Name: Carly O’Rourke
Occupation: constituency assistant for MLA Michael Sather
Facebook: Keep Maple Ridge Rural
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: Since the last election, I did my own version of Eat, Pray, Love and traveled solo for 1.5 years. In Thailand, I scuba-dived, rock-climbed, and became a certified free-diver. Next, I circled India, learning Hinduism and Buddhism and practising meditation, including 10 days in silence during Vipassana and other courses. I also took a workshop on natural farming and permaculture. In Nepal, I became “sister” to eight teenagers while living in an orphanage for two months. I went on three treks through the Himalayas. I cut myself off from the world and spent 30 days in a monastery studying Buddhism. Last but not least, I married Kishwor Sedhai. I fully understand why I am running for council and that is to help serve all living beings as much as I can.
Q2. Provide two examples of council’s actions over the past three years and explain why or why not you support them.
2. Council attempted to remove 152 acres of farmland from the Agricultural Land Reserve on 203rd Street (the Pelton property), which I would not have supported because protecting the ALR is imperative for our long-term food security, and a necessary key for controlling sprawl. This would have set a terrible precedent for the future of our rural north and the integrity of the ALR. Council recently voted to adjust the conservation boundary to allow a subdivision on 266th Street. Where is the respect for the borders that were put in place specifically to control sprawl? We need a comprehensive economic analysis to see how much these isolated subdivisions are costing the municipality to service over time. They are also entirely auto-dependent when we need to concentrate on transit-friendly development in the downtown.
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 do not support the 13-per-cent increase in councillor’s salaries because I believe the previous salary of $37,500 is more than enough for part-time work. I support the motion to have a citizen’s committee review the pay raise. If elected, I will donate the pay raise (excluding the cost of living increase) to Maple Ridge’s first community matching fund.