Candidate for Duncan City Councillor: Tom Duncan

Tom Duncan (incumbent)

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  • Please tell us a bit about yourself and what made you decide to run in this election?

I have been on council for 10 years, and am running for re-election, I have experience and feel I can continue to work for the citizens of Duncan, on the many committees I have served on.  I have lived in the city for 18 years, my daughters are grown and live out of town, and I am retired from a 37.5 year career at ICBC.

  • Do you support the Drinking Water & Watersheds Protections Service bylaw referendum?  

YES. I believe our region needs to have better control of the water resources and I think the provincial government Water Act should give local communities the authority to control our resource

  • Do you support the Cowichan Housing Association Service Establishment bylaw? 

No. I do not support creating another level of bureaucracy with administrative cost close to 30%. The Provincial Government has resources and as a region we can partner with BC Housing to build affordable housing,  a municipal government provides land and BC Housing builds the housing and partners with a local agency to run the facility  

  • How do you plan to work with other governments within the region, including local First Nations as well as provincial and federal governments?

I believe our current council is working collaboratively with all levels of government, Duncan council and First Nations began to work closely for the NAIG and the Walking of Nations, our current council has a liaison with Tribes Provincially, I want to collaborate with BC Housing to get housing started in the area and region, I want to review our Strategic plan and take advantage of Federal infrastructure programs  

  • One Cowichan supporters have expressed concerns about climate change, especially local impacts on our water resources. What local climate change mitigation and/or adaptation strategies would you support if elected?  

I have been and continue to fully support all the City of Duncan climate initiatives, we have a focus on sustainability, I supported our Urban forest Strategy/ Tree Protection policies, We have a progressive Garbage, Recycling and Organics services, we are working  with partners on Joint Utilities wastewater, our public works monitor the stormwater system

  • How do you propose managing growth sustainably in the Cowichan Region (e.g. transportation, environmental/agricultural protection, land-use, housing, cost of living)?

The City of Duncan is less than 5,000 people, we can only do so much, and we have to collaborate with our neighboring municipality and regional district. We're undertaking a Parking and Accessibility study for Downtown Duncan, we need to complete a Master Transportation Plan with our neighbouring governments. I plan on approaching BC Housing to get things built; simply put, Local Governments give land, BC Housing builds the housing and finds local non-profit agencies to manage the facilities. The city has limited control of cost of living, we are fiscally responsible, and have kept a balance of taxes to services provided.

  • What do you consider the three most pressing issues facing local government and the one most important thing local government should do on each one?

Housing and homelessness, work with BC Housing to get started with building, Transportation and accessibility need to be addressed, there is a planned Parking and Accessibility study, and work with existing regional transportation plans with so many new people running for council and only 2 current councillors running, the city will have to quickly review the Strategic plan to set direction, I can provide experience with my many years and varied committee experience.

  • Our citizen surveys indicate a desire for more consultation and accountability between elected officials and their constituents. If elected, what would your approach be to those issues?

I will continue to support the enhanced public participation, thru Neighbourhood Groups, booths at the market and such Internet information gathering programs such as, Placespeak. The city has an improved Website for communication with the public: www.duncan.ca. The city website has our annual reports with detailed information for your supporters. I will continue working on the many issues we face for the betterment of our community.