Paul Reitsma. (Photo submitted)

Three questions for Parksville councillor candidate Paul Reitsma

Candidate for councillor

Do you support the facility proposed for 222 Corfield? Why or why not?

I am on record favoring Supportive and Affordable Housing Projects for the homeless, low income seniors/single parents with dependents and those with a behaviour issue but without the inclusion of those suffering with substance abuse within the same facility.

Common sense tells one they do not mix. I have strongly advocated all sides, including the AHVIS put their considerable energies and passions together and present a united front to the provincial government requesting a separate facility for those afflicted with substance abuse. It has been done in Victoria and Penticton. Parksville lacks the needed infrastructure support. I am deeply concerned with the rhetoric and accusations that “Parksville citizens don’t have compassion” levied by people from outside Parksville. They don’t live here, nor vote here, nor pay taxes and don’t have to live with the consequences. Let those who PAY have the SAY.

How will you balance the needs of seniors and those of younger residents?

To become better informed I sought input from three citizens of each group.

Sufficient clean drinking water, medical care, (need more doctors here!!), safe/secure streets and good policing are a concern for all.

We also need affordable housing and rental accommodation. We can’t attract younger families (crucial for a well-rounded demography) seeking meaningful employment if there is no place to live or unaffordable. Our younger generation understandably are concerned with good schools and day care. Seniors see a need for improved home care and the ability to function independently for as long as they can. Younger citizens should be provided with opportunities to work off their energies. Skateboard parks, sports and nature programs ( for everyone). Transportation is important for all of us, as are strategically located shelters for when it rains, waiting for a bus or when walking. To attract new business council should eliminate unnecessary delays and strangling red tape.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

First of all I thank and congratulate everyone for tossing their hat into the ring, you already are a winner making yourself available to serve our community. I have always followed the practice of “I like to win on my own merits not on the demerits of my opponent”. All candidates bring with them their skills, abilities and strengths. The voter will evaluate and vote accordingly. I have lived in DS69 and Parksville since 1972. Owned/operated a small business, raised a family, am a grandfather. Was involved with PAC (Parent’s Advisory Committee) throughout my children’s school years Served as mayor 1987-1996 always presenting balanced budgets, known for keeping taxes to a minimum. I have demonstrated being a good listener and ALWAYS return calls or simply meet with the caller addressing their concern. Being six-foot-six, I can safely say: No one will stand taller for Parksville then I and would appreciate your vote.

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