Kiersten Duncan. for council.
City councillor and first aid instructor.
• Political experience/qualifications for running in this election:
First elected in 2014, I have served as a councillor for the City of Maple Ridge for the past four years. As a councillor, I serve as both a liaison and board member on a number of committees and organizations where I represent the city locally, regionally, provincially and nationally. I am certified as a first-aid instructor by the Canadian Red Cross Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Lifesaving Society and I have been teaching for seven years.
In addition to my duties as a councillor and teacher, I am pursuing a degree in geography, focusing on environmental science and urban development.
I am also enrolled in an Addiction Medicine Diploma program in order to learn more about how addiction and mental illness are affecting our homeless residents, and about approaches we should be taking to house and provide health care for people affected by homelessness.
• Reason for running:
I am running for re-election to continue the work I’ve done over the past four years fighting for solutions to homelessness, building more affordable housing and reducing transportation costs. Other important issues I will continue to address are urban sprawl and protecting our environment.
Our community is facing a housing crisis and to tackle this I have helped implement policies to create affordable rental units for seniors, single parents, students, and those living with disabilities. I have helped secure more than 600 rental units this term and am working hard to build more.
To combat urban sprawl, I have advocated for sustainable, long-term development – always voting to keep residential developments within the urban area boundary, which helps keep taxes low by reducing servicing costs.
To safeguard our green spaces and wildlife, I have backed policies and initiatives that protect our environment and have opposed exclusion applications from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
• What do you consider to be the top two issues this election and how would you address them?
Finding a positive, compassionate solution to homelessness and finding a funding model for TransLink to maintain and build much-needed infrastructure, without unfairly taxing the citizens of Maple Ridge.
I have worked together with local non-profits and charities to advocate for housing and health care services, especially mental health and addictions, to be available and accessible to homeless residents in Maple Ridge. I will continue to take a compassionate approach to help people living in poverty while ensuring the community is consulted. Building a shelter with 24-hour support, second stage housing, and immediate access to mental health care and addictions treatment, including detox, will benefit our community as a whole.
As a fierce advocate for affordable public transit, I will continue to fight TransLink’s proposed mobility pricing, or distance-based charges, that would dramatically and unfairly increase the cost of transportation and transit for Maple Ridge residents.