Matthew Pearson is running for Port Alberni city council.
Our city has served our country and province faithfully for over a century. For much of that century, we were the very model of productivity; yet for that service, we have been forgotten. Were our interests being represented when the federal government signed NAFTA? Our skilled workforce assembled a world class production facility, then we were a victim to protectionist trade measures from the United States. Many of our production facilities either scaled down or shut down altogether.
Shortly thereafter, BC changed their building codes to adhere to a higher environmental standard—yet that left us with many vacant industrial and commercial properties that are problematic to remediate (ie: Canal Waterfront Park and Arrowview Hotel).
Big enough to pay our way; too small to have a say. We have the Island’s highest violent crime rate and OD rate, the province’s highest teen pregnancy and child poverty rate. Is that what we deserve for all the hard work put in by our honest citizens?
How do we reverse the trends that have brought us to this point? We only have so much budget—we must be efficient.
We must celebrate what we have! Hole in the Wall, Ship Creek Caves, The Lookout, Mount 5040 (looks like the Alps), Weiner Falls—all beautiful locations that are barely marked on the map or roads.
Let’s get a streetcar! By using rails heading through town, a streetcar would create a transit corridor, a tourist draw, and a means to serve commuters and students. Transit costs are provincially matched dollar for dollar—and we keep the fares. Since our new partnership with BC Transit, the feedback has been consistent—our transit is too slow to cross town, too infrequent to be reliable. At the very least, we need an express route to service our population more effectively.
Let’s talk child poverty. Rental price increases correlate to abuse rates (recent Vice article). When children are abused, they can be up to 47 times more likely to abuse needle drugs (Dr. Gabor Mate). The most effective means to prevent crime and addiction in our community is to create more supportive housing (Inspector Brian Hunter).
”…Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” —Late Canadian MP Jack Layton.
Hard work, lots of questions and lots of reading. This is my pledge to my supporters.
Your potential Councillor,