The News puts critical questions to candidates in the civic election. This week, we talked to Jen Fisher-Bradley and Ken McRae. Next week it’s John Douglas and Stacey Gaiga.
Question: You’ve run on a platform of food security, climate change and global warming. How do you respond to the call that this is too broad a focus for a mayoral candidate?
Jenn Fisher-Bradley: If that’s what people are saying then they haven’t listened. I have lots of ideas.
I link food security to secondary industry for the Valley because small-scale industry can produce berries for our jams and soup base out of veggies.
The Valley could also get into eco-farming and eco-agriculture. The banks might not lend the money for it, but it can be done through farm shares or micro loans. This isn’t new or experimental. It’s been done before and we have the assets here; it’s doable.
I’m concerned about global warming but I’m not against Catalyst — I’m against burning tires for fuel.
I see a whole strategic plan and these are parts of a bigger whole, a sustainable Port Alberni.
Question: How do you respond to the assertion that you’re reactionary instead of proactive.
Ken McRae: I’ve been proactive since I was first elected.
I was proactive getting the industrial tax down even before Catalyst launched their case. I got beat up for that. But I was the only one who had enough (guts) to start cutting and did what needed to be done.
I was proactive on getting the community forest and it could double in size next year. It’s part of a broader plan where I hope we’ll eventually control most of the Valley’s forestry.
When Seaspan was awarded that ship building contract, I was proactive in calling the company president, minister and premier and lobby to get jobs here.
People can use those words to describe me if they want but I’ve proven otherwise.