2018 Candidate Questions from ARMS

2018 Mayor Candidate Answers

Doug Blamey and Michael Morden did not respond to questions.

Since there were only two respondents, both mayoral candidates’ answers are contained within each question in alphabetical order.

As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

Ernie Daykin: As an elected official for 12 years and during that time I was part of a full Official Community Plan review. This plan is the corner stone or guidepost on how Maple Ridge will develop into the future. There is one area where better communication or understanding is needed.

That is how the current zoning and the OCP plan designation for future development may differ, particularly with density.

I believe future planning exercises should be done as Area plans, similar to the Town Center plan and Hammond neighbourhood plan. Each area of our community has its own character or natural features and the planning process needs to take that into account, rather than trying a one size fits all approach.

 Craig Speirs: I was on the two councils that produced our OCP and know it quite well.

 What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 Ernie Daykin: It is an excellent piece of work and ensures that development in Maple Ridge respects our many water courses and natural features.  If we compare how the mature part of Maple Ridge developed from 1874 well into the 90s, it seems there was very little regard for our watercourses. Compare that to development in last 15 years or so…..lots of green and a good attempt to protect these areas.

 Craig Speirs: I think it has worked quite well over the past years, we could always do better and   we should   adjust during the next refresh.

Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

 Ernie Daykin: Yes, green infrastructure is a good planning process that attempts to handle storm water drainage in a way that nature would. A good first attempt was made in the Portrait Homes project north /west at 232 and Foreman drive. I know there are lessons we can learn from that process, everything from the effectiveness of the system to ongoing maintenance of swales etc.

Treating of waste water is only to get more expensive and if rainwater can be used to recharge ground water instead of being treated, that is great benefit to the environment and to help manage utility costs.

Craig Speirs: Yes, we should always try to focus on imitating the natural environments way of handling extremes. We now recognize the importance of trees in moderating temperatures within parking lots and are now insisting on them. Any new area plan must include green infrastructure.

 

What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

 Ernie Daykin: 100 percent supportive of the 30 metre setback.  There was some pressure to review and change back to the lower provincial standards in 2014. I am proud and thankfully that the majority of my Council supported our current position and standards. I have no appetite to revisit those setbacks with intent of lowering our standards. I believe the higher standard is what our community expects.

Craig Speirs: Its sufficient within most development scenarios but we can’t make the only standard and be willing to expand it around sensitive watercourses. Protecting water must be our first concern. 

 What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

Ernie Daykin:  My understanding of wildlife corridors is that they allow wildlife to move from one natural or undeveloped area to another via as natural a path as possible. Yes I do support them because they supplement or enhance the watercourse areas. As development occurs in Maple Ridge, there is more and more pressure on our wildlife and a marked reduction in their range.          Allowing and protecting these corridors is a key environmental protection tool and again I believe what the community expects.

Craig Speirs: I have always supported maintaining existing corridors and establishing new ones when needed. We love our natural environment and the animals that exist within it. We will be growing into existing habitat and we have to make room for the animals that depend on it for life.

What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 Ernie Daykin: I did not support a residential application put forward in 2013/14 in the 240th area.  IF there is any development within the flood plain offsets would need to be significant.

The system is a jewel and it would be great for the community and river to get it into public ownership, similar to what has happened with the Kanaka watershed over the years. The same holds true if the talked about 240th bridge crossing, there needs to significant offsets and a bridge plan similar to the 232nd Street Bridge coupled with the potential for Municipal parkland in the area as part of the conversation.

Craig Speirs: My position on this issue has changed and I now won’t be supporting development within this floodplain, it’s just too risky.

Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 Ernie Daykin: Yes I am very aware of ARMS and its activities and Maple Ridge is lucky to have this amazing stewardship group and one I brag about!!

My experience goes right back to the days of Jim Jose and him having inmates building aquariums for the school class rooms. In my Windsor Plywood days, we supplied Jim and the program with lots of materials.

I have always appreciated and valued the Society’s passion and advocacy for the Alouette Watershed, even when as elected officials our toes where held to the fire by Mr. Clayton and others.

I am pleased that I was able to donate the Delta 3hp UniSaw from my Windsor shop to the wood work shop at the Heritage Centre. I hope it serves the organization well for decades.

Craig Speirs: I have had a long relationship with ARMS from way before politics. Its one of our keystone environmental organizations.  Have always supported and promoted your organization and will continue to do so if I am in politics or not.

Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

Ernie Daykin: Yes, I see ARMS having an advisory role and providing recommendations or advice to Council and to the Planning staff. Who knows the Alouette better than ARMS!

Craig Speirs: Did not answer.

ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

Ernie Daykin: Yes, I am in 100% support of the dollars that the programs receive….it is great value for the money. The passion and commitment to the watershed cannot be underestimated and I cannot think of any other organization that will bring that passion to the table. Nonprofit organizations like ARMs bring the passion I mention above to the job at hand with a far greater zeal and efficiency than City would or could.

Craig Speirs: We get great value from the activities of ARMS for what little money we give you. We have to make sure that it is sufficient and is enough to make sure you stay viable. To that end I am open to growing our relationship. The same goes for Adopt-a-Block, it’s a wonderful organization that does excellent work keeping litter out of our watercourses.

Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

Ernie Daykin: I am embarrassed to admit that I was not aware of the rivers Heritage status or if I did know

I do not recall that fact.  As a history buff, I do know that the Alouette watershed firstly was important to Katize First Nation and then the Abernathy & Lougheed Logging Co.as they used it as well as the Kanaka to transport logs from their operation in what is now Golden Ears Park.

The status of the Alouette is something to celebrate and I have some homework to do.

Craig Speirs: It means a great deal to me especially having been the council liaison to the Water Use Plan process with BC Hydro. The designation means we have a stronger position at the bargaining table and that’s always a good thing.

 Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

 Ernie Daykin: I have not been fortunate enough to have seen the salmon run.

I do know there was a return of some salmon stock in 2006 or 2007 and genetic testing proved that the returning stock were from the Alouette system.

Advocacy needs to continue on the flows in the river to ensure there is adequate water for the returning salmon stock.

Any development along the Alouette needs to take into account the potential impact on the salmon runs

My hope it that the long discussed fish ladder at the dam becomes a reality.

Craig Speirs: I see it every year, it’s a bit of a pilgrimage for me and I look forward to it every year. We need to grow and protect our salmon runs and work to establish healthy runs of all seven salmon species. To do that we need a fish passage at the dam that can introduce spawning to the Alouette Lake. It will make the lake a much better and healthier habitat for all.

 

What have you personally done to protect the environment?

Ernie Daykin: Wow, as I reflect on my efforts, such as being involved in stream side clean ups, and moral and financial support of stewardship groups, to being very diligent recyclers, to having a brown lawn with lots of weeds….. and I do walk instead of the automobile when possible.

It all seems so inadequate in the big scheme of things.

Thank you for your great questions and causing me to pause and reflect on my actions and commitment to the Alouette system and the broader environment.

Craig Speirs: I have always worked to protect our environment in my personal life and my political life. I was a director with the Ridge/Meadows Recycling Society, the CEED Center Society and am a past block captain for Adopt-a-Block. I am on a tributary to the Alouette and have maintained the appropriate setbacks. I think it’s our duty to be stewards of our environment

 2018 Councillor Candidate

The following Councillor candidates did not respond: Onyeka Dozie, Kiersten Duncan, Mike Hayner, Andrew Hegedus, Bhupinder Johar, Terry Kennedy, Rysa Kronebusch, Rick Pennykid, Andrew Pozsar, Kevin Priebe, Al Robbie, Gordy Robson, Peter Tam, Elizabeth Taylor

Due to the length of some of the answers, each candidate’s complete set of answers are presented in alphabetical order.

 

Christine Bossley

As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

I commenced my review of the Maple Ridge Official Community Plan (the “OCP“) in May of this year.  Following is an excerpt from Section 1.4 Regional Context Statement.

“Part 25 of the Local Government Act requires that an Official Community Plan must include a Regional Context Statement that is accepted in accordance with Section 866 of the Local Government Act by the Board of the Regional Government, in this case Metro Vancouver.”

“The Metro Vancouver 2040 Regional Growth Strategy is organized into five main goals:

Goal 1: Create a Compact Urban Area

Goal 2: Support a Sustainable Economy

Goal 3: Protect the Environment and Respond to Climate Change Impacts

Goal 4: Develop Complete Communities

Goal 5: Support Sustainable Transportation Choices

“The RGS also includes Regional Land Use Designations that are aimed at achieving the five goal areas of the Plan and include:

  • General Urban
  • Industrial
  • Mixed Employment
  • Rural
  • Agricultural
  • Conservation and Recreation

“In addition a Regional Urban Containment Boundary has been established as a long-term area for urban development across the Region, within which nine urban centres have been identified, including the Maple Ridge Town Centre.”

Section 1.4 goes on to list a number of strategies for achieving each of the five goals set out above.

I am currently reviewing Chapter 10 Area Plans with a specific focus on Section 10.4 Town Centre Plan which includes eight guiding sustainability principles, including:

  1. Each neighbourhood is complete
  2. Options to our cars exist
  3. Work in harmony with natural systems
  4. Building and infrastructure are greener and smarter
  5. Housing serves many needs
  6. Jobs are close to home
  7. The centre is attractive, distinctive and vibrant
  8. Everyone has a voice.

What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

According Section 5.1 of Chapter 5 of the OCP, both of which are entitled Natural Features, “Maple Ridge is recognized as a leader in the areas of Recycling and Waste Reduction, watercourse and riparian setback mapping, the Municipal Energy Conservation and Green Buildings Program and the civic stewardship and environmental education programs.”

One of the objectives set out in Section 5.2 entitled Environmental Management Model is “to incorporate an environmental management model into the land use planning process to enable overall ecosystem evaluation and review to occur,” the foundation of which “is the identification and documentation of ecosystem boundaries, watershed areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and hazard lands.”  The environmental management model combines watershed management with a land-based planning approach to incorporate land resources, including “areas of conservation, hazard lands (including steep slopes and floodplains), open space, environmentally sensitive areas and agricultural lands;” water resources, including “watercourses and wetlands, rainwater and stormwater management and the protection of groundwater resources; and air resources, including “air quality management, energy conservation initiatives and transportation and land use alternatives,” into a comprehensive ecosystem planning model.

In accordance with Section 5.4 entitled Water Resources, Maple Ridge has adopted a number of policies, including but not limited to, the preparation of watershed management plans, the protection of significant municipal watercourses such as the Alouette River, Kanaka Creek and Whonnock Creek systems, and the adoption of Provincial guidelines and standards for integrated rain and stormwater management and preparation of an Integrated Stormwater Management Plan to maintain water quality and natural runoff rates in municipal watercourses, to meet certain objectives, including but not limited to, participating in Regional, Provincial, and Federal programs and projects aimed at protecting and improving the City’s water resources, in order to address the impact of development on municipal streams, water quality and watercourse habitat.

My position is that it is incumbent upon all of us, and in particular, our elected officials, to remain diligent in applying these policies to meet our objectives to protect environmentally sensitive areas “where the landscape, wildlife, ecological function or historic value is of importance or is endangered.

Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

Yes.  Green infrastructure creates healthy environments through landscape projects that deliver a sustainable return on investment.  Green infrastructure brings environmental benefits to communities by creating “green sprawl” instead of “urban sprawl”.  If they aren’t already, following are some examples of green infrastructure I believe should be included in the planning process for existing and new area plans:

Rain Gardens – Rain gardens absorb rainwater and allow it to percolate rather than putting stress on stormwater systems.  They also filter contaminants and remove sedimentation and debris from stormwater run-off to improve water quality.  Rain gardens are a natural, sustainable solution for dealing with boggy areas, flooding, and the landscape damage these issues cause.

Green Roofs – Vegetative rooftops, or “green roofs” can reduce energy consumption and reduce stormwater runoff.  They can extend a roof’s lifespan by two to three times, reduce pollution and offset the urban heat effect.

Permeable Paver Parking Lots – Permeable paver parking lots are an alternative to asphalt and traditional pavement.  Because the surface absorbs water run-off, the stress on stormwater systems is reduced and flooding is decreased or eliminated.  The surface stays cooler and does not negatively impact the natural surroundings.

Urban Tree Canopies – Trees breathe life into the world – literally.  Plant the right trees in the right places.

Plant Selection – The plants we choose for our landscapes can provide shade and cooling off spaces help offset urban heat effect from parking lots by providing shade and cooling down spaces, filter water that flows into our stormwater systems, and attract birds, bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.  Native plants require fewer inputs and provide even greater return on investment.

What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

I have not had an opportunity to form a position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection as I was not aware of it until now.  Here is what I have learned as a result of my research into the matter.  (Please note that I was familiar with the term “riparian areas”.)

“Riparian areas link water to land.  They border streams, lakes and wetlands.  The blend of streambed, water, trees, shrubs and grasses in a riparian area provides fish habitat, and directly influences it.  The Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) was enacted under Section 12 of the Fish Protection Act in July 2004.  The Fish Protection Act was subsequently re-titled the Riparian Areas Protection Act in February 2016.  The RAR calls on local governments to protect riparian areas during residential, commercial, and industrial development by ensuring that a Qualified Environmental Professional conducts a science-based assessment of proposed activities.

The purpose of the Regulation is to protect the many and varied features, functions and conditions that are vital for maintaining stream health and productivity, including:

  • Sources of large organic debris, such as fallen trees and tree roots;
  • Areas for stream channel migration;
  • Vegetative cover to help moderate water temperature;
  • Provision of food, nutrients and organic matter to the stream;
  • Stream bank stabilization; and
  • Buffers for streams from excessive silt and surface run-off pollution.”
  • Excerpted from Riparian Areas Regulation on the BC Government Website

“If your project is a residential, commercial or industrial activity within 30 metres of a watercourse, even if that watercourse is not on your property, the Riparian Areas Regulation may apply to your development.  The regulation helps you conduct your activities responsibly to avoid degrading valuable riparian fish habitat.  When you are ready to proceed:

 

Step 1 Check with your local government for the rules that apply to developing property within the riparian area (within 30m of a stream, shore or ravine bank).  If local bylaws stipulate setbacks, abide by setbacks laid out in local bylaws and proceed to Step 6.

 

Step 2a If local bylaws stipulate setbacks, abide by setbacks laid out in local bylaws and proceed to Step 6.

 

Step 2b If local bylaws do not stipulate setbacks you will require an assessment from a Qualified Environmental Professional in order to determine the setbacks and protection measures.  It is strongly advised that you conduct this assessment before actual site development.

 

Step 3 The assessment determines which measures must be taken before, during and after development, in order to comply with the Riparian Areas Regulation.

 

Step 4 With the stipulations in the assessment, the development proposal must be redesigned to occur outside the riparian area.

 

Step 5 A record of the assessment is reviewed and filed with the provincial government.

 

Step 6 After the assessment, the local government may proceed with their approval process.”

 

  • Excerpted from the Quick Guide for Waterfront Land Owners & Developers

Section 8.9 of the OCP entitled Watercourse Protection Development Permit Area Guidelines states, in part:

“A Development Permit will be required for all development and subdivision activity or building permits within 50 metres of the top-of-bank of all watercourses and wetlands as shown on Schedule C Natural Features, other than in those circumstances indicated in Section 8.4 Development Permit Exemptions.”

Section 8.9.1 of the Maple Ridge Official Community Plan sets out the objectives of the Watercourse Protection Development Permit Area Guidelines:

“1.  To identify the area particularly susceptible to disturbance by establishing top-of bank of watercourses and wetlands and the adjacent riparian leave strip as the watercourse protection area to remain free of development.

  1. To afford greater protection to watercourses and their associated riparian habitat by securing natural watercourse protection areas in public ownership.

 

  1. To facilitate environmentally sensitive development of lands adjacent to identified protected areas through particular attention to the subdivision of land, siting of buildings and structures, and areas of parking, storage and landscaping.

 

  1. To ensure that adjacent development activity does not encroach upon or alter the protected area(s).

 

  1. To ensure vegetation or trees are maintained and conserved, or alternatively planted as necessary, to control erosion, protect banks and enhance fish habitat.

 

  1. To ensure that land clearing is limited to a phased construction schedule in order to minimize the potential negative impacts of runoff and erosion on exposed soils in the watercourse protection area.

 

  1. To develop stormwater management plans that strive for the maintenance pre-development flow regimes of local watercourses.

 

  1. To encourage where possible that development sites utilize drainage infiltration in order to augment stream base flows.”

 

If I understand this correctly, it appears that Maple Ridge actually has a 50 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection which is 20 metres over and above the requirement set out in the Riparian Areas Regulation.  Based on its objectives, I support this setback.  It is critical that we protect environmentally sensitive areas when undertaking development activity.

What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

I am very familiar with “wildlife movement corridors” and support them wholeheartedly.  More and more, human beings are encroaching on wildlife habitat, and as stewards of the planet (for better or worse) we must ensure that routes allowing wildlife to move safely between habitat areas are maintained and protected.  Following is an excerpt from the Government of Canada website:

“Simply defined, a wildlife corridor is a protected route that allows wildlife to move safely between areas of suitable habitat. In the Banff area, corridors are typically narrow, funnel-shaped tracts of land between the developed areas and the steep mountain slopes.

On a regional scale, wildlife must travel long distances to find mates and denning sites, expand home ranges, and to take advantage of seasonal changes in food and weather. Local movement is necessary to enable wildlife species to access all of the available resources in their home range. Long distance movement is essential to maintain genetic variability and sustain populations over a large area.

The ideal corridor depends on the species using it. For example, wary species require wider, more secure corridors than species accustomed to human presence. In addition to width, other factors that influence corridor success are: ease of travel, terrain, vegetation cover, topography, snow depth, physical barriers, and human presence such as smells and noise. The length of a corridor, or the distance between quality habitat patches, must also be short and direct.

Individual corridors connect particular species with specific habitat patches. In order to meet all species’ needs and connect wildlife to the larger region, a network of corridors must be protected.”

What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

I recall having seen an article about this issue approximately one year ago in The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.  I did a search and located the article by Phil Melnychuk entitled “River development proposal has Maple Ridge group up in ARMS” dated December 19, 2017.

One of the issues referenced in Section 5.3 of the OCP entitled Land Resources is that the “[d]evelopment in floodplains and other hazard areas may place people and property at risk.”  One of the objectives is “[t]o protect persons, property, and landscape from risk or hazards due to flooding … while protecting environmental features to as great an extent as possible,” and Policy 5-9 states, in part, “The Natural Features Schedule will also identify environmentally sensitive areas, open space, floodplains, hazard lands, the Fraser River Escarpment Area, watercourses, and other natural features, to enable their protection and to minimize the risk of injury or damage to residents and to property.”  The Alouette River Floodplain is set out in the Natural Features Schedule (Schedule C to the OCP).

Based on Section 5.3 of the OCP, and not having had an opportunity to review the rezoning proposal referenced above, I am inclined to say I would oppose the proposal.  Without access to all of the pertinent information, it’s difficult for me to make that statement unequivocally, however, I would give serious weight to any concerns expressed by ARMS prior to making a decision and would undertake a thorough review of the detailed list of concerns referenced in the aforementioned article.  I was unable to find out if the proposal had come before council for second reading prior to returning this questionnaire.

Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

I am not aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society over and above what is reported on the website, however, I recently visited the ARMS booth at GETI Fest and at the 25th Annual Ridge Meadows Rivers Day, and I am very interested in learning more about the Society’s activities and getting involved in one or more of its volunteer activities, in particular, the Maple Ridge Adopt-A-Block Program.

Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

Of course!  Members of council cannot be expected to be experts on every matter that comes before them, and I believe it would be irresponsible not to include consultation with experts in the decision-making process.  Since ARMS is clearly the expert with respect to the Alouette River Watershed, I believe it would be imperative for council to consult with the Society before rendering a decision on any development application made within its boundaries.

ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budget of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

I do believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded by the City of Maple Ridge for the work they do.  Maple Ridge’s Council voluntarily became a signatory to the British Columbia Climate Action Charter in 2009.  Through this action, the city has committed to achieving carbon neutral operations and measuring greenhouse gases in the city, while also supporting the development of complete, compact communities.  In order to achieve these goals, the City must be prepared to fund organizations engaged in activities designed to proactively protect and improve the environment.  Climate change is not a hoax.  We must think globally, and act locally in order to address it effectively.

Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

I read about the Alouette River having been awarded Heritage status in 1998 under the BC Heritage Rivers System.  To me, this designation means that the Alouette River has significant heritage value and, as such, must be protected.

After receiving this email, I conducted a little more research regarding the Heritage status of the Alouette River and found this information on the BC Parks website:

“The Alouette River flows from Alouette Lake to its junction with the Fraser River at Pitt Meadows. Typical of many Lower Fraser tributaries, it drains a mountain watershed in the Coast Mountains, especially important for its timber and fish values. The hydro power potential of the river and its proximity to major urban populations was recognized early in the province’s history, leading to construction of BC Hydro’s Alouette Dam in 1913.

The river has a significant place in the cultural heritage of the area. The Katzie First Nation have historically depended on the salmon of the river and have maintained spiritual, cultural and economic ties to the river. The valley was part of a travel corridor for First Nations people between the Lower Fraser River area and the Lillooet area.

In the late 1800’s, the economic activities of newcomers along the river began to change the face of the valley. Farming and logging came to the area and sawmills were developed in conjunction with the upstream logging activity, since the river was used to float logs downstream to New Westminster. The headquarters of the Abernethy and Lougheed Logging Company was located on the river in the 1920’s, presently the site of Allco Park. The park is now home to a fish hatchery and the future site of an Alouette River Interpretive Centre.

The river has been an important recreational focus for residents of the area throughout the years. Acquired from the Burrard Power Company in 1927, the site of Maple Ridge Park was developed by the municipality and has been a popular recreation site for generations. Other popular parks such as Davidson’s Pool and Horseman’s Park are also located along the river.

The Alouette has become a model of successful urban river stewardship. Volunteer community groups have done tremendous work to restore fish habitat along the river and educate the public about river conservation. Also, BC Hydro has recently helped to improve fish stocks in the Alouette by voluntarily increasing the amount of water it releases from the dam during critical spawning and rearing periods.”

Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

I’ve never seen the salmon run in the Alouette River, but my parents took my brother and I to see the salmon spawning a few times when we were children.  I was quite young, so I don’t recall where it was, but I do recall the impression it made on me to see the salmon struggling against the current to return to their home — their bodies turning bright red and their heads turning bright green — to spawn and lay their eggs before they died.

After an 80-year absence due to the construction of the Alouette dam in 1925, sockeye salmon returned to the Alouette River in July 2007.  On September 28, 2018, a new Alouette River Ecosystem Partnership was created to restore the salmon runs and ecosystem damage created by the damming and alteration of the Alouette River.  BC Hydro plans to submit a water licence application to the provincial Comptroller of Water Rights this fall to secure perpetual water rights over the Alouette Lake and River.  The goals of the Alouette River Ecosystem Partnership are to:

  • create a functional watershed ecosystem in the Alouette River area that restores all seven species of Pacific salmon;
  • provide a scientifically sound and functional fish passage that reconnects the watershed above the dam with the river, for the benefit of all species of salmon and freshwater fish;
  • protect and enhance the current freshwater species;
  • enhance wildlife resources in the ecosystem;
  • develop recreational and educational opportunities with B.C. Parks and other partners.

I support taking all the requisite steps to achieve these goals.

As an aside,  on August 25th, I took a free bike tour of the Katzie Slough with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society to discuss the issues that salmon are facing and how we can work towards sustainable solutions.  The Society has been working in partnership with the Katzie First Nation and community members as part of its Connected Waters campaign to improve water quality and salmon habitat in the Katzie Slough – an important ecological habitat for wild pacific salmon.

The Society’s mapping has revealed over 1,400 km of current or former fish habitat that has been blocked by over 150 flood gates and pumps in the Lower Mainland.  Many of these harmful flood control structures are due to be upgraded r replaced over the coming years.  As this happens, better structures are available that kill fewer fish while still protecting our communities and farmland from flooding.  The Society is working with many partners and agencies to ensure that the worst structures get fish-friendly upgrades as soon as possible.  I have pledged to join the Society by calling on the governments of Canada and BC to restore these vital habitats and bring back wild salmon, and I’ve signed up for the Society’s Katzie Slough Canoe Tour on October 27th, 2018, to clean up the waterway and banks.

What have you personally done to protect the environment?

As a young person, I was very conscience of environmental issues.  The 1968 National Film Board of Canada documentary from conservationist Bill Mason entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes” had a significant impact on me when it was screened for one of my classes in elementary school as did the Woodsy the Owl – Give a Hoot Don’t Pollute campaign.  My parents were children of the Depression, so I learned to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” from an early age and continue to do so.  I try to leave my vehicle at home as much as possible and use alternative modes of transportation such as walking, cycling and transit.  Currently, I live in Maple Ridge and work in Vancouver, and I commute to and from work by WestCoast Express.

Susan Carr

 

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

I am familiar with the OCP in regards to school sites relating to my role as a 10 year School Board Trustee.  I have been working my way through the document as we speak.

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 

I think the section lays out very clear objectives in preserving the natural integrity of watercourses.  This is especially important when protecting watercourses from possible damage due to land development and the changing climate.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

This is a no brainer for me.  Green infrastructure plans are key to creating healthy spaces for people to live.  One example of green space inclusion is in the design of our newest elementary school in Albion that will open in 2019.  The board and staff insisted that the natural world be a key component of the design.  If you get a chance, have a look at the link https://elementary.sd42.ca/cusqunela/

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

I agree with the 30 meter setback as an absolute minimum but feel some cases may require a further distance depending on the area and the type of development that is being proposed.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

I do support them as I believe they are critical in maintaining ecological movement.  These corridors can work if the focus is truly on what wildlife needs rather than what people think they need.

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

I would be extremely cautious of developments in these areas and surrounding as the effects of increased run off and drainage capacity is a very real threat.   I have consulted the Floodplain Analysis document to better familiarize myself with the affects and possible prevention strategies. Due to the high flood sensitivity of these areas and risk factor I think any development requests would need to include a deep understanding of the analysis before proceeding if at all.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 

In my role as Trustee I was on the Education Committee which the concept for our Environmental School was first brought too.  Again, it was a no brainer.  We partnered with many groups to make it happen and still partner today with educational opportunities for the students.  I also have been on many field trips with my own kids over the years where ARMS has been the host.  I think the partnership between ARMS and the school district is exceptional.

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

 

Absolutely, in my mind ARMS is a key partner in this area and should always be consulted as part of the planning and decision process.

 

  1. ARMS are provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

Yes, because the work environmental organizations do within a community is crucial to how the area functions.  I see the ARMS members as stewards for our natural surroundings and the expertise of organizations like ARMS have to be part of a healthy community.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

 

Yes, I appreciate the significant history the river has played in the cultural heritage of our area especially for our First Nations partners.  It acted as a key life sustaining component in addition to the many economic activities it provided.  Today, the river is a huge recreational option for residents and all those who visit our area to enjoy the natural beauty.  The work that has gone on over the years to restore fish habitat and educate folks has contributed to the legacy of the river for generations to come.

.k) Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

I have been to the salmon on many occasions with my kids when they were younger.  We also have a salmon run at the lake we have called our 2nd home for 20 years.  Beside our trailer site is the river that the run navigates.  It’s pretty amazing to witness.  We are on aboriginal land up there so the care taken to ensure healthy returns is ongoing.  I’m aware of the existence of the Fish Protection Act which includes many strategies of protection.  Closely watching salmon returns and counts is a good indicator on whether the waterways are being protected from over fishing & pollution.  We have watched the First Nations and the Fisheries do the counts at our lake over many years which is always an education.

 

L)What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

I’m big on recycling and keeping our green spaces and waterways protected.  My family and I have a trailer up past Pemberton on Anderson Lake where we spend time enjoying the outdoors.  My son is an avid fisherman and we have tried to instill the importance of nature and its protection in all three kids their whole lives.  As a former elementary school PAC co-chair we were always involved in school wide recycling programs, bike to school and the walking school bus initiatives.

Judy Dueck

  1. a) As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan. I am very familiar with the Official Community Plan. I was on the council when it was reviewed and updated in 2006.  I also represented Mayor and Council at the Metro Vancouver table during this time.
  2. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection? I support the Natural Features section.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans? Yes, I do believe in implementing policies to include the inclusion of green infrastructure. An example that I can give you is the Town Center Area Plan that was approved while I was on council. 

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection? I support the 30 metre setback.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer. We live in one of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in BC. We need to do what we can to protect it for our children. Wildlife corridors, the health of our rivers & streams, are areas where local government can make an impact.  I was part of the council that supported the city recommendations to protect wildlife corridors.  The requirements are outlined in the environmental management strategy and the natural features development permit checklist.

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer. In order for me to consider any application within the floodplain I would need to know that the qualified professional(s) have approved and signed off on the project and city staff is recommending the project. The city must be confident that there is no liability issues for the taxpayers.  In addition to this, I would want ARMS feedback and/or recommendations and hear from the residents near the project.   My decision would be based on all of the above information. 

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware? Yes, I am aware of the activities of ARMS. As noted above, I was on council for 12 years. 

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position. I believe ARMS has a role to play. I value the relationship with ARMS and would be asking if ARMS has been consulted and is there any feedback or recommendations.   

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.   Yes, I fully support maintaining this budget.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?Yes, I am aware of the Heritage river status of the Alouette River. This status was created to help promote stewardship and for me personally, I value and respect our relationship with ARMS. 

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it? Yes, I have seen the salmon run.   Ensure the new Mayor and Council support the new Alouette River Ecosystem Partnership that was recently signed. 

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment? I have been involved with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.  I served as a board member for the past 4 years and was President until recently.  I stepped down from the President’s role when I decided to run for council.  During my previous terms on council, I was also the council liaison for the Society.  

 

Lou Jose

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan. – I am familiar with the OCP and most of the recent amendments.

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

– Not being an expert, it appears to cover off most of the same areas of concerns I have in preserving water ways except it does not seem to address new large development runoff.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

-Yes, for new areas. I am not sure how to implement this in existing area’s.

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

– 30 meters seems practical for single home construction but not near enough distance for multi-home developments.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

– Wildlife corridors are vital to wildlife. They keep wildlife somewhat away from humans.

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer. – There should be no construction in Flood Plains. Site compaction and off-flow increases the chances of flooding.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

– I have lived in Maple Ridge most of my 58 years. I owned property on the South Alouette. I think I am up to speed on ARMS activities and fine work.

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

– Professional “politically organized” groups can have a huge impact on Government… just look the power of the Taxi Association… no UBER here. ARMS is vitally important now because as a profession organization they can sway public support defending our watershed. Our City Council has the green light from the Province and the public to in-fill housing anywhere possible.

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

– I 100% support the City offering funds to ARMS to help with the funding of their work they do. This is an inexpensive investment in comparison to funding city employees or Managers to do this work. I would like to review the Adopt-a-Block funding. With so many new property owners living in our city we need to invest further in educating this group about water runoff from their at home activities.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

– Yes, I am aware of the status. It is just one more important reason to protect the River from further development here and downstream.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

In some years when I was young there was so many salmon you could walk across some sections without touching the water. Protection is easy… stop building in area’s were runoff is going into this sensitive river system.

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment?

– Unfortunately, very little. All of my adult time volunteering and raising funds has been at a Provincial level assisting families.

 

Chelsa Meadus

  1. a) As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an

example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize

yourself with the plan.

 

The OCP is the official community plan, it is the map Council should use in guiding

the growth of Maple Ridge. The plan is broken down into many sub-sections,

within these heading the guide has maps, trends and predictions to guide the

planning of the City into the future considering all aspects of transportation, green

space, parks, amenities, social and finance, water, air and climate, zoning and

land use as well as other important socio-economic factors. The plan is

comprehensive but will require review and updates as factors to population and

time (outdated) change.

 

  1. b) What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water

course protection?

 

The Natural Features section lists awareness factors that City Councilors must be

aware of when looking at development applications. It highlights the impacts on

waterways, city sewers and runoffs from the unnatural disturbance of nature that

development causes. It highlights that there are negative impacts on nature even

when this growth is not near waterways and streams. Taking into consideration

climate change and the impacts on the landscape, City Services and

contamination. I would agree with the Objectives section of the OCP that

highlights water resources and initiatives to protect, manage, enhance and restore

and sustain our water for both consumptions and as a natural resource. I would

need to understand beyond the common sense factor the landscape in Maple

Ridge and the impacts of the current growth on our water ecosystem. As Maple

Ridge prepares to grow in population what are the immediate and long-term

concerns and what can be done to balance growth with responsible environmental

protection. I’d like to learn more about progressive ways to preserve and grow

responsibly.

  1. c) Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion

of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new

area plans?

 I would support a balance of green infrastructure that was feasible, I would be

interested in looking at the successes of other community initiatives. Using

innovative technology we can reduce our environmental impact and be far more

efficient. An example of this is using solar detectors in recycling and waste

containers to alert us to empty them. This reduces staff time, travel and

unnecessary waste.These containers can also light the path of dark walkways and

flash if emergency vehicles are coming. One item multipurpose.

 

  1. d) What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing

streamside protection?

 

I believe the 15-30m setback has been in place for quite some time and

development has accepted this as a rule for development in our community. I

understand the purpose of the setbacks and that subtle changes caused by

development can have a devastating impact on life in the stream or waterways. I

think these measures are important as Maple Ridge has environmentally sensitive

areas that feed into other streams and wetlands that impact wildlife, birds and

fish.

 

  1. e) What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you

support them? Please explain your answer.

 

As we develop we need to consider the impacts of disruption on our natural

landscape and wildlife. Corridors provide wildlife with the ability to move through

their environment when development has disturbed the natural patterns of

movement. I would support these structures where there is a need as indicated by

the mapping system which identifies movement corridors.

 

  1. f) What is your position on development within the North and South

Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 

I would need more education before I could have a well understood and

comprehensive answer. I am concerned with an area that has been identified as

“floodplain”, with climate change we are seeing areas flood that has been safe for

decades. I would need to consider many factors and seems to me we may be able

to grow in other areas where there are fewer risks to property, wildlife and the

environment

We have developed in the East, I am not aware of the history, challenges

and problems that area experienced that we could learn from if considering future

projects. To make a good decision I would need to know the historic water levels,

impacts, environmental impact studies, and a complete proposal to even consider

development.

 

  1. g) Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society,

over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you

aware?

 

In 1996 I was involved with ARMS when Jenny Lundgren, Ross Davis and Jeff

Clayton were involved. I helped support Rivers Day and at that time I ran

Adopt-A-Block, the partnership with ARMS allowed us to have stream community

cleanups while taking into consideration the proper timeframe for less disruption. I

was involved with the education program that ARMS had which outlined the fish

habitat in Maple Ridge and advised Council on environmental impacts in Maple

Ridge from our choices.

 

  1. h) Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to

play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the

Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please

explain your position.

 

Yes, all stakeholders should be provided with the opportunity to contribute their

feedback, as experts on proposals that impact Alouette River Watershed. The

valuable role organizations, community members and the public at large play are

to give information to the Council to consider when making a decision.

 

  1. i) ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple

Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River

watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the

city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you

believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to

be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

YES! I believe non-profits such as this play a vital role in the wellbeing of our

community and in this case the preservation, restoration and heritage of our

waterways. Education and preservation are important to sustain a healthy future,

information is important in growing our community. Kids are the future of this

community and our decisions today will affect them years from now. I believe it is

important kids are being educated on how to keep a sustainable and healthy

community. I have a personal connection to the adopt a block program. I was the

coordinator for the adopt a block program in 1996. This program was important

then and still is important now. Adopt a block provides education as well as

community connections and helps our citizens invest in our community and their

neighbourhood.

 

  1. j) Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so,

what does it mean to you?

 

Yes, I am aware. When the Alouette River was awarded Heritage status in 1998

under the BCHRS (BC Heritage Rivers System) it was great recognition for Maple

Ridge and it’s citizens as well as those who put time and care into ensuring the

Alouette River stays in pristine condition.

 

  1. k) Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should

be done to protect it?

 

Being a long time resident of Maple Ridge not only have I seen the salmon run but

also smelt it. While my eldest son was in his elementary years of school he would

be taught the life cycle of the salon and take field trips to the river to see our local

salmon spawn. This is just another example of the importance of teaching our kids

from a young age how important every organism is to our community.

 

What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

I have a cabin we fitted with solar power. This has given our family perspective on

power use and consumption. We recycle, compost, have reduced our car to a

smaller car, switched from paper towels to rags, switched from desktop to

laptops, planted a Linden tree, buy local food, wash clothing on cold and hang dry

our clothes.

 

 

Don Mitchell

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.I know that there is an OCP, have I read it in  depth, no.  When land use issues come before council, staff prepares the report and any back up information, like the effect on the OCP.  At that point I could/would look at the specific details on the OCP.  Some changes to the OCP also have to go to Metro Vancouver.

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection? I have read the specific sections and am supportive of all of the protections listed there.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans? Yes

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection? I have no problem with that at all and would need to be convinced to reduce it.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer. Probably limited knowledge, but the name implies what it is. Yes, I would be supportive and be willing to be more educated.

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer. It would depend on what the development is and whether or not intrusive or destructive. I would expect that the society would have input to any such development and would be considered the expert on the subject.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware? I would mostly be aware from the newspaper and stopping by various booths and civic events ie Country Fest. Your request here has prompted me to view your website.  I have seen it before but not recently.  I know you are very active in trying to get a fish passage around the dam into Alouette lake, and I have heard there could be some very positive news coming soon.

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position. As I said above. ARMS would be the experts on the environmental side of the question.

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer. yes and for purely selfish reasons.  You will garner many more volunteer hours that would be devoted to these projects than could be funded for city staff to do plus be much more devoted to what the cause is.  I am involved with the Seniors Society and know how that works.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you? Yes I am.  It puts the river on a special status and group of rivers in the province that have major impacts on diverse ecological subjects.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it? Not recently and all salmon runs should be protected.  How, I leave to you to come forward with the plans or opportunities.  It is not something I have studied as to how.

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment? I compost my own green waste, organics go to the proper disposal site, recycle, reducing my garbage to the minimum.  I am a boater, and anything that goes out in the boat with us comes back.  Am a member of the recycling society.

 

 

Chris O’Brian

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

 

The OCP stands for the Official Community Plan. I have looked up what an OCP may encompass, and it will involve all the major components of city planning. For example, when developing commercial business inside the central business district the OCP may call for increased density. When building residential detached homes on the outskirts of the city the OCP may call for a buffer of green space (trees and shrubs) between developments to ensure privacy, noise reduction, reduced car traffic, and keeping some natural beauty in the neighborhoods. It may also call for environmental assessments to ensure wildlife populations are not negatively impacted. The OCP will be used to guide development within the city, and decisions will need to reflect the goals of the OCP.

 

 

 

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 

I will be in favor of protecting Natural Features as part of water course protection. In regards to this I would need to be assured that any alterations to the timing, volume or flow of water isn’t impacted by man-made obstacles (for example, a dam installed by B.C. Hydro).

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

 

Yes, I believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of green infrastructure.                This is an environmentally friendly solution to maintaining our ecosystem and may prevent the                  city from having to pay a costly sum of money for a water treatment facility. Using the natural                    environment (eg. Planting shrubs, trees, building up river banks with plants if needed) is always                  preferred to using mechanical interventions.

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

 

I am in favor of the 30 metre setback. Thie is a requirement under The Fish Protection Act and falls under Riparian Access Regulations. There is a set of measurements that are taken by a qualified professional in the field of fish habitats that will determine the need for the 30 metre setback. This is important as fish in their spawning cycle will need this setback enforced so as not to negatively interfere with their natural spawning movements within the stream.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

 

Wildlife movement corridors are areas of preserved green vegetation that allow two or more        wild animal groups to come into contact with one another, where they otherwise may be cut off into marginalized areas. For example, if through residential development in an area inhabited by wildlife two species that normally come into contact with one another are now cut off by the building structures, wildlife movement corridors can reunite them. It may beneficial to keep two different groups of the same species (like coyotes) connected through a corridor for mating purposes and social contact. Or it may be beneficial to keep two different species connected (like coyotes and wild rabbits) as the coyotes can keep the rabbit population in check so that a cull doesn’t become necessary, and by having the rabbits as natural prey the coyotes may not start attacking neighborhood pets like cats and small dogs. These corridors are an essential way of keeping an ecosystem balanced and preserving natural habitats.

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 

I would consider the impact and the potential for increased risk of flooding. These two floodplains need to stay below a certain water level as measured by their respective south and north water gauges. Unrestricted development may alter the drainage and water flows in these areas and contribute to flooding. In this case having the area assessed by an expert in floodplain management would be recommended before a proposal for development would be considered. I would typically recommend not developing in these two areas.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 

I have heard of the ARMS and the environmentally responsible work they do before I looked at the website. I believe that the ARMS plays’ an integral part in the management of the local fish hatchery. By overseeing the spawning of salmon, their migration patterns, the health and    lifespans of the fish, and counting the numbers of fish spawning each year the ARMS helps to ensure the fish populations remain abundant. The ARMS also can determine changes to the fish life cycle by changes in the numbers of natural predators (types of birds, bears, bigger fish, and many other animals), fishermen, and human caused issues relating to fish population decline (such as chemical waste in the water and debris the fish get accidentally caught up in).

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

 

Yes, the ARMS and other environmental organizations have a role to play. They can inform council of critical changes to the environment, types of developments that would be beneficial to the environment, and make suggestions on what types of developments would be harmful to the watershed. Man-made dams (such as those erected by companies like B.C. Hydro) would likely have the greatest impact and the ARMS can advise on whether it would have too great a negative impact to be considered a viable option. These are important decisions as they would have an impact on the fish and surrounding ecosystem for generations to come and mstakes can be costly in both environmental and financial terms down the road.

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

Yes, I believe that the ARMS should continue to be funded by the city. This is a relatively small cost to pay for the integral work the ARMS does. I also like the idea of both Adopt-A-Block and Adopt-A-Stream. As a councilor I would look at ways to make these programs more highly visible I our community and draw added attention to their significance. I like the idea of youth being involved in this much needed work, and would also consider other groups of volunteers to help keep Maple Ridge clean and free of litter.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

I was aware that the river attained heritage status in 1998. Personally, this signifies the importance of keeping this river preserved in its natural state. By being a heritage river it signifies the importance of its position and function within the watershed and that the flow, volume, filtration, water levels, and maintenance of “blue-green infrastructure” are integral for this river and to the surrounding area.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

 

I have been part of the salmon run with my small daughter during two of her class trips where she put the small fry into the stream to start their spawning cycle. It should be protected by educating the public about its importance, encouraging volunteers to participate in displays and community functions promoting the salmon run, and by imposing fines and other penalties against individuals who would interrupt the salmon run (eg. Fishing illegally or dumping materials into the stream).

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

I recycle regularly. I ride my bike in the summer or walk within the city to limit the amount of emissions from my car. I also have been planning on purchasing an electric car when the price comes down a little bit. In high school I wrote a paper on the damaging effects of chloriflourocarbons (CFCs) in hair sprays and other pressurized spray cans on the ozone layer. Thankfully, CFCs have since been banned.

Continued

Ryan Svendsen

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

 

I have looked at the Official Community Plan, primarily the town center plan.  I am aware that is the guiding document for council on decisions pertaining to future development.

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 

I see the value in protecting our water courses and support the entire Natural Features section.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

 

I do believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of green infrastructure and I am aware that there are grants available from other levels of government to assist local government with the associated costs.

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

 

I support the 30 meter setback along fish bearing streams.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

 

They are for wildlife to move from one area of their ecosystem to another, usually in the form of over and underpasses. I fully support them.

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 

I will need to do more research in this area as there is a lot of information to consider.  For example, what do the subject matter experts support, what is ARMs position on this matter and finally what is the city staff recommending.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 

I am aware of the important work that ARMS is involved with as I have attended some events in the past, however, I do need to learn more about the organization.

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

 

I absolutely think they should be able to make recommendations and provide information related to any development along the watershed.

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

I do support the continuation of grants for environmental organizations such as ARMS. We need organizations such as this to advocate for and educate the public on the matters related to watershed conservation.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

 

No, I am not aware of this.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

 

No, I have not seen the salmon run.

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

As a family, we try to support businesses that are aligned with our environmental priorities and recycle as much as possible.  I also own an electric car.  I also select food that has the least impact on the environment by eating  a plant based diet.

 

 

Glenn Shaffrick

Thanks for your concerns and the issues that are important to you in selecting candidates for the municipal elections.
I am familiar with what an OCP is and fully support a respectful balance between conservation and environmental concerns and development.
What I bring to the table is the to ability and desire to hear the issues from all sides to ensure council makes informed decisions.
This is why I agree with ARMS having a strong relationship with council and being our subject matter experts in areas pertaining to the watershed.
Your voice has to be heard and your knowledge factored into councils discussions.

 

Full transparency, I can’t answer a lot of the questions on my position and knowledge in the areas outlined in your questions and would look to agencies such as ARMS to educate and relay their knowledge to assist council in making decisions affecting the watersheds.

 

Regards,
Glenn Schaffrick

Michael Tuzzi

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.
  • Just reading up on the Official Community Plan now, part of my platform is the preservation of our eco-system and not to allow property development closer than 100 ft to our streams and rivers, I know that developers are pushing for that now.

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 

  • I am all for anything that has to do with preserving the environment and developing the ecosystem here in Maple Ridge. We need to put a cap on housing where it interferes with the natural beauty of our community, I think too much of an emphasis is placed on development of the land for residential purposes.

 

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

 

  • Absolutely, the one thing that bothers me now is that when a new development comes in the first they do is clear out all the trees, it looks terrible. I’m proud of the fact that in west Maple Ridge we have so many lots where you see an abundance of trees still standing.

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

 

  • It should be more but it’s a great start for protection of fish bearing streamside water flows

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

 

  • My knowledge of them is minimal at the moment but I do support them and would support protecting them and not allow development close to them

 

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 

  • I would have to take a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of this type of development. I would not want to see the natural beauty of these areas compromised

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 

  • I am not aware at the moment but again, anything to do with conservation, I am for

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

 

  • I do believe they have a role to play in helping to guide our positions in these matters, I would do my best to work with ARMS for the good of Maple Ridge. The role they play is to ensure the preservation of the sensitive lands and areas of the Watershed in terms of the ecosystem and development.

 

 

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

  • I do, and the reason is because I see too much development going on where there is not a lot of consideration given to the sensitive balance of development and preservation of the natural habitat of the land.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

 

  • Yes, I am. For me, this is an important designation that allows council special privileges that we can enact in our proceedings.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

 

  • I’ve actually only seen the aftermath, where the deceased salmon are in the river and on the banks after the run. To protect it we need to be keenly aware of all that is going on in our environment on a continual basis.

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

  • I believe the starting point is to recycle, recycle, and recycle even more ! I’m always looking for ways to recycle rather than throw out as garbage, and I believe this is growing at a rapid pace in our community.   I am so proud of The Maple Ridge Recycling Society and the work they do in our community !

 

continued

 

Ahmed Yousef

  1. As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

 

I have the complete binder on my night stand and every day for the last nine months I’ve been reading through it to familiarize myself with it. To give an example of my knowledge of the plan; I refer to the five main goals of the Metro Vancouver 2040 Regional Growth Strategy of:

  • Creating a compact urban area
  • Supporting a sustainable economy
  • Protecting the environment and responding to climate change impacts
  • Developing complete communities
  • Supporting sustainable transportation choices

 

  1. What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

 

My position on the Natural Features section is that must participate in regional, provincial, and federal programs and projects to preserve the natural integrity of watercourses and adopt comprehensive and innovative approaches to that end.

  1. Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

 

I firmly believe that such policies are what we should be considering for our future. Green infrastructure is the most sustainable and the least impactful on our pristine surroundings.

 

  1. What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

 

My position is that the 30 metre setback is an agreed upon measure for Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas, and as part of the Fish Protection Act, Maple Ridge would be well served to abide by it.

 

  1. What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

 

As stewards of the exquisite environment we are lucky to have, I believe it is upon us to provide high quality wildlife habitat and that is why our competition for space with wildlife must be mitigated to provide the long-established movement corridors with the space needed to continue to support the ecosystems we depend on.

  1. What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.

 

I believe the operative word here is ‘floodplain.’ Having lived in Nebraska and witnessed the carnage left behind during tornado season, I am of the mindset that one cannot build a home in the path of a tornado or a flood and expect nature to accommodate them. If we are left with no other options than to develop the North and South Rive floodplains, then we must look at the Netherlands for their model of building in such low lying lands and consider what would be applicable in our city.

 

  1. Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

 

Luckily, I am. I’ve recently become a lifetime member and have attended numerous events held and hosted by ARMS as well as two Board of Directors meetings.

 

  1. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

 

Yes, as the organization that is most familiar with the Alouette River Watershed I believe ARMS advisory role is absolutely vital to decision relating to development applications within Riparian areas.

 

  1. ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed. We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

 

Yes, I believe environmental organizations such as ARMS should continue to be funded for their work as they work they do is what protects us as inhabitants of this space from ourselves. Left to our own devices, we as humans tend to over-exploit our surroundings without consideration for our impact and/or thought to replenish the natural habitats we impact. Therefore, ARMS and other organizations like it protect our existence as we know it from our own human exploitation of the resources we have to the point of unsustainability.

 

  1. Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

 

I am, and to me it means we must preserve the long standing history of the river as the Katzie First Nation have not only depended on the salmon of the river, but also have spiritual and cultural ties to the river. And, as an important recreational focus for our residents and visitors we must ensure the continuation of our, thus far, successful urban river stewardship and raise awareness of its vitality to our community.

 

  1. Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

 

Unfortunately, I’ve not. I believe the proposed fish passage will serve to restore all species of salmon in the river and allow it to regain its liveliness and potential.

 

  1. What have you personally done to protect the environment?

 

I try to minimize the footprint of my family and I by recycling, composting, and generally being mindful that the pristine nature that surrounds us is fragile and the we must as responsible citizens protect it for ourselves and for future generations to enjoy.

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