Candidate Survey Results

Candidate running for Councillor


1

 

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

Answer

The City has invested much time and money in the strategic plan to revitalize the downtown core. I believe it is the right thing to do.


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

Humans are part of the effects on our climate, but there is also evidence that the earth goes through a cyclical pattern of warming and cooling climate change.


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

No answer

Comment

Without seeing the mandate of Environment Lethbridge Council, I cannot blanket agree or disagree to a request for funding. I do however, believe, that having environmental oversight in the City is good, and in fact, it is one of Council`s priorities as stated in their approved budge t2014.


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

No answer

Comment

I support cost effective curb-side recycling. There is presently curb-side recycling provided by a Lethbridge business. I am not in favour of the City competing with local business. I am in favour of partnerships and collaboration that can benefit both.


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

Medicine Hat also has it`s own gas wells that serve the citizens of Medicine Hat by lowering utility costs.The City of Lethbridge is not gas or electric provider and it is difficult to understand how the incentive could be applied by the City independent of the utility providers. I would certainly like to entertain the opportunity.


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

Fracking is a controversial method of extracting oil and gas. I would oppose any activity that would pose an environment hazard to the citizens of Lethbridge. A Full Ban creates a policy statement over something which we have no control and a non-binding Resolution shows Council`s disapproval of provincial bodies determining local outcomes.


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

I am a strong supporter of partnerships. Sometimes the `practice`of P3`s does not allign with the theory of P3`s as I saw when the I was a Trustee with School DIstrict 51 and we were designing the West Lethbridge Centre project. Our P3 proposal, requested by the Gov. of Alberta, was rejected by the Dept. of Infrastructure because it was cost prohibitive. I believe in collaboration in all it`s forms.


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

At times. Council directs the City Manager to make the best decisions, based on good and accurate information, that is cost effective and timely and provides the services necessary. Sometimes that requires contracting out of public services.


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

Somewhat agree

Comment

I don`t believe that we can arbitrarily impose higher costs to the tax-payers of Lethbridge because of a blanket buy-local policy. It is preferable, because it is important to me to support our local economy but sometimes it is simply cost prohibitive or unavailable.


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

It is the responsibility of members of Council to advocate on behalf of it`s citizens, whether locally, provincially or federally. I had an opportunity to do that as a member of TEAM Lethbridge that gave us access and opportunity to directly address Ministers with the issues and concerns of the City of Lethbridge. At the time, I was advocating for the Public School District and I strongly feel this kind of advocacy is beneficial for the City. As a side note, the last conversation I had with staff of the Lethbridge College, I was told that LC has revamped, readjusted and is presently hiring. That shows the kind of successful management of circumstances that Lethbridge is known for.


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

Yes I believe that the City should subsidize user fees. The City operates services at a loss to give the lowest cost possible to users. Small user fees are appropriate. I would like to see Council develop a card user program for children under the age of 10(or so). Children would receive a pass card at birth, to public facilities to encourage healthy activity and development. It is a way we can further subsidize healthy activities for youth and help develop patterns of sport/activity for future adults.


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

No answer

Comment

I don`t know what this would cost the City. That is always a factor. The City of Lethbridge, together with the School Districts are the largest employers in Lethbridge. I would have to see the facts and figures.


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 is not an either/or question. It is Council`s mandate to make sound decisions that will benefit the City of Lethbridge into the future. That being said, knowing that Lethbridge is growing, we cannot abandon building infrastructure and shoring up old facilities that are required to accommodate growth. We know that Lethbridge is growing, we also know that as we grow, we must to cognizant of balancing the needs of people and families with the structural integrity of our infrastructure.


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

Crossings Ice Complex

Comment

I don`t like to answer hypothetical questions because they are a false indicator. All of these projects will bring value to the City. It is the process of accessing other sources of funding that determines the viability of any project, when the proportional allotment by the City`s budget does not cover the cost of the project. An excellent example of this is the Skate Park.


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 understand full well the desire to have a complete Family Leisure Centre in Lethbridge. Projects are phased to allow for progression in more than one area of development. Unfortunately, sometimes the phasing process creates cost overruns not anticipated.Of course, I would like to see the completion of the project, but there are pressures in the needs of existing structures and facilities that cannot be ignored.


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

I don`t think we needed a commissioned report to figure that out. It has been a concern in Lethbridge for years. There are many factors that might have impacted this situation; growth patterns, strategic Master Plans; accessing levels of funding,relegated level of importance. Council`s recognition and the desire to balance this deficit in a steady and prudent manner on behalf of the citizens of Lethbridge is the way to rectify this


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

Service provision for Status First Nations' is the mandate of the Federal Government. The Blood Reserve Chief and Council have provincial MOA's in place that clearly give jurisdiction of Childrens' Services to the tribe. The desire on behalf of Chief and Council is to have Education, Justice and PDD also under reserve jurisdiction. The difficulty is cost. and also the transient nature of some urban First Nations that does not allow for consistent service delivery. Which services are you referring to in this question?


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

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

Comment

Not at this time


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

To enact a bylaw requires expenditure to see it happen. The City is in the process of ensuring disabled access but some old buildings are very difficult to modify.


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

Vibrant downtown, Frequent and accessible public transportation, Affordable and plentiful family recreational and leisure opportunities, Promotion of Lethbridge as a “City of Choice” for skilled workers, Reduced business licensing costs

Comment

No comment.



Candidate Details

Two term public school trustee Lea Switzer has announced she's running for a spot on Council. Switzer has extensive volunteer experience in the city and is known for her work in education and governance. She feels there's a significant public concern with large capital projects in Lethbridge and says there's a fine line between the city building for the future and the public's perception of future development impacting the cost of the living.