Cindy Young, left, incumbent Wilfried Vicktor and Peter Robb are vying for the top political job in the District of Hope. They spoke at an Oct. 4 all candidates meeting at the Hope recreation centre. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

Hope’s mayoral candidates talk vision, infrastructure and more at all candidates meeting

Hope’s three mayoral hopefuls speak their mind ahead of Oct. 20 election

Hope’s three mayoral candidates were asked what their vision for Hope is, in a so-called ‘blue sky’ question from the chamber of commerce at an all candidates meeting held Oct. 4.

Candidate Cindy Young said she hopes to see more business in Hope, in order to keep Hope’s young people in town.

“I’m going to use the analogy, it’s just like a church. If you just have older people in a church, and there’s no young people, soon that church dies,” she said.

Incumbent Wilfried Vicktor said he’d like to see a strong level of satisfaction on the part of councillors and residents, as well as keeping Hope’s voice as strong as it has been when speaking to the provincial and federal government by being a ‘vocal and cohesive group.’

“I would love to see… that you as taxpayers have a high level of customer satisfaction, that we’ve used your dollars wisely. I think we’ve done well this term, but we can always do better,” he said.

Peter Robb, taking the ‘blue sky’ question and running with it, said he wanted to see a ‘positive and collaborative leadership team’ between the chamber of commerce and AdvantageHOPE, a homelessness program developed by HART (Homelessness Action Response Table) and the Hope and Area Transition Society which is used across the province, and finally Station House up and running.

“The former Station House site at Water and the Old Hope Princeton Way is now fully developed. It is now our new marquee, high traffic entrance to our community. A new home for the visitors centre and the museum continues to thrive,” he said.

“On a personal note, I moved into our new townhouse, got to downsize finally,” Robb added, to laughs and applause from audience members.

Mayoral candidates were allowed to share their dreams for the community, but also got into the nitty-gritty on infrastructure, business development and audience questions about secondary suites, 753 Waterworks and more at the Oct. 4 meeting. Held at the recreation centre, the event was attended by over 250 people.

On a question about aging infrastructure, Young threw her support behind purchasing the Emil Anderson property and moving district hall, the fire hall and the public works yard there.

Vicktor talked successes over the past term, including agressive investments in paving of Rupert Street, Kawkawa Lake and 6 Avenue, upgrading district hall and preparing plans for a pedestrian path to Silver Creek.

Robb blasted the current state of the visitors centre, calling it a ‘disgrace’ that the museum with 3,600 artifacts is housed in a mouldy building and the visitors centre is housed in a Britco trailer.

“What’s wrong with calling it the Nestle visitors centre?” he said, floating the idea of corporate involvement in rebuilding aging infrastructure. He also mentioned forming a historical society to keep museum artifacts safe and apply for funding.

On a question on how to deal with infrastructure to cope with higher density that the district is encouraging, Peter Robb said long-term planning is crucial.

“If you’re looking to put a suite in, we will increase your permit prices to offset the costs. And then you can go to the developers side of things and increase development cost charges to developers,” he said.

Vicktor said the district has invested in a ‘comprehensive asset management plan so that we have an inventory of all our roads, water and sewer coming on soon…We know which roads have to be replaced, when they have to be replaced, lifetimes of the different infrastructure in our community, so we can budget our finance accordingly.”

Young said coach houses are not the answer to higher density and older residents downsizing. Instead, the district should ask developers to come in and build apartments and townhouses for Hope’s aging population.

On attracting businesses other than business, Young said going to trade shows is the answer.

“I think the best thing that municipal governments can do to create jobs, is get out of the way of business,” Vicktor said, highlighting businesses like the recently-opened Mattress Recycling plant. “That’s how you create jobs in the community. If you have a lot of red tape people get bogged down, they move to a community that’s more business-friendly.”

Vicktor added it is important not to forget existing businesses, who he said supply 80 per cent of new jobs in a community.

Robb said the first step would be to bring the chamber of commerce and AdvantageHOPE boards together, to ‘resolve long-standing issues and clearly define their community roles.’

Looking at permissive tax bylaw incentives to attract light industry is another idea, as is promoting ALR land for agricultural opportunities.

“It doesn’t have to be raising chickens or pigs out in the floods there on ALR, it could be food packaging. It could be a potato chip factory. There’s lots of opportunities out there, with the land just sitting empty, it’s not even being farmed at the moment,” he said.

Residents of Hope go to the polls Saturday, Oct. 20 to elect one mayor and six councillors. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hope recreation centre at 1005 6 Avenue.


Is there more to this story?


news@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

John Morrow photo
Barn catches fire near Abbotsford airport

Fire closes Mt. Lehman Road between Marshall Road and Abbotsford International Airport

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read