New Westminster city councillor Jaimie McEvoy is standing by the living wage policy he introduced to city council.
Mayoral candidate James Crosty has developed a seven-point plan aimed at tax relief, with one of those points being a review of the city's living wage policy to see if it is costing the city money.
"If it is, I would implement what Burnaby did already. They rejected the living wage and went for a fair wage policy," he told a crowd at an Nov. 6 all-candidates meeting.
Incumbent councillor Lorrie Williams said she initially wondered what effect the policy would have and whether it's something the city could afford.
"I really firmly believe in my heart that we have got to pay people a decent wage," she said. "When people are paid well, guess what? These people turn around, and they spend that money back in our community anyway. I think the living wage is a good thing."
McEvoy said while working in the private sector he's never asked how he could pay employees the lowest amount possible, how he could demoralize them and make their lives hard so they would leave and he would constantly have to keep hiring new people.
"I have to say to you, if your proposal is to walk into city hall, where the entire cost of the living wage program is less than one of the salaries of our senior management, and you want to focus on the poorest people earning the lowest wage, then I think you need to give your head a shake," he said at the all-candidates meeting. "The first job of a councillor is to be fair, not to be ideological."
DON'T TOUCH THOSE SIGNS
If residents have issues with civic election signs, they should be complaining to the city's election office.
Brenda Sims, the city's chief election officer, said a few people have contacted her about placement of election signs. Complaints are handled on a case-by-case basis.
"They should contact me or send me an email," she said. "We will respond to the complaints."
Sims said each of the candidates running for office in New Westminster has received a copy of the city's guidelines for election signage. The guidelines address the dates that signs can be in place, the size and the location.
Election signs aren't permitted on city property (perimeter of public parks, playing fields and buildings; on grassed and landscaped medians, traffic dividers or centre boulevards such as Second and Fifth streets). They aren't allowed to be on public sidelines, lanes or roads and aren't allowed to be attached to public utility poles, signposts, trees or city buildings.
Signs placed on other properties must be there with the full consent of the property owner. They can't restrict visibility of traffic control devices and sightlines.
New Westminster Police Sgt. Gary Weishaar said an individual had posted comments on Twitter indicating he was in possession of a number of election signs, having removed them because of concerns they were on public property.
"We were notified about it. We tracked him down," Weishaar said. "We took the signs."
Weishaar said police seized a number of signs belonging to candidates for city council.
"It's inappropriate," he said of the actions.
"Don't take the signs down. If you have a complaint, you need to take that up with the chief elections officer."
ON THE WEB
If you've been unable to attend any all-candidates meetings -or they didn't give you enough information about the candidates -you may want to check out some of their websites.
On the mayor's front, three of the four candidates have websites: James Crosty (crosty.ca), Vance McFadyen (vancemcfadyen.com)and Wayne Wright (wayne-wright.info).
Several city councillor candidates have websites, including: John Ashdown ( johnashdown.com), Jonathan Cote ( votecote.ca), Bill Harper ( billharper.ca), Vladimir Krasnogor ( vladimirkrasnogor.ca), Jaimie McEvoy (jaimie mcevoy.com), Betty McIntosh ( bettymcintosh.ca), David Noshad (drda vidnoshad.com), Gavin Palmer ( gavinpalmer.ca)and Chuck Puchmayr ( politicallycorrect.ca).
School trustee candidates with websites include: Jonina Campbell (joninacampbell.ca), Casey Cook ( caseycook.ca), Jim Goring (jimgoring.ca), Maryann Mortensen (maryann-mortensen.blogspot.com), James Pepa ( jamespepa.com)and David Phelan (davidphelan.org).
Voice New Westminster, which is endorsing candidates for city council and school board, has a web-site that's found at voice newwestminster.org.
While some of the local candidates have websites, even more are taking advantage of social media such as Facebook and Twitter and invite you to seek them out.
NO COUNSELLING WANTED HERE
Jaimie McEvoy has had some interesting encounters on the campaign trail.
Elected to city council in 2008, McEvoy has been doing some door knocking as part of the 2011 campaign. On Sunday night, McEvoy knocked on a door and heard a voice from the other side ask who was there.
"Jaimie McEvoy here, your friendly neighbourhood city councillor," he replied.
That wasn't enough to encourage the resident to open their door.
"What? I don't need any counselling! Go away."
HEADING DOWN UNDER?
While some snowbirds head to Palm Springs or Florida during the cold months in Canada, incumbent Mayor Wayne Wright plans to spend some time in Australia once he retires.
Wright once lived and worked in Australia, returning to Canada when an opportunity arose to start Olde World Fudge. With several of his childhood friends from Ontario still living in Australia and his lady friend hailing from the land Down Under, Wright plans on spending more time there once he has more free time.
"I am going to be spending some time in Australia, just like people that go to Florida, and they go to Mexico and they go to Palm Beach. I'll be getting on an airplane and going to Sydney and the Gold Coast and to Brisbane to see my friends. And I will be back here because I have my family here," he said.
He says his plans are no more than what other seniors who are ready for their "down time" might do. Wright envisions having two homes -a summer home and a winter home. He plans to return to the Royal City.
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