Name: Candace Gordon
Occupation: Golden Ears FEAST
Food Security Coordinator
Q1. What have you personally achieved, or what initiative have you personally led in recent years that qualifies you to be elected or re-elected as a Maple Ridge councillor?
1: In 2008, I began to gather together people, groups and agencies who were interested in food, farming, urban agriculture and access to food for low-income people, to talk about a food planning table. I did this so the community could better address issues and gaps and identify new initiatives. The outcome of this process was the establishment of Golden Ears FEAST (Food Education and Action Strategy Table). This table has accomplished many action items, such as the Seniors Resource Guide, Seniors Food For All consultation, Healthy Seniors Farmers Market, preserving workshops, community kitchens. This work demonstrates my ability to facilitate, consult, listen and collaborate with the community to generate positive solutions. These are also critical skills to have as a councillor.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. The Albion Plan. Council spent more than $100,000 on a process for the Albion flats. The process was agreed to and many of us participated in all the events, focus groups, public information sessions and the charette. One group did not, although it was invited and had every opportunity to do so. At the conclusion, council modified the process to include this one group. The recommendations of the consultant were not adopted and the land-use proposal that was forwarded to the ALC was influenced by this one group’s submission. I do not support this approach as it was an expensive, wasteful process and disrespectful to those of us who participated in good faith.
Also, the Pelton ALR exclusion application was not referred to the agricultural advisory for comment. If you set up an advisory committee, it is important to use it.
Q3. Do you support the 13-per-cent increase (over three years) in councillor’s salaries approved last summer? Why or why not? Explain what you would do if elected.
3. I think that in this current climate the increase is high. I would support a review of this decision if I were elected. I would also like to see the re-institution of the citizens committee to review council’s remuneration. That being said, it is important to pay a decent amount to the citizens who stand for public office, work hard and spend countless hours working on behalf of us all. It is still a part-time position.