LETTERS: Time to talk civic issues

Letter writers address issues they would like addressed by civic candidates.

Editor:

Is affordable housing an issue for you? For White Rock? Housing issues exist for everyone across income brackets – $10,000 to $80,000.

CMHC provides standard definitions to determine whether affordable, adequate, appropriate housing is a problem. These definitions are important, because municipalities are expected to adhere to these standards in the Official Community Plan.

Affordable housing costs less than 30 per cent of pre-tax household income. Households in core housing need to spend 30 per cent or more of pre-tax income to pay median rent, including utilities.

In White Rock, the median rent is $891 for a one-bedroom suite, not including utilities. This means, if your pre-tax income is $27,814 or less, and you pay monthly $900 for rent, you are paying $205 beyond the affordability index. If your income is $19,460 or less, and you pay $850 for rent, you are paying $364 beyond the affordability index.

Factor in basic costs such as hydro, food, transportation and medical, and you are at imminent risk of homelessness.

In White Rock, 32 per cent of the population rents in aged rental stock, with 45.1 per cent paying 30 per cent plus, and 10 per cent receiving subsidy.

Seniors 65+ make up 29 per cent plus of the population, and if you look at seniors aged 60 onward, when BC Housing’s Safer program kicks in, the percentage of seniors rises to 39 per cent.

On Oct. 22, Isobel Mackenzie, seniors advocate with the Ministry of Health, announced affordable, appropriate, adequate and accessible housing as the number 1 issue for seniors and for her department.

For White Rock, in 2006 these issues received miniscule attention. In 2010, White Rock received $5,000 from CMHC to develop a strategic plan, which never made it into the OCP.

Now it’s 2014 and election time.

Whoever gets elected, their first job will be coming up to speed on what other municipalities have accomplished, and the standards other municipalities have set in place.

Ask candidates: What will you commit doing about it?

Rose Marie Borutski & Deirdre Goudriaan, Semiahmoo Seniors Planning Table

• • •

Another undemocratic and boring meeting (Frustrations air at W.R. debate, Nov. 4).

The people from White Rock came to participate in a lively debate; they learned nothing!

As usual, a group of the organizing committee scrutinized the questions to the candidates and sorted them into different piles.

Then the candidates had two minutes to speak; did they not get their views across to the electorate before? Forty minutes gone.

Then the moderator announces there are too many questions to the candidates and he has decided to restrict the “debate” to two or three topics. He also informs the audience that “these people (mayor and council) cannot decide on the future of the railway tracks; that is for the feds in Ottawa.” Wrong

He also says transport comes under the province, as does health care.

I expected the incumbents to protest. After all, they had just spent $20,000 for a consultant to advise them how to complete Transport Canada application documents to relocate the tracks, since staff advised them they are not qualified.

The 38-page report from the consultant could have been written, for free, by half a dozen qualified White Rock residents.

Regarding transport, if the municipal governments do not lobby the provincial government and/or TransLink, how do you think improvements can be achieved?

As for health care, unless somebody presses the government to add more beds to a hospital, nothing is going to happen.

It’s very simple to condense diverse questions into two or three dozen precise questions to a candidate.

Give her/him two minutes to reply, inviting maximum two candidates to express their views.

Scrap opening and closing statements. Candidates can call and organize their own meetings.

Wolfgang Schmitz, White Rock

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Traffic was tied up at the intersection of Scott and Old Yale Roads in North Surrey on Tuesday afternoon, after a semi truck hauling a load of pipes flipped while making a turn. (Shane MacKichan photos)
VIDEO: Semi hauling load of pipes flips in North Surrey intersection

Traffic near Scott and Old Yale Roads tied up by Tuesday afternoon incident

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Tens of thousands of farmers descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Delta council stands in solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

Farmers have been protesting for months new laws they say leave them open to corporate exploitation

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Surrey city council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey drugstores seeking relaxation of spacing rules ‘a challenge,’ councillor says

‘Obviously we need pharmacies but it seems to me that we are getting an awful lot of applications,’ Brenda Locke says

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Most Read