Mike Manion is running for councillor in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

Mike Manion is running for councillor in Pitt Meadows. (Special to The News)

MEET THE CANDIDATES

IN THE PITT MEADOWS COUNCILLOR RACE: Mike Manion

Ahead of Oct. 15, The News offers a profile and Q&A opportunity to each candidate

Mike Manion

Business owner/consultant, age 69

Bonson resident who’s lived in Pitt Meadows 15 years

Life-long experience in agriculture (dairy, mushrooms, berries). From farm owner to vice president of large agricultural business shaped my knowledge of small business challenges to multi-million-dollar business transactions.

In my current role as a consultant, I work with entrepreneurs to commercialize agricultural technology.

I am an active member of the Pitt Meadows agricultural advisory committee, and current chairperson of the Metro Vancouver Agricultural Committee.

The pandemic highlighted the need to preserve and expand our local food supply. It’s critical to support and encourage local farmers to remain in business.

Last year’s atmospheric river demonstrated the need to review and upgrade local diking and pump infrastructure.

Increasing inflation, higher interest rates will require tough decisions by our municipal government to keep taxes in line.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/manionforcouncil

Instagram: @mikemanion2022

Phone: 778-837-3809

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Have you held office in past? If so, please specify: No.

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CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR FULL ELECTION GUIDE ONLINE

Questions:

(These answers are presented as the candidates submitted them)

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1. Should the City switch from a volunteer-based (paid-on-call) fire department to a full-time model?

Yes-the previous paid-on-call model is no longer appropriate for Pitt Meadows. The added development of commercial/industrial space has shifted response to increased complexity. . Motor vehicle crashes require more sophistication and training to deal with an electrical vehicle and new composite materials. Also, we are training 10-15 volunteers annually and once trained are lost to other jurisdictions that require full-time staff. The cost to train a POC is approximately $ 35,000 annually. The current council has taken a more long-term incremental approach to fix this problem, to get to a more appropriate full-time level and I am in agreement with that approach.

2. Should Pitt Meadows take more direct action to combat the local opioid crisis?

Yes-the opioid crisis taken more lives than Covid. This crisis is widespread and is not directly connected to people without shelter. Opioid crisis leads to an increase in crime and burden on healthcare systems. A cross collaboration police, faith leaders ,health leaders, educators, local government would be helpful to find ways to deal with this problem in a more holistic manner.

3. Do you support the construction of the Harris Road underpass?

Yes -Citizens of Pitt Meadows are at risk. Multiple train delays-sometimes up to 20 minutes-simply not sustainable for the community. Commuters to the West Coast Express have missed trains while waiting to cross the tracks. These frequent delays drive up the cost of doing business in Pitt Meadows (e.g. trucks waiting to cross tracks).

4. Should the City set targets for the creation of more low-income and seniors rental spaces, social housing units, and/or co-op development to improve home security?

Yes-it is good to set targets based on growth projection over next 10 years. If “home security” is interpreted as having a secure place to live, then consideration must be given to the population of people who are not able to obtain conventional mortgages. The Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation announcement of funding for affordable housing project in Pitt Meadows is a great start along this journey. Additionally, the north Lougheed plan as it exists contemplates an affordable, multi-generational inclusive community.

5. Do you support the proposal for the new CP Rail logistics yard?

No-Although the expansion to the logistics yard is critical to the transportation of goods and services in BC, this comes at a cost of rich farmland in Pitt Meadows. Locating this service to an area that does not contain fertile farmland would be more reasonable.. Only 5% of land in BC is fertile, arable farmland.

6. Should the City be offering more tax breaks, rebates, and other incentives to entice new businesses to town?

No-Pitt Meadows industrial/commercial area is limited in size and the demand for the space is huge. However incentives could be for companies that demonstrate supporting roles for existing business to expand. We saw frequent interruptions to the supply chain during covid so bringing supporting companies that serve current businesses would be helpful. This cluster approach has worked very well in other jurisdictions.

7. Do you think residential property taxes are too high in Pitt Meadows?

No. However, they need to maintain at current levels and not increase Inflation and higher interest rates will make it difficult in the future to maintain these taxes even without adding any additional services. It is going to require intensive review and debate to not allow inflationary pressures to cause an increase even without new allocations.

8. Does Pitt Meadows need an indoor swimming pool?

Yes. The policing requirements differ between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Pitt Meadows is in need of higher visibility to prevent crimes from occurring eg. Thefts of catalytic converters, farm equipment and recreational vehicles, graffiti “tagging” local businesses, and street racing.

9. Do you support the City creating a separate RCMP detachment, exclusively serving Pitt Meadows?

Yes. The policing requirements differ between Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Pitt Meadows is in need of higher visibility to prevent crimes from occurring eg. Thefts of catalytic converters, farm equipment and recreational vehicles, graffiti “tagging” local businesses, and street racing.

10. Should Pitt Meadows parks and nature areas be protected at the cost of future development opportunities?

Yes. Pitt Meadows slogan is “the Natural Place.” Protecting parks, nature, and farmland improves the quality of life for all citizens.

One of the key reasons for people moving to Pitt Meadows is because of the natural beauty and farmland.

Future development to build Pitt Meadows to its fullest potential must not come at a cost of destroying natural habitat and rich farmlands.

Every consideration must be explored to allow economic growth in housing and industry in areas that do not impact the natural resources.

CLICK ON OUR ELECTIONS 2022 TAB TO FIND A WIDE VARIETY OF RELEVANT STORIES

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

How the questions were presented to each candidate

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows news readers have told us how much they value this important, straight-forward reference guide that helps orient them with the range of choices on the ballots – both at the council and school board levels.

Towards that end, we have attempted to make this package available (along with the following instructions) to each of the candidates in a timely fashion ahead of the Oct. 15 election.

Please read carefully before you start to fill this out.

To help voters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows make their choices on election day, The News is asking local candidates 10 issue-based questions.

You must provide a ‘yes,’ a ‘no,’ or a ‘don’t know’ (Y, N, D) response to EACH of these questions.

Each question MUST be answered with yes (Y), no (N), or Don’t Know (D). This will be published in a grid in the Oct. 6 edition. Any questions not answered will be LEFT BLANK.

Candidates may also expand on ANY OR ALL of these questions (to a maximum of 200 words each). Please note any responses longer than that will be cut off at the 201-word mark.

Due to space limitations, we can only guarantee to run one of these answers in The News print edition ahead of the election. You must CLEARLY indicate which expanded answer you want to see published in print. If you do not specify, we will choose. Any and all expanded answers provided will be published online at www.mapleridgenews.com.

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