For the second election in a row, Christian Cowley is trying for a seat on district council.
The executive-director of the CEED Centre wants to have good shopping along with plenty of green space and farms.
“In Maple Ridge, we have the opportunity to preserve our green spaces, unlike other municipalities that have already developed past the balance point,” he said on his website.
Cowley wants a livable Maple Ridge and says council keeps coming up with “solutions to the wrong problems. It’s trying to build itself out of deficits. The fact that our taxes keep rising while the problems remain is proof that we need a sea change in direction. It’s time to use a forward-looking, 21st Century approach. I’m up to that challenge.”
Cowley has a background in investor relations gained from several years working in the field in Japan.
He says preserving farmland is one of his main goals.
“Decades of evidence have shown that successful town planning is based on urban containment, not urban sprawl. We need industry, not retail. I want a concentrated industrial development plan paired with a hands-off approach to farmland.
“I will advocate for bike infrastructure and transit-oriented development.”
Cowley’s main emphasis is on keeping Maple Ridge livable. “There is no need to speed up residential development. We need jobs and amenities, not houses. Growing too fast strains our resources. If we double our population, we’ll have to resort to water rationing and put up with traffic jams.”
Cowley says peak oil and climate change could devastate the community and points to the financial turmoil in Europe and the U.S.
“Vancouver is a two-million person market just waiting for fresh produce from small-lot, intensive farms.”
He does, however, like the present council’s incentives for attracting building into the downtown core, but not its pro-development approach on Albion flats.
“Albion flats is the wrong place to develop new commercial, it’s farmland and isn’t where the people are.”
He’s currently member of:
• Agricultural Advisory Committee, Maple Ridge;
• Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Environmental Council;
• Maple Ridge Child Youth and Family Network;
• Thornhill Aquifer Protection Study;
• B.C. Honey Producers Association;
• Golden Ears Transition Initiative;
• Society of Organic Urban Land Care;
• Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.
MR all-candidates meeting set
People who want to see those who want a seat at the Maple Ridge council table will be able to see their would-be politicians at an all-candidates meeting planned for Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at Fraserview Village Hall at 116th Avenue and 227th Street.
On the agenda: property taxes, community safety, derelict buildings and municipal fees on strata repairs.
Questions for the candidates will be announced later on the website: http://www3.telus.net/fvca/allcan.html.
Organizers want to post questions as soon as possible to get quality answers, said Tyler Ducharme.
“We’re really trying to create an environment where we’re getting more people participating,” he added.
• More information: FVCAallcandidates@shaw.ca.