I strongly believe in the connection between environmental values and economic growth. Businesses depend on stable communities for their workforce and communities depend on the tax base generated by businesses. Municipal planning for economic, environmental and social sustainability is a key component in creating a stable and livable community. As part of this approach, I am committed to commercial and residential integration. The free reign given to developers has created towers without community. I believe Burnaby needs a plan that provides an incentive for small businesses to start and grow in Burnaby. This growth will bring jobs, reduce commuting, and increase tax revenue. I understand the challenges facing our business community were only made worse by the pandemic. This adversity contains an opportunity for better, sustainable growth in Burnaby.
Similarly, Burnaby residents have consistently voiced a desire for a sustainable future, one that balances healthy green space, business growth and innovative policy. For decades, Burnaby City Council stood by as homeownership has moved beyond the reach of the average family. In Metro Vancouver, Burnaby ranks third highest in child poverty and third highest in the number of working poor. The political dynasty that has dominated Burnaby for decades permitted Burnaby to become the most unaffordable city in Canada. The future envisioned by the old guard is one where our children cannot afford to live or raise families in Burnaby. This does not need to be the case, solutions exist, and I am committed to working with all members of the community to develop and implement them.
I have demonstrated the genuine compassion and leadership that Burnaby City Council needs in transformative times. Burnaby needs leaders with a vision to build a sustainable future. I will listen to residents, workers, and businesses – to grow a community that collectively has vision and innovative spirit.