Candidate Survey Results

Candidate running for Mayor


1

 

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

Answer

I strongly believe that revitalization of downtown must continue to be a priority for our city. We need a comprehensive vision for a downtown we can be proud of. A vision that encourages more options for living downtown. We will have a healthy downtown when people stay downtown after work to shop, dine and live. High density housing needs to be a priority. I am an enthusiastic user and customer of downtown businesses. More needs to be done to promote business and use after 5 p.m. A downtown grocery store has been lacking. It is encouraging to see new businesses like Umami opening. We need to expand the concept of downtown to at least include the civic square and perhaps beyond. There are concerns about security downtown. Lots of people walking the streets is our best security. Alberta Health Services take-over of space in Lethbridge Centre has brought a great deal of employment downtown. Downtown Lethbridge and the Heart of the City activities have created a new vibrancy that we can continue to build upon.


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

Agree. There is no doubt that there is evidence global warming such as melting of glacial and polar ice. We all need to do our part to reduce our environmental footprint by thinking globally and acting locally.


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

Agree. The Environment Lethbridge Council could be useful in providing education and support to Lethbridge citizens and would be useful in promoting city environmental and sustainability initiatives. I have worked with this group in my role with the Industrial Association of Southern Alberta


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

Agree. I am prepared to examine cost effective models to implement curb side recycling and have proposed alternating garbage pick up with curb side recycling to get the program started. Everyone in our city should have the opportunity to participate and need to include multi unit residential complexes like other cities do. Recycling needs to be easily accessible to be effective. Lethbridge is one of the few cities that does not have curb side recycling and it is time to make progress on this issue.


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

Yes

Comment

Yes. I am in favour of using a variety of means to encourage utility customers to reduce consumption and generate their own electricity. We would have to examine possible funding sources to assist with the cost of the program. This issue is mentioned in my platform. Our city and its residents have to reduce our environmental footprint and become more energy independent. We need to remove the barriers to achieving this.


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

I am philosophically opposed to the use of hydraulic fracturing (in drilling for oil and gas within Lethbridge municipal limits. There may be a jurisdictional issue but we should actively discourage drilling in the city. If our provincial government has sold mineral rights to individual corporations on the parcels in question, perhaps the province should be asked to buy them back.


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

Support P3s

Comment

Our city's resources are limited and provincial money may be difficult to access. P3's may provide construction and operational employment when it might not otherwise be practical to proceed. I would support investment from creative sources in order to make projects happen sooner rather than later, especially with projects such as the proposed Leisure Centre in order to complete the project. There are now some successful projects in other Alberta communities which can serve as models of how to accomplish this.


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

Unsure

Comment

In my door to door interactions with the public, people are frustrated with delays in getting city services. We will have to examine why that is and what can be done to improve service levels. There is a feeling of frustration among the greater population that despite adequate staffing, response times and completion times are not what they should be. I will have proposals in my platform which will make it easy for residents to report issues and track progress. If issues aren't addressed in a timely way, I will ask our city council to seek solutions from the city manager, using existing budgets, staffing and resources.


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

Neither agree nor disagree While I personally adhere to that philosophy, as your mayor, my first responsibility would be to the taxpayer and I would have to ensure value for money and that a competitive environment exists.


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

The role of the mayor would be to engage with our elected federal and provincial representatives to ensure that they understand the impact of these cuts to services for Lethbridge residents and to the quality of education offered to students attending our university and college. Rising post-secondary costs increased the burden carried by students and in turn increases the burden on local social services. As our advocates, I would remind federal and provincial leaders of their responsibility to advocate for Lethbridge citizens and our interests.


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

A user fee should be charged to all users. There should be user fees for the use of city facilities and discounts for some groups such as families, seniors and students. Frequent users would continue to be rewarded with a price break using a monthly pass. Direct support could be provided to those in need.


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

Neither agree nor disagree My belief is that the government cannot pay for everything and that people need to plan and provide for their own retirement, recognizing that the CPP levels may not be significantly enhanced. CPP is a federal jurisdictional issue. To my knowledge, wages at the city of Lethbridge tend to be among the best in the city.


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

Building infrastructure and facilities to meet current needs in order to keep taxes low

Comment

While I appreciate the need for upgrading of our city facilities, it will also be important to be fiscally responsible. My philosophy is to try ensure that construction projects are well managed and then use any savings achieved to enhance them beyond the original scope of the project.


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

I have a plan to fund the Performing Arts Centre which will minimize the need for funding from the city of Lethbridge. Funding would be provided in a similar way to the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. The details are in the Q and A on my website. I will also look for creative ways to support Lethbridge Exhibition Park as well. It is a dated facility and desperately needs renewal. I have a successful record of obtaining funding in my work for the Holy Spirit School board where 9 of our 13 schools were replaced or renovated. If the city were to receive the funding it is seeking from other levels of government, this project would have to proceed as a priority. I will be an enthusiastic proponent for Exhibition Park. Like many other citizens, I am concerned that our city's leisure facilities lag behind those available elsewhere. That appears to be because the capital priorities in recent years have been ones that served our city's administration. If elected, I will ensure that projects which serve families and citizens will be priorities. Funding options will be re-examined. Windfall dollars and surpluses will be earmarked for completion of projects that improve the lives of families in Lethbridge.


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

I have promised that the interests of families and citizens will be my priority. Completion of the fieldhouse portion is a project to which I am committed..


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 far too much emphasis on capital projects which serve our city's administration. A short tour of the area west of Stafford Drive North between 2nd Ave and 4th Ave North reveals several city buildings under construction and at various stages of completion. I spoke out against this during the 2010 municipal election and at the city council meeting of Nov 29, 2010.


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

I have served on the board of the Aboriginal Housing Society where we have worked hard to provide housing to those in need. The objective is always to help and provide stability and dignity to individuals and families so they can access education and employment. We seek to change the cycle of dependence and have a solid record of success in doing so. I would seek out suggestions for improvements in other areas to achieve the same result. Issues should be specifically identified. I would work with our neighbours and other levels of government to seek solutions.


18

 

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

Answer

No answer


19

 

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

Answer

No


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

Yes

Comment

Yes. I would do all I can to promote, support and encourage inclusion. One of my priorities is to ensure there are no barriers to individual success. Our mayor must be a leader in celebrating diversity and promoting understanding. I will welcome differences as enhancements to our culture. Multiculturalism will continue to be valued and supported. I am a supporter and have attended community cultural events I would continue to support Heritage Days where there is an opportunity to showcase our cultural diversity.


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

Our physically challenged citizens must be served by our public dollars. They have every right to expect independently access our public buildings in order to conduct business and obtain services. Our municipal infrastructure must be provided and maintained in a safe way for them.


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, Vibrant downtown, Affordable and plentiful family recreational and leisure opportunities, Bikeable city, Available low-income housing

Comment

Citizens are encouraged to go to the detailed platform on my website and also to the Q and A. I found the format for responding limiting in some ares. It did not provide for creative solutions to some of the issues identified on this page. Those issues, such as the ward system, will be addressed in the Q and A on my website. Thank you for providing this service to our citizens.


Candidate Details

Building schools, fighting unfair gas prices, protecting local industry, and advocating for smart change. On top of 38 years of business experience, Chris Spearman has earned Lethbridge's trust as a true Citizen Leader. His approachable and kind-hearted nature presents you with the opportunity to really be heard.