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.