ELECTION 2011: Oak Bay council candidates queried about housing, homelessness

Two Oak Bay council candidates, Cairine Green and Gregory Hartnell, responded to a pre-election questionnaire

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness sent out a questionnaire to all candidates running in the Nov. 19 civic election.

Just two candidates in the Oak Bay race responded: Cairine Green and Gregory Hartnell.

Below are the coalitions questions and the two candidates answers. Responses have been edited by the News for spelling and grammar.

 

Question 1. The City of Victoria has adopted a Harm Reduction policy framework. What action steps will you take or support to ensure the strategies are implemented?

Cairine Green: If elected as a council member in Oak Bay, I will continue my work with the coalition and City of Victoria council colleagues to support harm reduction and the harm reduction policy framework. I will be an active voice on Oak Bay council to try to bring about consensus among council colleagues that Oak Bay can and should make a significant contribution as a regional partner to supporting the City of Victoria harm reduction strategies designed to address the hardship of the homeless and those with other special complex needs that include mental illness and addictions. My goal will be to work together at the local and regional levels to ensure  these strategies are moved forward and implemented.

Gregory Hartnell: The City of Victoria’s so-called harm reduction policy framework is a part of draconian globalist eugenics programs, is inherently evil, and not applicable outside of that decadent jurisdiction, thank God! Therefore, as an informed opponent of all such mischievous New World Order nonsense, and as a person who will not countenance half measures designed by technocrats to perpetuate the prohibition of these drugs, I will not support any similar plans in Oak Bay to enable addicts to stay enslaved to their addictions indefinitely. In other words, I am opposed to both failed so-called harm reduction and prohibition regimes. The now lax police enforcement of failed prohibition laws is a poor social health policy and has failed miserably since 1989.

 

Question 2. What will you do to create and implement a new regional affordable housing housing levy?

Cairine Green: I have a history of proactive work related to affordable housing on a regional basis. I lobbied successfully for the ability of partner municipalities that contribute to the Capital Regional District’s Regional Housing Trust Fund, to be able to make voluntary contributions to the fund beyond their normal annual requisition. If elected, I will introduce this idea to Oak Bay council colleagues, while at the same time educating Oak Bay residents about the importance of the RHTF and its significant role in providing affordable subsidized housing across the region. If elected, I will also explore other strategies that might assist with affordable housing options through an Oak Bay Official Community Plan review, a process that has been identified as a priority for Oak Bay and must include community engagement and consultation.

Gregory Hartnell: The Capital Regional District is a completely opaque, secretive, non-accountable pseudo-government which I do not respect and therefore I would not support any non-democratic efforts its bureaucracy may cook up to do anything at all.

 

Question 3. What municipal incentives will you introduce or champion to build new or renovated below-market rental housing?

Cairine Green: If elected, I will begin with my council colleagues, engaging in meaningful discussions about reviewing existing Oak Bay rental housing stock and seeking opportunities for new or below-market rental housing that fits with local needs. I will work with the community and other stakeholders and partners, including local non-profit organizations, to learn more about local housing objectives related to below market rental housing.

Gregory Hartnell: I am firmly committed to never raise taxes, to reduce wasteful spending, and to reduce borrowing radically in the three-year term, should I be elected to serve the overtaxed residential and commercial property taxpayers of the District of Oak Bay. I see no advantage to building public housing in Oak Bay, as these projects invariably distort the local housing market, creating new social tensions that did not exist prior to the public intrusion.

 

Question 4. We know that in March 2010, 21,180 people used food banks in Greater Victoria; 13.7% reported employment income; 22.4% were children. What will you do at the municipal level to support access to healthy and affordable food?

Cairine Green: If elected, I will first continue to actively support the Regional Growth Strategy intended to protect region-wide agricultural and rural lands that can be used for growing local food that is safe and accessible. I realize that food banks are now part of our regional fabric and will encourage council colleagues in Oak Bay and in other municipalities to support an effective network of donating food and expertise to local food banks. We know and recognize that homelessness and food banks are all symptoms of a deeper root cause and that’s systemic poverty. I know that B.C., for example, has the highest child poverty rate in the country. I will encourage Oak Bay council and the community to continue its efforts to address some of these needs but I will also encourage us to partner with other levels of government to help address the very real issue of child poverty.

Gregory Hartnell: I advocate a campaign for Oak Bay tax liberty, which basically would leave more money in everyone’s pockets. I encourage everyone concerned about rising food costs to start their own all-seasons organic vegetable gardens as we have done on our own property, and for those renters without private property, I would work to have unused parts of Oak Bay’s parks used as community allotment gardens, without incurring any new costs to taxpayers.

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