Dr. Moira Stilwell agrees 3-year civic terms long enough

Post by CityCaucus.com Staff in

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The approachable Dr. Moira Stilwell meets with campaign supporters Saturday morning

Last week CityCaucus.com wrote to each of the candidates vying to become leader of the BC Liberal party. So far George Abbott (via Twitter) and Christy Clark have contacted us to say they are considering filling out the urban-focused questionnaire. We have yet to hear back from either the Kevin Falcon or Mike De Jong campaign but are still hopeful they will respond prior to our Jan 15th deadline.

First off the mark however was Dr. Moira Stilwell who provided us with her response to the survey. CityCaucus.com caught up with her earlier today at a Fraser Street cafe. Unlike what you would think of someone running for Premier, Stilwell is not surrounded by dozens of handlers who manage her every waking moment. Rather, she's approachable, friendly and appears genuinely interested in hearing what people have to tell her. Best of all, she looks like she's having the time of her life.

In terms of the survey, likely the most noteworthy item is the fact she supports UBCM's decision to keep civic terms set at three years. The Province is considering extending civic terms in BC from three to four years – a move that Vision Vancouver have been lobbying hard for over the last number of months. In fact, the debate at the UBCM convention regarding this issue got pretty heated and pitted urban delegates against their rural counterparts who oppose lengthier terms. It remains unclear as to whether this or other civic election reforms will actually see the light of day before the November elections.

As for the survey response, here is what Stilwell provided to us via email earlier today:

1. Do you support an outright ban on civic parties or politicians receiving money from foreign contributors?

I share the concern about foreign contributions, but I am wondering if a ban won’t simply cause less transparency.

2. Do you support the current 3 year term for civic government or would you advocate for 4 year terms? If you support 4 year terms, would you also support introducing recall legislation for civic officials?

I think it is important to recognize that this went to a vote at UBCM. The provincial government shouldn’t be over-ruling municipal leaders on matters such as this.

3. Do you support annual financial disclosure statements for civic parties, elected officials and candidates to ensure openness and transparency with campaign financing? If so, would this support extend to continuous disclosure of campaign contributors in the final weeks leading up to a civic election campaign?

For questions 3, 4 and 5: How we govern to be as important as what we do. Which is why I believe this type of policy change needs to be a discussion started with the Union of BC Municipalities.

4. Are you in favour of placing a cap on the maximum donation allowable to a civic politician or political party?

5. Do you believe the current Freedom of Information legislation needs to be strengthened to open up City Hall to more public scrutiny?

6. Would you support a regional police force in Metro Vancouver?

There are a number of regional policing issues that need to be addressed immediately, including increased accountability and co-operation. I want to work with stakeholders and experts to figure out how to accomplish this. If it turns out that a regional police force is best, then yes.

7. Are you in favour of eliminating AirCare if those funds could be transferred directly to TransLink in order to help support improved transit?

I would want to see evidence showing that there would be a net public health and environmental benefit.

8. Will you commit to protecting the integrity of the Agricultural Land Reserve in order to reduce urban sprawl and improve access to locally grown food?

Yes, as long as we realize that protecting the integrity doesn’t mean we remain blind to possible changes that could also meet those goals.

9 Are you willing to consider new legislation and/or policies aimed directly at reducing urban sprawl?

I believe in working with local government and the UBCM to meet their goals; if this is a priority of local government, then yes.

10. Would you be prepared to fund the development of a new Metro Vancouver regional economic development strategy?

As my first campaign announcements have shown, I am committed to working with all regions to secure our economic future. More specifics to come soon!

If you want to support Dr. Moira Stilwell's campaign to become Premier, can follower her on Twitter @drmoirastilwell or check out her website by clicking here. We'll publish the response to this survey from other candidates as they arrive in our inbox.

3 Comments

I hope all candidates on both sides respond. I would at least consider not voting for anyone who did not respond! (Of course I am not a member of either party, so I don't have a vote). I don't think your questions are the right ones though. Here is my list.

1. Do you believe that BC’s municipalities need new powers to deal with changing economic, demographic and environmental conditions? Is so, what are these?
2. Does BC need a long-term plan to grow a resilient society? If so, what are the components of this plan and what role do urban centres and municipal governments have to play?
3. How would you reform municipal financing? Will you give municipalities new options for more balanced approaches to taxation?
4. How will you support and grow the cultural sector in BC? There is strong evidence that economic growth depends on having a vigorous arts and culture sector (see the research of Richard Florida for example). BC’s cities need to win on this front. How will your government grow this sector? How will you grow it in cities outside the lower mainland?
5. Economic growth also depends on growing local capital pools that invest locally. What will your government do to encourage the formation of local capital and its investment in BC?

What does CityCaucus think of deferring as many of these decisions as possible to UBCM? (You can defer answering this until there are more answers in from BC Liberal contenders if you think an answer now will distort responses).

Not one plain answer to any of the questions, and politicians wonder why they are not trusted!

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