ELECTION 2014: Candidates responses to YPCR forum questions

ANDREA CRADDOCK – Five questions answered

Andrea Craddock

2. What is your vision for recreational development?

My vision for recreational development would include expansion of the Sea Walk, upgrades to existing hiking and biking trails, including increased accessibility, better parking and good signage.

Having 2 of my 3 daughters play soccer in their school years, I came to appreciate the caliber of coaching and talent we have in Campbell River.  I also came to appreciate that every winter and spring, we faced many cancelled games and practices due to our seasonal rainfall and field closures.  I absolutely see the value in an all weather field and know it would be well used.  A survey done in 2006 clearly showed public support for this project.  I believe young families are looking for increased services and ways to keep their children active.  That said, this is an expensive project and it may well mean other important projects have to wait.  I’m hopeful the city might find other avenues of revenue to offset the costs to make it a reality.

Strathcona Gardens pool and arena are continually in need of upkeep and improvements.  This facility is used by all ages in our community and keeping it current needs to remain a priority for our city.  Our outdoor pool is also well used by our community and visitors as well as providing summer employment for student lifeguards

Investing in upgrades to existing boat launches, including parking and fish cleaning stations, is something I’ve heard a lot on the doorstep from both recreational and guiding fisherman.  We claim to be the fishing capital of the world, yet have not kept up our launches to accommodate the growing numbers of tourists and residents wanting to get out on the water.

3. What environmental issues do you think municipal government has the ability to influence? How would your like to use that influence?

Decisions that affect the health and safety of our coast should certainly be in discussions at City Council as well as at the UBCM.  Our First Nation communities have clearly stated the dependence of their culture and way of life as intrinsically connected to our coast.  Anything that could potentially put our coast at risk should be opposed by our City Council and lobbying senior government is critical.

We need to continue to safe guard our world class drinking water and strengthen our environmental standards around keeping it clean and locally availableOur First Nation people believe that we should always look several generations ahead when making decisions.  I believe this to be especially true now as we are faced with real challenges due to global warming that include the acidification of our ocean, severe weather events and increased carbon emissions.

Our city has taken some positive steps forward with retrofit and efficiency programs, electric charging stations, recycling, green space initiatives, community gardens and composting.  We need to continue to expand on these initiatives and lower our carbon footprint.

4. What is your vision for job creation in Campbell River?

Sustainable resource practices and secondary industries in forestry could help to build back good paying jobs.  Exploring environmentally sound fishing options as well as diversified aquaculture will continue to provide jobs to our oceanfront city.

Encouraging green jobs and technologies to invest in our community could lead to sustainable, new jobs.  Providing initiatives through reclaiming agricultural land for farming could encourage young people to consider farming as a livelihood.

There is untapped potential for tourism and ecotourism.  By increasing accessibility and making improvements to our trails, parks, beaches and boat launches, we will increase visibility and more reasons for people to vacation here and experience all Campbell River has to offer.

Our growing seniors demographic will continue to require home care workers, extended care facilities as well as other services.

I also see expansion of our educational institutions and regional service centres as avenues of continued job creation.

6. What is your vision for economic development in Campbell River? Please provide examples.

We have recently seen an increase in our city in residential, retail and commercial development. This has allowed our existing tax base to grow and brought renewed confidence in our downtown.

While the city is experiencing this growth, we need to continue to explore and advance other economic opportunities. There is potential growth in the development of the industrial lands that surround our airport, explore sustainable aquaculture through contained sites, community forests which would provide local jobs and secondary wood industries. I believe there is much larger potential in ecotourism, regional service centres, and the expansion of our educational institutions.  Communities on the island are investing in green jobs and technology.  Campbell River has great potential to harness sustainable, new jobs that would encourage young people to stay and move here.

I believe Campbell River with its spectacular environment and affordability, together with improved marketing would make us a much more sought after retirement and family oriented community.

7. How can you help make our city a place that developers, builders want to conduct projects?

By having a committed, functioning team at City Council who set out a clear plan and goals for our city, I believe we can make our city a place where developers will want to conduct projects that reflect the ideals and needs of our community.

Ensuring processes with the city are completed in a timely fashion after proper consultation with all affected parties is key.  Insuring proper environmental standards or concerns are addressed and we remain true to our Community Plan and the citizens we serve.