Teunis Westbroek. - Submitted photo

Three questions for Qualicum Beach councillor Teunis Westbroek

Candidate for councillor

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

Early in the Town’s official community planning process, we sought direction from residents about their most important issues. The strongest response was housing! During the last five years, our real estate market has exploded, creating a gap between household income and housing affordability.

The single most pressing election issue is, therefore, how should the Town address a growing housing concern that is putting enormous pressure on our residents and adversely impacting community health, school enrollment, local services, volunteerism and other contributors to our quality of life. I support leveraging Town-owned lands to address the need for affordable and attainable housing; increasing housing density in the village centre and working with other levels of government, private and non for profit sectors on innovative solutions using our airport properties; and the redevelopment of the light industrial area of the Second-Avenue ‘East Village”

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

Most of the needs of our residents are interrelated- whether young or young-at-heart. A thriving community needs young families, youth and seniors. For example, quality health care is an essential component of a viable community, regardless of age or socio-economic status. Finding a family physician however has been an ongoing issue for many of our residents, whether seniors or young families. Other examples would be sidewalk safety, accessibility and traffic calming, which are equally important to seniors as to young families. An expansion of our swimming pool and updated skateboard park and other facilities and places to socialize for young people will encourage them to continue to study, live and work here. Affordable housing, suitable for families, singles and seniors draws entrepreneurs and providers of businesses and services. Facilitating employment development through repurposing the Train Station and the Old Fire Hall is effective in attracting young families and we need to continue this approach by re-developing ‘East-Village’.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

While I believe we have excellent candidates running in this election, I offer my knowledge about Qualicum Beach and twenty-two years of experience is what I can offer our Town and new Council. I have a solid record of fiscal responsibility, responding to individual needs and getting things done through effective collaboration with other levels of government, the business community, volunteer organizations and capable Town Staff.

My vision has always been to put the needs of our residents first, enhance our small town atmosphere and provide our residents with cost-effective, facilities, parks and trails that makes our Town one of the best places in which to live for people of all ages.

Protecting the very qualities that attracted us to Qualicum Beach in the first place has been my goal as your Mayor. My commitment to you has not changed. I will stay the course to continue financial stability, modest growth, transparent and inclusive decision making, environmental protection and compassion for people.

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