District of Hope councillor candidate Q&A: Steven Patterson

District of Hope: Council candidate Q&A

Steven Patterson

Q1: What experience do you have that makes you suited to be a councillor for the District of Hope?

I have worked in local government for over 12 years. My experience includes lands administration, policy development and financial administration. I have also served on numerous local boards and the District of Hope Integrated Official Community Plan Advisory Committee.

Q2: What are the two most pressing issues facing the district? How do you plan to address them? (be specific)

Housing affordability and cannabis sales.

Diversification of new housing construction. We have mostly single-family homes being built, but there is still need for accessible and seniors housing as well as more creative housing approaches such as non-market housing and laneway homes.

I feel that all cannabis should be outside of the already overburdened healthcare system. Cannabis sales should be allowed to proceed provided there is community input into the appropriate limits around where and how it should be sold.

Q3: Many residents of Hope struggle with availability and affordability of housing and basic necessities. This is compounded by a job market with many low-paying jobs and many residents living on fixed incomes. If elected, what will you do to make Hope a place where people can live, work and play comfortably?

Good paying jobs in Hope have traditionally been tied to resource extraction. This won’t be coming back any time soon, the only way forward is to diversify and take advantage of the strengths and opportunities available to us.

Hope has a small industrial land base, and a small pool of workers compared to the Fraser Valley, so a large unionized factory is very unlikely. Hope is a good fit for clean tech, as our commercial lease rates are competitive for new startups, as well as transportation and logistics since we are a hub of four highways and two railways.

Q4: How do you plan to listen to and communicate with residents of Hope if you are elected? (be specific)

I am a big fan of in-person conversation, such as forums and informal coffee houses.

Social media tends to be more opinion-based than fact-based and people are different when behind their keyboard rather than speaking face-to-face. In fact, I have witnessed firsthand inappropriate online engagements that have spread misinformation and biased opinions, and it gets us nowhere as a community.

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