employees and create cost-controlled housing to ensure the local workforce can afford to live and work in their community.

Regional Transportation

Most people immediately think of B.C. Transit when regional transportation is discussed. With Greyhound bowing out in our region this discussion has to include the private sector and the potential partnerships available to increase the number of buses moving up and down the Sea to Sky Highway.

Private sector operators have an excellent opportunity in the coming months to make a difference with this issue. Achieving the ideal transportation solutions for the region will require the cooperation of the provincial government, the regional district and our neighbouring communities to the north and the south.

I am looking forward to being part of the discussion and creating the partnerships required to promote bus services that run frequently to serve the needs of Squamish.

Environment

A quick look around Squamish tells the story of how valuable our environment is.

 

It is one of our best assets. Maintaining it as a top asset is a priority. This is done by exercising smart planning and planning growth around maximum environmental preservation. Too many wetland areas around Squamish have been filled in. This has to stop. Future development I’m involved in approving will take place outside of flood zones.

I will oppose developments that involve filling in any creeks to build new housing.

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© 2018 by  John French