Colwood Community Association Questions

Elect Scott MCDONALD in the Colwood election 2018

The Colwood Community Association Election 2018 Q & A – Read my answers!

The Colwood Community Association, founded by Kim Vincer, is hosting a weekly Q & A with candidates in the Colwood 2018 municipal election. Answers are limited to 150 words. Read my answers and thanks Kim!

Colwood Community Association Election Questions and my answers

Question: Week 1 — What skills would you bring to the table if elected?

Answer:

I come from rural southern Ontario, put myself through several university degrees and learned a few languages along the way, We speak English, French, and Japanese at home.  I have lived in Colwood for over 10 years, but before that I have lived in diverse places across Canada, such as: Canmore, Toronto, Sarnia, and was raised in a town of <400. I’ve experienced living internationally:  Europe/Asia—living in the worlds largest cities, like Tokyo, and some of its smallest — all these give me insights to the possibilities of what can and cannot work in our treasured community of Colwood, BC.

I’ve served on community boards in the capacities of treasurer, fundraiser, communications, and recruitment; and being collaborative in nature, made them work for the all involved, while learning a lot myself. I’ve owned three successful small businesses, worked for governments (Japan, Mauritius), have strong analytical, accounting, PR, and problem solving skills. I don’t make decisions based on emotion or philosophy, but rather my decisions are fact and evidence based.

Canada 150 Colwood Community Leader 2017

As Colwood’s Canada 150 Community leader, I learned a tremendous about about Colwood, how it works, and why, which meshed well with my day job as a destination marketer. My passion for Colwood knows no bounds!

Question: Week 2  — What would you do to alleviate the housing crisis for everyone, in particular seniors and young people starting out?     

Answer:

I believe in the principles of housing first and homes for everyone and I am a strong supporter of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and have even taken their Make Housing Central pledge. 29% of renters and 18% of home owners are paying more than 30% of their income for housing!

Housing Central Pledge - Scott McDonald
Municipalities are limited in what they can do, but here is a list of tools that we can tweak, just and modify to favour housing, and should employ: Bylaws, Transportation, Inclusionary Zoning, Fee Waivers and Relief, Property Taxes, Advocacy, Land Contributions, Replacement Policies, Housing Agreements, Community Land Trusts, Zoning for Rental Housing.

I try to volunteer as much as possible in the greater community effort to end homelessness. As such, I believe in the Housing First approach to solving homelessness, developed into workable reality by the street-to-homes community organizations in Victoria, such as: The Coalition, Our Place Society, Pacifica Housing, Victoria Cool Aid, and many more. Once housed, attention and dollars can be directed to improving the health, skill sets, and quality of life of the hard to home. It is good so see these organizations in our community. I support their further involvement in our community.

ResourceThe Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

Affordability

People need to be able to live in the communities in which they work and play. If residents of Colwood can’t afford to live in Colwood in 5, 10 or 20 years, then we will have failed them. I am in favour of using every means in the municipal tool box, in concert with other levels of government to keep housing and living affordability as high as possible. The BC government’s 30 point plan for housing affordability in BC  is not the solution to British Columbia’s housing affordability crisis. It is going to take this, a lot of out of the box thinking and cooperation of all levels of government in my opinion.

Resource: Affordable BC’s idea

Question: Week 3 — How would you go about improving the transportation/traffic problems we face living here?

Answer:

Colwood is bordered by the ocean and Metchosin, Langford, and View Royal. We don’t have control over who travels through Colwood to get to work, school, and play. Building more and wider roads is not the answer. The CRD’s regional transportation plan dates back to 2014 and therefore outdated, lacks imagination solutions and way finding isn’t really addressed.   What we need to do is:

  1. Remove the ocean as a barrier and put some serious study into water based traffic links to Esquimalt and/or James Bay. You can read the 2013 Ferry Feasibility Study by Royal Roads University MBA student, Jonathan Calderwood in cooperation between Black Ball Ferry Line, Royal Roads University’s School of Business and the WestShore Chamber of Commerce  and the backgrounder is here. We said yes. It was feasible, yet nothing was done, most likely because the capital investment required was to high.Westshore Ferry Study 2013
  2. Improve way finding in Colwood so that barriers to entry on: biking, cycling, walking, boarding methods of getting around Colwood are removed.
  3. Attract investment and business into Colwood, in a measured way so that more people are working here, rather than commuting.
  4. Work with the province and federal government to get HOV lanes on the TCH and/or increase the dedicated lanes to Victoria in the morning and out of Victoria at rush hour.
  5. Work with BC Transit to improve service in Colwood.
  6. And finally, work with the other municipalities and the CRD to find solutions to ease traffic issues, looking at the issue holistically and not just what benefits a single community.Resource:  Urban transport: problems, solutions and responsibilities


Week 4 — What is your view on the sustainability of Colwood’s tax base?

Answer:

It is not sustainable with 93% of it being funded by residents and 7% by business — if we want amenities such as sidewalks, skateboard parks, arts facilities and traffic solutions.

High density development is not the solution either. The newly minted OCP calls for balanced medium density mixed development in our community, going forward. This will gradually, and effectively change that ratio over time, allowing for the existing community to adapt and allowing us to plan for a robust future, keeping residential taxes in line with more amenities from the increased tax base, and more jobs available for residents who wish to work in our community as well.

Colwood Waterfront protection - Scott McDonald
Photo: City of Colwood – OCP

 

Week 5 — How would you preserve Colwood’s green spaces and waterfront?

Answer:

Page 9 — 3.2 GOALS of the 347 page Colwood 2018 Official Community Plan (OCP), Bylaw #1700, identifies the first priority for Colwood over the next 20 years accordingly:

The waterfront is a stewarded, world-class destination for residents and visitors alike.

Then:

Nearby urban areas…will be balanced with measures that protect sensitive ecological areas from human activity…safeguarding the qualities that make this place special.

On page 10, the second goal:

People and nature are exceptionally well-connected.

It goes on to state green spaces/water sheds will be protected AND enhanced. Development decisions will be based on the whole watershed. We have protection and enhancement of our waterfront/green spaces enshrined in the OCP. What I can do is protect the OCP from requests to amend these goals and/or grant variance requests watering this down.

It would take an evidenced based proof of an existential threat to people, significant infrastructure, or other ecosystems for me to move on this.


Want to help Scott win? See his support page!

Have You Read Scott’s Election Brochure?

Elect Scott MCDONALD in the Colwood election 2018

Download & Read Scott MCDONALD for Colwood Council’s Election Brochure

Where is your brochure, people have thoughtfully asked? Being environmentally conscious, and trying to keep our waste stream and carbon footprint as small as possible, we are trying to reach out to Colwood residents digitally with this website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, other print and digital media, such as the West Shore Voice News and the Goldstream News Gazette, Additionally we have  responded to dozens of surveys from various interest groups and media.

Elect Scott McDonald for Colwood Election Brochure 2018

We do have a digital brochure as well, and print a very limited number for canvassing at people’s door’s. (Thanks for the warm welcomes, cookies, hot tea and great conversations so far Colwood!)  In the end this may be the wrong strategy, but we will see.So far, we’ve had over 3,000 visits to the website, and expect double that by campaign’s end. Thank you for bearing with me!

Download Scott’s Election Brochure (pdf)


Want to help Scott win? See his support page!

ArtsVotes BC Survey – See Scott’s Answers

Elect Scott MCDONALD in the Colwood election 2018

Read my responses to the ArtsVote BC Election Survey

Scott McDonald - ArtsVote bc survey answers

Funding

Do you know how much your local government invests in the arts? Would you commit to advocating for an increase in that cultural investment for arts, culture, and heritage in your community, within the capacity of your elected body?

Yes

Advocacy

If elected, will you take an active role on behalf of your local government in championing the growth of arts, culture and heritage in your community? Why?

Yes. I have done so already, as Colwood’s Canada 150 Community Leader. Arts, Culture and Heritage is as important as parks, roads and transportation in my view.

Education

Students with an education rich in the arts have better grade point averages and are three times more likely to get a degree. Will you commit to making the arts a critical component of every child’s education? If so, how?

Education is a provincial jurisdiction. I already advocate for the arts in education and will continue to do so.

Cultural Growth

How will your local government maintain or grow its investment in cultural programs in your community?

Colwood is a growing community with an increasing tax base. Just as funds are allocated for new sidewalks, I will advocate and vote that funds continue to be allocated to the arts, and increased where possible in a a measured and meaningful way.

Cultural Spaces

Will you work to ensure access to affordable, sustainable cultural spaces for artists and arts organizations? If so, how?

Colwood already leads in this area. I will collaborate with the mayor and council to be sure this is not eroded.

Cultural Tourism

How do you propose to improve cultural tourism in your community?

Direct advocacy for and with local First Nations, and direct liaison with Indigenous Tourism BC and Destination BC, and Destination Greater Victoria.

How do you propose to attract or retain artists and cultural workers in your community?

Communication that Colwood is open and amenable to artists and cultural workers.

Key Issues

What do you feel is the single most important issue relating to arts, culture, and heritage in your community, and what action will you take to address it?

Identification of culture and heritage assets, experiences available for the public and communication of that.

Participation

How do you personally engage in the cultural life of the community? (e.g. involvement on committees, attending arts and culture events, etc.)

I attend art and culture events regularly. But I am also a destination marketer–I promote these constantly to the wider world.

See the original survey.


Want to help Scott win? See his support page!  Download Scott McDonald’s  Election Brochure (pdf)

Survey – Help Design Economic Dev Projects

Economic Development Survey for municipalities

Take This Survey and Help the BC Government Decide on Economic Development for Municipalities.

Surveys help government understand the real issues – Help British Columbia’s government and the Union of BC Municipalities: the advocate for local government in British Columbia since 1905 gov’t to design tools, programs & services for B.C.’s communities!

Take the following economic development survey and share with your network.

Please submit your complete set of responses by Friday, October 5th.

Read my views on economic development and other issues affecting Colwood.


Read Scott’s answers to the Colwood Community Association surveys.

Want to help Scott win? See his support page!