|Short version *My campaing is entirely self-funded and managed. I designed, wrote and created my web site and all other material on my own, including sticking my arm out at length to take my photos. I am not and never have been a member of any political party, group or organization. I stand on my own so I don't have any interests to answer to.|
My platform is Agenda 21. By following the United Nations Charter Agenda 21 we can create a model island to help better the Planet. Agenda 21 was created because in the early 90's the world's top minds and organizations compiled extensive data and determined the world to be in crises. Canada ratified the charter and we are bound to it at a local level but have not been paying heed.
"Agenda 21 explains that population, consumption and technology are the primary driving forces of environmental change. It lays out what needs to be done to reduce wasteful and inefficient consumption patterns in some parts of the world while encouraging increased but sustainable development in others. It offers policies and programmes to achieve a sustainable balance between consumption, population and the Earths life-supporting capacity. It describes some of technologies and techniques that need to be developed to provide for human needs while carefully managing natural resources.
1. Fully adopt Agenda 21 and create policies and procedures that implement decision making tools. Currently we have no decision making criteria in place. This includes taking a full inventory of our natural and human resources and having a proper demographic study done. How can we know where we're going without proper foundation, which includes taking stock? We must become a truly responsible government.
2. Limit what comes before Council while we make our policies and procedures. This includes Cape Roger Curtis and other developments.
Once we have decision making criteria in place it take the politics out of government. A proposal either matches criteria or not.
3. Approach the Squamish Nation to ask permission to continue living on their land and steward it according to Agenda 21. The Squamish are embracing Agenda 21 and have land claims in. Going to them is a gesture of respect, but it will also help establish good relations for when their traditional lands, like Bowen Island, are reclaimed. They do not want money from municipalities so we don't have to worry about that. With the Province working hard to settle land claims, and Native Sovereignty making unprecedented gains in the courts, it would be wise to establish good relations.
4. Concentrate on using and promoting alternative building methods and materials to make truly affordable housing. This may well be the major component in granting any density increase, but that increase must be of valued proportion (lot price=density land transfer lot price). The same goes for amenities such as Arts Facilities and Recreational land/facilities. Lessen municipal costs using alternative road building and sewage methods. Promote the creation of a 'Dignity Village' here for our homeless population. Take advantage of Canada's Bill C-43 that allows grants for alternatives. Land for affordable housing may be one of the few negotiating tools a development can use for LIMITED increased density.
5. Realize that B.C. Ferries is a private corporation who's job it is to transport people and cars. We do not have to bend down to them. They are the ones who should pay for marshalling and planning, and it is up to them to meet community/municipal criteria. We can Invite competition to bring forth proposals.. The Squamish are building a port at the foot of their North Van reserve (Capilano), this may attract competition. A demographic study may prove the majority of commuters are aging baby boomers ready to retire in a few years. We may not need a bigger ferry and the infrastructure that goes along with it. We don't know much of anything until we have an inventory.
6. Take a serious look at our surplus lands acquisition and have an archeological study done to see if there are sites of value in them before we undertake any expensive planning. The surplus lands are right by where there were longhouses and across the street is a large midden (where the shells and bones were tossed). Archealogical assessmnet is mandatory under both Provincial and Federal regulations. Other evaluations such as Departments of Fisheries and Environment may be called for too, before costly plans are done .
7. It is highly doubtful Cape Roger Curtis will develop into ten acre lots and surpass the Municipality to do so. Not only would this put them in bad standing with the community, but it doesn't make sense from a development point of view considering The Cape now has competition with itself (Cowan Point) and with the King Edward Bay development. It is also unlikely they would advance with 240 lots once we set our criteria....no more game playing, we develop the standards and development matches it. In the end, development themselves will benefit from Agenda 21 as it can create lucrative markets.. With the economy and real estate bubble ready to burst there is already a glut of high end properties on the market. It pays to make your development a marketable project, and sustainabiltiy IS the market.
8. Parkland and trails are not valid bargaining tools for development. Trails and parks enhance any neighbourhood and increase their value. The municipality is left paying for the maintenance of parks and trails. A wise developer would incorporate such into their plans irregardless...they are also competing with the Sunshine Coast, Lion's Bay and other smaller communities along the Sea to Sky highway. The wealthy retirement or summer market development here are competing with other Gulf Islands and many portions of Vancouver Island. It would be foolish not to incorporate trails and not to exceed the 5% parkland norm by any developer. Wetlands are dicatated by Fisheries criteria and usualy cannot be built upon so again, this is not a bargaining tool.
9. Following Agenda 21 principles encourages business and government to promote and invest in arts, culture and heritage. This attracts a new type of tourist, the geo-tourist, who's stay is often longer and interest in the community itself as well as the environment is paramount. Stay longer = spend more money. Tourism is a clean, soft industry. We've been attracting the eco-tourist but can go beyond. National Geographic promotes sustainable communities as tourist destinations...what better and far reaching recommendation? There are also a multitude of International and National awards to strive towards.
10. Start thinking beyond ourselves and realize our place in the world. Local issues must be dealt with in a manner that lowers our impact not just on our island but this Planet. Our Municipality can encourage sustainable measures with our own awards, which would include recognition of business contribution to the arts and affordable housing. Adopting Agenda 21 puts us in place for awards, which then gives way to national and international grants for your community group, business and the municipalilty itself. You are holding back yourself, friends and neighbours by not choosing this.
If you live here because you are speculating on the market, or just want a place 'to be' without partaking in community, that is fine, no judgements are necessary. BUT if that is your reasoning and you do not partake in community, remember, community is what built this island and works hard to maintain greenspace, create the ammenities, arts, heritage and infrastructure you use and made it attractive to you in the first place. It is simply NOT FAIR to place YOUR demands on community. Our community contributers consist of on-isle artists, professionals, labourers and contractors, commuters, merchanats, clerks, homemakers, retirees and summer and part-time people.
Agenda 21 benefits all, most of all Mother Earth so we can leave a better place for our children's children. Bowen is behind on sustainability, some developing nations are ahead of us. BUT given our natural splendor and rich, diverse community, we can come together for the sake of affordance and job creation, and truly becoming a model for the world. Only the selfish would deny such opportunity.
"If you can't think with your heart, think with your pocketbook; Agenda 21 answers to both"
These changes won't take place overnight...society can only handle so much at a time, however, we can make some important moves now that would allow us to progress without burdening the community.
We CAN do this.
A vote for me is a vote for Agenda 21.