Candidate Survey Results

Candidate running for Council in 2014 by-elections


1

 

Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitilization Zone:
What is your position on Revitalization of downtown Lethbridge?

Answer

I support the vision of DBRZ and the HOC master plan to build a strong and vibrant downtown. Some great work has been done but more remains. I supported the inclusion of the 3 Ave reconstruction and streetscaping project in the Capital Improvement Plan for 2014-2023.


2

 

Greensence/SAGE/KLEW:
Human activities are contributing to global warming and climate change. Please choose from:
Agree
Disagree
It's complicated

Answer

Agree

Comment

No comment.


3

 

Greensence/SAGE/KLEW:
The Environment Lethbridge Council have requested a seed grant of $120,000/year from City Council. Would you support the City providing seed money for the Environment Lethbridge Council? Please choose:
Agree
Disagree
It's complicated

Answer

Agree

Comment

As a member of the Environment Committee of Council I worked with Environment Lethbridge to assisted them in developing their vision. With the right structure, terms of referrence, community support and clear objectives, I could support this initiative.


4

 

Greensence/SAGE/KLEW:
Do you support expanding the City's waste management plan to include curbside recycling? Please choose
Agree
Disagree
It's complicated

Answer

Agree

Comment

As a member of the Environment Council Committee I worked to move this forward, unfortunately, a motion to investigate curbside diversion options was defeated (March 5, 2012). This prompted the committee to commission an IPSOS Reid survey which demonstrated vast community support. I am committed to pursuing curbside recycling program as an option for our citizens.


5

 

Greensence/SAGE/KLEW:
Some cities, like Medicine Hat offer incentives to utility consumers to improve their homes and reduce utility use. Are you in favour of implementing a similar incentive program in Lethbridge to encourage residents, businesses, and the City itself to reduce their carbon footprint? Please choose:
Yes
No

Answer

No answer

Comment

I would require more information.


6

 

Greensence/SAGE/KLEW:
In 2012, Lethbridge City Council adopted a non-binding resolution opposing the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in drilling for oil and gas within municipal limits. Would you actively seek to enforce this resolution? Please choose:
Full Ban
Non binding resolution
No position
Support fracking

Answer

Full Ban

Comment

As a member of Council who voted in favor of this resolution I would continue to oppose drilling in urban limits. It should be noted that the City holds no authority to stop it, but as your Mayor and your advocate, I would ensure that the city's position was made clear to the proper authorities and all avenues of opposition were used.


7

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
What is your position on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and the function they serve in the future growth of the City of Lethbridge? Please choose:
Oppose P3s
No opinion
Support P3s

Answer

No answer

Comment

P3s have proven to be successful in building public community facilities. Partnerships of all kind will be important as our city grows and struggles with the increasing capital costs. That said, they are not right for all projects and this would have to be looked at with a critical eye on the impact on our local businesses.


8

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Is the contracting out of public services necessary to the operations of the City of Lethbridge? Please choose:
Yes
No
Unsure

Answer

Yes

Comment

I recognize the value of City employees and the importance of their work in delivering municipal services, however, there are instances where contracting out of services is appropriate.


9

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Buy-local or Made-in-Canada purchasing policies should be supported even if they result in higher costs. Please choose:
Strongly disagree
Somewhat disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Somewhat agree
Strongly agree

Answer

Neither agree nor disagree

Comment

This is commendable sentiment but the City is subject to provincially legislated requirements and uses a competitive bid process to procure: equipment, services, supplies, commodities, and construction. The City's procurement policies follow AIT, TILMA, NWPTA and other grant funding agreements.


10

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Closure of Federal Government service offices and reductions in Provincial funding to post-secondary education have implications to the community of Lethbridge in terms of service loss and job loss. What is your position on these closures and reductions and, as a municipal leader, what should the City’s role be when the decisions of other levels of government affect citizens of Lethbridge?

Answer

As your Mayor it would be my duty to ensure that the other levels of government are acutely aware of how their decisions affect Lethbridge. We have seen recent examples like the PSE cuts where our Mayor's voice needed to be strong and clear. It is important to note that a good Mayor is one who can successfully advocate for the City without being an adversary.


11

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
Most of our public services and facilities have a user fee but the City subsidizes the cost of the facility or service. What is your position on the subsidization of public services and facilities? Please choose from:
Users should not pay at all so that everyone can access the service.
Small user fees should be charged but I would consider waiving them for low income people, students, and seniors.
A user fee should be charged to all users.
The City should not be subsidizing someone’s hobbies or recreation.

Answer

A user fee should be charged to all users.

Comment

This would depend on the service. There are instances where a higher degree of user pay is appropriate (water rates) and where subsidization is appropriate (transit, rec services).


12

 

Lethbridge & District Labour Council:
The City of Lethbridge should endorse an expanded Canada Pension Plan strategy and implement a Living Wage policy.Please choose from:
Strongly disagree.
Somewhat disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Somewhat agree
Strongly agree

Answer

Neither agree nor disagree

Comment

The City of Lethbridge as an employer should be leading by example and offering fair wages, benefits and safe work environment. I am confident they do that.


13

 

Play Local:
Which of these approaches do you favour and explain why you favour this approach in the comment section.Please select:
Building infrastructure and facilities to meet current needs in order to keep taxes low
Investing additional funds to accommodate future growth

Answer

No answer

Comment

No comment.


14

 

Play Local:
These three projects may come up in the next community improvement plan process:
  • Performing Arts Centre
  • Developing the Exhibition Park
  • Completion of the final phase of the Crossings Ice Complex.
  • If you could only fund one of these projects which would you choose? Please explain your choice in the comment section.

Answer

No answer

Comment

All the projects are important and facilities that we are lacking in Lethbridge. The only project not identified in the CIP 2014-2023 is the final phase of the Crossings. A Convention Centre and Performing Arts Centre have a committment based on the availability of other funding. I would respect that committment.


15

 

Play Local:
During the last phase of the 2013 CIP, only the aquatic portion of the leisure centre was approved. What would be your commitment to having the final phase (the fieldhouse portion of the centre) completed?

Answer

The final phase would not be contemplated until the next CIP process (2024) and will compete with all other CIP projects and its success will be dependent on what other projects and community needs are required and how it is prioritized against those.


16

 

Play Local:
The Recreation and Culture Master Plan report commissioned by the City of Lethbridge found that Lethbridge has inadequate recreation facilities. Why do you think that this situation developed and what would you do to rectify this?

Answer

There has been a significant investment made in "corporate infrastructure" over "community infrastructure". This is why I think that we are seeing a deficit in this type of capital builds which includes rec facilities. A shift towards community project versus corporate projects may be in order.


17

 

Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society:
Many Lethbridge residents with First Nations' Status face considerable difficulty when accessing services in the City of Lethbridge. As Status holders, they are referred to support on reserve. On reserve, they are referred to services in the city as they are residents of Lethbridge. As an elected official, how would you propose to remediate these gaps in service and accessibility issues?

Answer

One of the largest growing populations is Aboriginal. Approx 60% are living in urban settings. This is a large, important and growing population in our city. The City of Lethbridge has an inclusion coordinator on staff to assist in bridging this gap. They have also invested in affordable housing. I believe that there is more that the City can do in raising cultural awareness, working together with the support services like Sik-Ooh-Kotoki and Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge, to ensure Aboriginal residents enjoy full citizenship and the city is a welcoming inclusive community for all.


18

 

Group:
On council, would you actively support the following?
Ward system for electing councillors? Please choose:
Yes
No
Unsure

Answer

No


19

 

Group:
On council, would you actively support the following?
Councillor become a full-time position? Please choose:
Yes
No
Unsure

Answer

Yes


20

 

Group:
The City of Lethbridge is a signatory to the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination. In addition to this, do you support the allocation of additional financial resources to create local initiatives that foster the city's commitment to inclusion? In the comment box please elaborate on your answer. Please choose:
Yes
No
Unsure

Answer

Unsure

Comment

I am proud of our City's committment and participation in CCMARD. It is important that our City continue their committment to ensuring our city is inclusive and available to all. I see Lethbridge as a growing, diverse, and vibrant City and inclusion plays an important role. As with any financial decision, my support for additional resources would be depended on performance measures, expected outcomes & the role of municipal government. We are blessed with many community organizations who do great work in this area we should ensure we do not duplicate but support their efforts.


21

 

Group:
Do you support a bylaw that ensures all buildings serving the public (existing, renovated and new) are physically accessible? Please elaborate on your answer in the comment section. Please choose:
Yes
No
Unsure

Answer

Yes

Comment

Last year I spent 8 hours in a wheelchair during my normal work day to ensure I understood if our city was really accessible. It was an eye opener for me. I reported my findings to City Council. I am committed to ensuring that our city is not only accessible but inclusive.


22

 

Group:
The following are some of the issues you may be asked to address on City Council. Please choose no more than your top 5 priorities.
  • Affordable and plentiful family recreational and leisure opportunities
  • Bikeable city
  • Frequent and accessible public transportation
  • Vibrant downtown
  • Available low-income housing
  • Community gardens
  • Residential waste reduction
  • Reduced administration costs at City Hall
  • Promotion of Lethbridge as a “City of Choice” for skilled workers
  • Low residential taxes
  • Reduced business licensing costs
  • No Herbicide city policy
  • Municipal Food policy
  • City operated curbside recycling
  • A third bridge to the West
  • Airport enhancement
  • Other (please explain in comment box below)

Answer

City operated curbside recycling, Airport enhancement, Vibrant downtown, Other (please explain in comment box below), Promotion of Lethbridge as a “City of Choice” for skilled workers

Comment

All of these choices are important in having a vibrant healthy city that offers quality of life that will attract and retain employees which builds and grows thriving businesses. Other - committment to Benchmarking Project and operational review of the corporation to identify areas of inefficiencies in delivering services


Candidate Details

Bridget Mearns was born in Lethbridge and graduated from Catholic Central High School. Bridget holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Lethbridge, and a French language diploma from the University of Rouen in France.

Bridget has had a varied professional career in the public service (Federal, Provincial and Municipal government), Private, and Non Profit sectors. In 2009, Bridget joined the Executive Office at Lethbridge & District Exhibition as their Development Coordinator and has recently completed the Strategic Development Plan for Exhibition Park. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Team Lethbridge.

Bridget was elected to her first term as City Councillor in 2010. She is an active member of 11* committees and chaired the Open and Effective Council Committee. In her capacity as Deputy Mayor she also chaired Finance Committee Meetings and Community Issues Committee meeting.