Candidate Survey Results

Candidate running for Mayor


1

 

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

Answer

I fully support keeping Downtown Lethbridge as the destination of choice to conduct business and seek entertainment opportunities. I've worked with the BRZ for years, long before I became a councillor, support the vision of the Heart of Our City Committee, DARP, the Chamber of Commerce's various initiatives, and most importantly the hard work and investments of the downtown business owners. I also supported selling the 1st Avenue property to ensure that empty hole in such an important area of downtown is filled up with hundreds of workers and their customers and generates revenue for the downtown and the City.


2

 

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

Answer

It's complicated

Comment

We are likely contributing, not necessary to the extent the IPCC believes, and we can do our part such as dramatically reduce the amount of energy we consume in many ways including the new LED streetlight program. But more importantly, our efforts must be focused on adaptation, especially to extreme weather events, and in particular with respect to overland flooding.


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

Disagree

Comment

As much as the efforts of this group would help provide greater amounts of education and information dissemination, I cannot agree to delegate responsibility for these matters to an outside group. The environment is far too important to not have city administration and council fully engaged and ultimately responsible.


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

It's complicated

Comment

Not immediately. We are recycling at a very good rate and we need to fully implement our new centres, including getting full yard waste disposal at the northside and southside locations. Further, although we have some information about costs of a curbside program, we would have to investigate the full costs and benefits, and ensure that the public is well aware of the costs and benefits before embarking on this large of a new program. See faronellis.com for more on this later in the campaign.


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

Generally speaking I'm not in favour of providing taxpayer supported subsidies. People should be encouraged to use less energy but subsidizing new appliances and other such initiatives typically only helps those who can already afford to upgrade.


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

Non Binding Resolution

Comment

I carried the original resolution on this topic and was honored to do so. I would support a full ban but the City of Lethbridge does not have the legal authority to do so. I will work diligently as your next mayor to ensure that the provincial government is aware of our concerns and work towards having them make changes so that we would indeed have the authority to implement a full ban within our city boundaries.


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 are not a panacea. People will ultimately pay for services they use. The most recent federal P3 programs are only available for projects of a much larger nature than Lethbridge typically has in the works. So although they can in theory be used effectively to get some projects advanced sooner than they would be under normal circumstances, they have not yet become a solution that meets the needs of Lethbridge residents.


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

No

Comment

It is not necessary. Where the private sector can provide services at a lower costs, we do need to know that and work towards efficiencies in how we provide those services. But for the most part, the public services that we proved should continue to be provided by way of our public operations.


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

I would love to buy everything locally. But we are obliged to get the best cost for our residents and even if we were willing to pay a higher costs, on most large purchases, tenders, etc., we are not allowed to discriminate against non-local firms because of inter-provincial or international trade 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

The role of the municipal government is to ensure that the federal and provincial governments are acutely aware of the important roles that our public institutions play in Lethbridge and to work closely with those other levels of government to ensure that their decisions do not adversely impact those local intuitions, their clients and customers, and the businesses that support and service them.


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

Fees are necessary in order to ensure that sufficient revenue exists to support the ongoing operation of these facilities. Subsidies are in place now to ensure that all Lethbridge residents have equal access. If further subsidies are required for low-income or other groups of residents I would prefer to use means other than a differential entrance fee.


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

CPP and any living wage policies are the responsibility of other levels of government. So although I'm certainly interested in those issues, I am also interested in ensuring that the City of Lethbridge does not spend a great deal of its time and resources attempting to act in areas that are clearly outside of its jurisdiction.


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

We actually do both, but if the question implies borrowing beyond our means, I'm not in favour of that.


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 think this question needs some updating. The Crossing Ice Complex is in the process of being built. The recent council committed $25 million to a future expansion and modernization of Exhibition Park (conditional on the Ex getting the provincial and federal governments to contribute and the Ex contributing its share), so that only leaves a Preforming Arts Centre.


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

Work towards getting it done. We must remember, however, that the costs of the fully equipped fieldhouse exceeded all of the money we had to spend in the most recent capital plan. So that project will have be measured within the context of other competing demands for capital dollars.


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

The situation developed in part because we were early builders of recreation facilities throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and then again in the early 1980s on the westside. Unfortunately, time and recreational facility advancements left Lethbridge behind. I would continue with the progressive refurbishing of our existing facilities and continue to build new were capacity is needed and when it is more effective and efficient to build new as opposed to refurbish old.


17

 

Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society question:
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

Work closely with the band councils, provincial government, federal government and individual First Nations members to ensure that they get the referrals and services they are entitled to as effectively as possible.


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 answer


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

No answer

Comment

Depends on the initiatives. One of the proposed initiatives in the report was the recommendation to deny business licenses based on some questionable criteria. I don't support that. But we can always do more to stand up against racism and discrimination. Also, I would have really liked the opportunity to comment on the two previous questions as they do involve complex issues of representation.


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

It's complicated

Comment

We already do this for municipal buildings, as do our public institutions and those operated by the provincial and federal governments. Most large private sector business open to the public as do a good job at ensuring access but there is still work to be done with some smaller and medium size businesses. I would however stop short of immediately requiring all of those private businesses to make changes that may not be affordable to them at this time. With that said, I would spend considerable effort encouraging them to do so as it is simply good business to do so.


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

Low residential taxes, Reduced administration costs at City Hall, Promotion of Lethbridge as a “City of Choice” for skilled workers, Vibrant downtown, Residential waste reduction

Comment

Tough to choose just five from that list of worthy options.



Candidate Details

Faron grew up in the 1960s-’70s suburbs of south Lethbridge, learning how to play hockey on the rink his dad built behind Ellis Autodrome while he attended Gilbert Paterson school. Faron later worked after school at Ellis Auto while attending LCI and as an apprentice motor mechanic prior to studying at the University of Calgary where he graduated with a political science degree (BA ’87). He immediately enrolled at Carleton University in Ottawa where he earned his masters degree in political science (MA ’89) and then his doctorate in political science from the University of Calgary (PhD ’97).
After spending over two decades commenting on and analyzing politicians and voters, Faron successfully contested the 2010 Lethbridge City Council election for the position of Alderman. Highlights of the past three years include serving as chair of Council’s Audit Committee, Council’s representative on the Lethbridge Public Library Board, vice-chair of the Open and Effective Government committee and more recently as a Council representative on the Green Acres Foundation, among many other committee and community assignments.