Neil Horner. - Submitted photo

Three questions for Qualicum Beach councillor candidate Neil Horner

Candidate for councillor

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue in your community?

The roundabout at the bottom of Memorial Ave. is likely to be the hot-button issue. However, the issue I see as most important is the need for reasonable collaboration with investors to make the proposed East Village project a viable reality. We should strive for excellence, as Qualicum Beach is a quality community, but if we foster unnecessary delays and unrealistic expectations, the whole thing could fall apart. I want to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It’s a matter of balance, creativity and collaboration.

Qualicum Beach is a charming community and we need to chart a course that will retain and enhance that charm, while offering opportunity and economic viability. We need to utilize evidence, reason and creativity, rather than politics, dogma and ideology when making these decisions.

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

The opening of the Berwick facility will not only provide the opportunity to age in place for seniors, but it will also open up a good number of single residential units – ideal for families.

Moving forward, I plan to again push for a cap on age-restricted stratas in Qualicum Beach, thus giving young families at least a chance to buy property here. The seniors currently living in age-restricted stratas could continue to do so, but there should be no more of them moving forward.

In addition, I want to have two beach volleyball courts at the St. Andrews Lodge site – which I think should be called Little Park. I also want to put tiny homes at the airport so young families can get a start.

Meanwhile, I want to continue making progress on improving sidewalks to eliminate trip hazards for seniors and impediments for their scooters.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Although I am a writer, I find pretty words far less convincing than real action. To this end, I have consistently put my money where my mouth is. I support Broom Busters, not with pretty words, but with loppers at the side of the road. I even donated $400 of my own money for prizes for Broomfest, which I helped organize. I support Kiwanis, not with pretty words, but by rolling up my sleeves and getting involved. I am now their vice president. I supported Streamkeepers, not with pretty words, but by pitchforking dead salmon at the hatchery.

I support Seedy Saturday, not with pretty words but by volunteering at the event every year.

I support the homeless and marginalized, not with pretty words, but by handing out free coffee at the Manna van on Saturday mornings in the winter months for the past five years.

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