Candidate Survey Results

Candidate running for Councillor


1

 

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

Answer

Revitalization, with the DBRZ and Heart of the City Committee have played an integral part of the growth and renewing of the downtown community. An evolving master plan and effort can continue this trend. I have attended several functions in the core and have been very impressed with the vitality and energy of the downtown core. I fully support this concept and the groups.


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

There is too much uncertainty around this issue and it has become a political football. We all have an impact on the environment and as such need to be more prudent as to what is being emitted into the air.


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

Possibly establish a non profit and with solicitation of donations and contributions from the private sector to provide information and education to the citizens. We have Federal and Provincial Regulations plus internal environmental controls at the Municipal Level. I am open to reviewing any presentation brought before the CIC or Council.


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

Disagree

Comment

With a large percentage of those surveyed (86%) satisfied with the cities efforts to protect the environment this could be an education issue. We have just spent millions on three recycling centers. Therefore I foresee a good solid education program sent out with City utility bills, tax bills and general information bulletins would be of great benefit. A time out is needed to see how this works. Currently private companies are providing a good service. I have spoken to several families who use private recycling and they are very satisfied with the price and service. Further should they wish they can cancel the service at any time and take their recyclables to the existing City facilities. At this point I believe the City should monitor the programs in place and not directly compete with the private sector.


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

I believe that a program such as Medicine Hats would be worthwhile looking into if it assists in home improvements to reduce utility costs and encouraging residents, businesses and the City to to reduce their emissions. However we must bear in mind that Medicine Hat has its own gas utility. The Medicine Hat Gas Utility is one of the top 50 largest producing companies in Canada.


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 do not support fracking within the City limits and I will actively support the resolution of Council. This is however the jurisdiction of the Alberta Energy Regulator. There is nothing we can do legislatively to stop this. I support a group who wishes to actively lobby the government to have all drilling related information provided on a timely basis with respect to this operation; permits, emergency plans,shipping methods, waste disposals, chemicals used,(in the event of fracking) depths drilled, water used, personnel on site (safety certifications, employee qualifications, etc. and with a regular update required to the City.


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

They allow projects to proceed on an accelerated schedule as not all funding comes from government levels.


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 answer

Comment

Generally speaking, should this issue come before Council, a fair and reasonable review of all sides should be conducted.


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

Strongly agree

Comment

I feel strongly about buying local and supporting our economy, however, there is a need to remain competitive. People tend to go where they can obtain the best value for their dollar whether local, Calgary, the U.S., or elsewhere and therefore we do need to remain competitive.


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

By using whatever methods and avenues that are available to municipal council in lobbying the level(s) of Government responsible for the reductions. Closures and reductions affect all the citizens of Lethbridge on some level and we need to be very cognizant of services and job losses.


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

I would consider a better user price structure for your mentioned groups. User fees recover a percentage of operating costs. User fees, or higher taxes, to recover full costs of operation and maintenance. It is a difficult choice. Whether one uses the facilities or not there is a level of tax supported funding.


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 is the Federal Government while Living Wage is a concept and is not currently under any legislation. They are both worthy of discussion at the Municipal level and with discussion Municipal Government can always provide support if required.


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

Investing additional funds to accommodate future growth

Comment

This was orginally the concept of the pay as you go program. A small add on to residential/commercial tax each year with funds to go to a specific project. Full explanation to taxpayers at the time.


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

These are all needed facilities or upgrades. To pick a winner is a lose/lose situation. Models are in place for the Exhibition and the Performing Arts Center. Let those play out. The Crossings Ice Center has already broken ground and should be off the radar for this survey.


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

My commitment would be to encourage the Play Local Group to do what the Exhibition and the Arts Group have done. Form an organization, raise funds and come back to the City with the results of their initiatives and possibly receive a letter of commitment for funding from the City as per the $10 million letter to the Performing Arts Center, the $25 million letter to the Exhibition with funding dependent on meeting certain conditions.


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

From the Master Plan:Three-quarters (75%) of city households are either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the availability of cultural programs and services currently offered in Lethbridge. Approximately three-quarters (74%) of households are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied”with the availability of recreational programs and services. However it appear from spending versus population growth that spending may not have been necessarily spent on recreation facilities. This warrants review. City population has grown and as such we also need to keep up with our recreation facilities and meet the needs.


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

These problems could be solved by making all services in each location available to Status holders whether they live in Lethbridge or on reserve. This should not be a residency issue but a Status issue. Support any initiative to remove the red tape and have accessibility smooth and unencumbered for all Status holders.


18

 

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

Answer

Unsure


19

 

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

Answer

Unsure


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

I support this initiative as it is. This is a UNESCO initiative currently funded by grants through the Human Rights Commission of Alberta. I am open to any presentation that may be brought before council to further enhance this inclusion initiative.


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

I support this issue. However, while new construction and renovations are generally not an issue for including access I see a grandfather type of clause affecting older existing buildings allowing some time for compliance.


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, Vibrant downtown, Available low-income housing, Affordable and plentiful family recreational and leisure opportunities, Other (please explain in comment box below)

Comment

Bring the commercial rate of taxes closer to a 2 to 1 one ratio with residential taxes, without raising residential rates to accommodate this. A measure of success could be achieved through the auditing of operational and CIP budgets.



Candidate Details

George McCrea has been a businessman in the city for the past 30 years. He's also served on various boards with Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Lethbridge Construction Association and Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association.