CONTRIBUTION · 24th October 2011
1. What is the most significant reason you are running for Council?
Of all the reasons that motivate me to run, it will be my strong belief in Democracy and in getting people more involved that are the most significant. Since the popular uprising that gave us, as a people, our first taste of Democracy so long ago, the path to Democracy, as we know it today, has been one of great violence and bloodshed. People have killed for it, people have died for it. Wars that have shaped and reshaped our world have been fought for it. Those before us have paid a high price for it so we are, therefore, obligated, at every level of government, to safeguard it and not allow it to be eroded from within, for them, for ourselves, and for future generations.
The biggest threat to Democracy now is our apathy and complacency. It is why politicians at every level of government are able to enact laws often without regard for the best interests of the people.(Sometimes even in defiance of the will of the people.) We need to change this. When more people recognize the value, the usefulness in the proper use of the tool we call Democracy, then the more likely they are to use it.
2. What issue in our community do you see as the largest hurdle for the success in Terrace?
We seem to be pulling in many different directions at the same time. We must first decide together where we are going. If we are using a map, how can we decide on a direction if we do not have a destination? Let us first establish our common objective, our collective vision of where Terrace will be at a given point in time in the future, then plot it on our map.
Let's plan our work and work our plan!
3. What is your stance on Enbridge?
To Enbridge I say "What part of NO do you not understand?"
When we have 80% of people opposing anything for whatever their particular reasoning, and seemingly, unable to get their elected officials to stop it, that does not resemble any kind of Democracy that I know of. Even those who see benefit to a pipeline but who believe in Democracy must oppose Enbridge on this premise alone. (See question 1)
I share the same concerns as most people and find the limited benefit compared to the extraordinary risk to be unacceptable.
Even now, we are starting to hear statements like "If it's inevitable, we might as well "cash in" on it". This is precisely the thinking that Enbridge is spending their unlimited wealth on achieving. I am unmoved and will remain so.
4. The Co-op land
As I have stated elsewhere, I was pleased that previous Council deferred the sale until after an election. This may be the ideal spot for at least a pedestrian/bicycle causeway and continuation of the Millennium Trail (perhaps a vehicle overpass) and the remaining land may be inexpensively maintained as a park until a final disposition has been agreed upon. I can envision the City entering into an agreement or possibly partnership with a developer for 1 or 2 main buildings on prime downtown land, a courtyard (where the causeway would access) and perhaps a group of smaller retail-outlet type buildings either joined or spaced. The final plan should be approved by the people of Terrace.
5. My Mountain Co-op
I found it absurd when Council listed the things being considered for the use of "surplus" tax dollars, two of which were either using the money to demolish the remains of a failed business that was a previous questionable purchase by the City, or investing in another failed business. There is no "surplus" if we are still lacking in many of the basic expectations from a Municipal Government such as roads, sidewalks etc.
I have apparently not been in politics long enough to have the ability to receive the "psychic emanations" that some politicians seem to have when they say "people want this" or "people would be in favour"; I have to do it the old fashioned way, by asking. When I asked, it was overwhelmingly rejected. Not the ski-hill itself, of course, but the use (or misuse) of tax dollars.
Of course I have not spoken to everyone. There may yet be a majority of residents who favour spending tax dollars in that direction at the expense of spending them elsewhere, although I highly doubt it. This is one of the expenses that I might include in the Direct Democracy approach that I advocate, and if the people decide that it is a valid expense I would consider the logical approach of including it in the recreational budget like our swimming pool for example.
My Mountain Co-op.
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 24th October 2011
I have real issues with co-ops, strata councils, unions and band councils. They take the fun out of everything, and take themselves way too seriously.
I watched the saga of Shames Mountain unfold. I felt guilty to be powerless about it. Many people I know love to ski and/or snowboard. I cooked at the old ski hill. You wouldn't catch me hurling my body uncontrollably down a steep hill..... first aid attendents at the bottom, with all sorts of splints at the ready. A speedy sleigh ride down a slick hill is excellent for me.
I wanted to help. Those sharp demands for support put me off, and I don't have much to offer. I have been dealing with "councils" for a very long time, it feels like. As you can see, the politics of co-ops, unions and councils do not mix with fun, health, nor weather.
Participation with councils, unions and co-ops demands that the individual/group engage in the dirtiest politics known to woman........man......and all in between. When one or more of them get together......the bullying never seems to stop.
One of my secrets for engagement: Do not argue and do not fight.
Initially, I hoped to run for a seat on Terrace City Council. A work-related conflict precluded me from doing so, as I wanted to be clean to start. No self-pity here though! I believe, by the Grace of God and Canadian democratic principles, I was still able to take part. And yes, I love to do it....
My next comments on Terrace municipal elections will be at the ballot box. What a bunch! Congratulations to all of you. Do good by us!
Comment by blocky bear on 24th October 2011
Sounds good to me Mike.