Friends and Supporters

Posted on October 19, 2018

Hello friends and supporters,
On June 27th, 114 days ago, I announced my candidacy for your consideration in the election to come. From the steps of our historic city hall, I spoke about the past we have shared, the future we can build, and the unique moment we find ourselves in. It was a celebratory occasion, and one I’m proud to have shared with so many.
At the conclusion of my announcement I was asked two questions and, one of feels ominous in retrospect. Perhaps meant in good humour, the questions was simply ‘Do you like bloodsport’ referring to the combative and divisive nature civic politics can take on. At the time I addressed it speaking to a desire for an elevated dialogue of values, ideas, direction and shared ambition.
Despite the divisive and at times combative tone that has followed, I am proud of the exchange of ideas that has taken place and of my contribution to this dialogue. The simple idea that our city can deliver more by working proactively to meet the needs of its citizens has resonated with so many in our community and it has been a pleasure to champion this principle.
Tomorrow, I hope you’ll go to polls and make sure your voice is heard when the votes are tallied up. We have an inspiring number of candidates in Chilliwack and I’d like to thank each of them for their willingness to step forward with the aim to serve our community.

Yesterday evening we hosted another passionate group of people in our downtown Campaign HQ to discuss the topic of sustainability and fostering a local food culture. This topic was one that originated a bit more organically than some of our previous policy evenings. It was routed in the desire of a few people to come together to try and see if there could be a role that the City would play in connecting people to local food and shifting our community to think in terms of long range sustainably. We decided to widen the circle and invite a few other voices to the table and we ended up having some amazing discussions as a result.

Most of the attendants were small business owners, however I don’t think that that is how they would describe themselves. They were organic small lot food growers, passionate chefs, restauranteurs, food advocacy collective members, and zero waste champions. The discussion started off with a sort of casual report card as to where we currently find ourselves, and our collective conciseness around topics such as where our food comes from, what is the true cost of supporting local vs. the benefits, and how we might go about changing some of our preconceived notions of value and cost of sustainable products and foodstuffs. Questions were raised about the City’s use, and ability to regulate products like Roundup.

The main topic eventually came around to a conversation relating to Chilliwack’s amazing potential as an agricultural producer, and yet our massive local disconnect from purchasing locally produced foods. With the exception of corn season and berries, as well as the odd vegetable stand selling peppers and the like, we are not a community that is overly supportive of locally produced goods. This trend is all the more alarming as we look to municipalities to our West who have become somewhat fanatically steeped in local food culture, supporting producers, restaurants and businesses that work to offer more and more locally produced goods each day. One woman who produces a variety of organic ground crops here in Chilliwack commented that there is only one restaurant, Curly Kale, that buys her products locally, and the rest she ships West and takes to farmers markets in Vancouver. The restauranteurs in attendance commented on how hard those decisions really are, because they can buy potatoes for .50 Cents/ lb from CISCO and locally they would be $2.00/ lb. They indicated how difficult it was to speak about truly buying and supporting local to their customers, as everyone seems to say that, and yet few truly do.

Ideas were floated about how the City might be able to assist in supporting small lot producers and urban agriculture, as Agricultural Land Reserve land parcels in Chilliwack are either small, and occupied by the wealthy as estate homes, or they are massive, at upwards of $100,000/ acre, and impossible for a new small lot farmer to buy or lease. Would the City be able to either buy land, or work with a couple of major land owners to create a community garden of sorts for smaller producers, who could share services such as a well, a tractor or other expensive investments, to provide a possible avenue for those who wish to get involved in the industry or grow their own food to do so? And what we also heard loud and clear was a need to have a proper farmers market. There have been many different versions tried over the years, some of which have even had support from the City, however none have lasted. It is a shame, largely due to the fact that we have such amazing products being grown here, but also because Mary Forstbaur, a Chilliwack matriarch, was the founder of BC Association of Farmers Markets.

The topic of a kitchen collective was raised as a way to support small scale catering companies, bakers, and chefs, who currently find it hard to find commercial kitchen space to operate in and so they are unable to build out their business ideas. As talked food trucks and food carts, mobile licences and business incubation. The group spoke about how in many places food trucks are where chef’s test their ideas, and often transition into full restaurants once they have built a clientele, a skill set and saved some money. That in addition to creating urban street culture and a more diverse offering of food throughout Chilliwack. I must admit that I had never thought of food trucks as a business incubation model.

Overall it was a great eventing of sharing ideas, talking about what could be, and perhaps shaping what will be. I took away a feeling of optimism as I am constantly fuelled by those pushing for the things that they are most passionate about, and being active participants in shaping the community that they desire to live in one day.

Hello Friends and Supporters

Posted on September 25, 2018

As you are most likely aware, a Special Meeting of Council was held on September 20th and a decision was made to refer questions about my expenses for an independent review. I truly wish that I could speak openly about all of these matters, however the investigation underway makes that impossible. I assure you that a complete picture of all of the work that I was doing outside of our City over the last four years will be released as soon as we are able to. I will be complying with any of the recommendations that result from the audit, and I am committed to changing any of my reporting methods to provide an elevated level of transparency.

I sincerely regret that this topic has been such a large distraction from the issues in our City, however it helps to highlight the gap between the focus of our politics, and the magnitude of our challenges. As I move forward in my bid for mayor, my aim is to continue connecting with voters on the issues that are most important to them. My intention to run was informed by the changes that our community faces, and the real challenges that the changes create. My platform sought to bring voice to a new vision for Chilliwack, and I am committed to speaking to those ideas and seeing them through to implementation once we are elected into office.

We are only 24 days away from the election and now is the time to Stand Up for the community that you want to see, to Stand With Me in saying that good enough is not good enough anymore, and to believe that real change in our City is less than a month away from becoming a reality.

I am putting out a challenge to anyone who wishes to hear from me or ask me questions to get 10 of your friends together and host a get-together and I will be there! So if you have not had the chance to meet me, now is that opportunity, in your living room, back yard, coffee shop or brewery of choice; I will make myself available to you. Lets talk about those big ideas that you have, the challenges in our housing policies, crime rates, the environment, garbage collection, transit, or anything else on your mind. I look forward to the many conversations to come!

The other evening we hosted another Policy Listening Session, this time checking in with a group of Agricultural Producers to see how City Hall, can assist them. We brought together representatives from the dairy sector, the poultry (Chicken) and egg sectors, the blueberry farmers, swine (pig) farmers, and finally the nursery businesses. Included in this group were federal representatives for their agricultural industry, working at a national level on policy with Federal and Provincial governments. We also had a couple of people who have sat on the City’s Agricultural Commission and on the Agricultural Advisory Committee with unique understanding of the decisions that the City makes regarding agriculture.

Some in attendance supported me and my campaign to become the Mayor while others did not; what they shared was a belief that if I do get elected, I had better understand their industries.

I should add that I grew up in Rosedale and I had my first job on a dairy farm when I was 6 years old, mucking out stalls and feeding calves. I continued to work on dairy farms throughout my schooling, coming home from class to start milking at 4:00 and do the barn chores before dinner and homework. In the summers I worked haying, and other field work for nearby farmers and came to see windows into other farm industries as well. My father is a farm Veterinarian, primarily working with the dairy and swine sectors in Chilliwack, so dirty rubber boots and shop-talk about farming was common place as I grew up. I came to gauge the changing of the seasons by what cut of hay had just been taken in from the fields, how high the corn was, and when the fields were being plowed under or seeded. This exposure helped to inform my respect for our agricultural roots in my work as a councillor; however, I also understood that the small scale 35 cow dairy that I had primarily worked on was not the norm anymore. The industries on agricultural land in Chilliwack have been rapidly evolving and I needed to better understand these modern realities if I was going to be able to make wise decisions about agricultural land zoning, and the many other influences City Council has over farming in our community. Over the last four years I have gone about doing that.

Chilliwack has a long history of being an agricultural community, and even today a large portion of our economy is driven by output generated from farm land. The pressures on agriculture, and specifically the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in Chilliwack today are heightening and this once dominant industry is no longer something that all of our residents understand or appreciate, except perhaps at the times of year when manure is being spread.

We started off as I have become accustomed to doing, simply asking the question of what is it that you think I should know about your industry? And what challenges are you facing? And finally how can we better support you? Immediately the topic of ALR land prices came up. The increasing challenge of purchasing or leasing lands, especially for crops like hay, silage and corn, are necessary and expensive for dairy farming, but are not as profitable per acre as a poultry barn, blueberries, or many other uses. This tension however was felt, at least by those around the table to be caused by two main outside factors. The first is the rampant speculation on farm land along our urban/rural interface. Within the ALR in Chilliwack the vast majority of the land is owned by those who operate on it. On our urban/rural divide that ratio flips, those who own do not occupy, and in many cases are hoping that the City and the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission allow a little bit more farm land to be converted to housing, or light industry. This speculative market artificially drives up land values throughout the ALR in Chilliwack, and those costs become a challenge to those who need to use the land for legitimate cropping purposes. The second major factor is the non-farm-use of ALR lands, meaning those who break the regulations for the land, and instead of farming on it, use it to run construction companies, trucking operations, or a multitude of other businesses that belong on commercial, industrial, and light industrial lands. There was a clear call for the City to enforce our land regulations, and help to eliminate this trend.

The group also spoke about the issue of overcrowded rail lines, currently being used to supplement pipelines as a method of oil transport, and thus making it difficult to get grain from the prairies to their farms. This is especially concerning for poultry farmers who rely on this supply chain as the main feed for their flocks. Others brought up how the City manages, or in some cases, does not adequately manage, our ditches and other waterways. As these watercourses begin to change and fill with organic matter, canary grass and other vegetation, we are seeing new species taking refuge here and calling these changing ecosystems home. Concerns around salmon habitat and the Salish Sucker were top of mind for many.

A universal challenge for all of the producers was our inadequate transportation networks. Whether it is the undersized rural roads for large farm machinery, or the increasing congested Highway # 1, getting goods to market has now become more difficult. A milk truck trip to Burnaby that used to take 60 minutes can now take as long as 90 minutes to 2 hours. This is a massive change in the cost of transport, and those costs are getting passed onto the farmers.

There were many great conversations and a lot of stark honesty about the state of our City and their industries, but the most surprising topic of conversation was the shortage of workers across the industry. There was a general sense that nobody seemed to want to do this kind of work anymore, at least not the long days in the fields or the midnight milkings. Many of the large agricultural producers have moved to employing temporary foreign workers (TFW) to satisfy their huge staffing needs and to get the job done of getting their goods to market. Under the TFW Program it is also mandatory for the employer to secure adequate housing, which is becoming an ever growing problem. As I write this blog, Chilliwack has less than 1% vacancy in the residential rental market, meaning that it is nearly impossible to find a place to live. This may not impact you, or maybe it does, but it could be the difference to your son or daughter, your friend or co-worker, or to the staff you currently employee and your business depends upon. Some of these farmers are actually buying houses for their staff, to address the impossible situation of finding no other option to secure enough workers to fill their needs.

It was a positive evening, and I’m happy to share that I learned a lot from the honest perspectives share at the table. The campaign team and myself had not anticipated having a conversation around availability and affordability of housing when we sat down to meet with a group of Chilliwack farmers that evening; however, their insight into the interconnected nature of the fabric of our community has further informed my understanding of the reality for so many in Chilliwack. When the City falls short on a given portfolio, it can send huge and disruptive shock waves through the community.

Over the past couple of months the Mayor and some of my council colleagues have called into question the work that I have been doing out of town on behalf of our City. While the conversation has been framed as a debate over expenses, I believe that what is at the core of the disagreement is a fundamental difference in the philosophy surrounding what exactly the role of a an elected Councillor or Mayor is. Is it our sole purpose to reside in our City, listen to residents, and vote on the development applications and projects that come before us? Or is the role one of true leadership, where we strive to plan into the future, understand the shifting face of society and its needs, and try to guide our community, and our City budget to meet the changes happening in the world? I believe that in a City our size, with one of the fastest growing populations in Canada, that how we deal with this question will define us. We need to acknowledge that change is going to happen in our community, we can either shape it, or be shaped by it.
Below is a video link, and my written statement, from the September 4th Council meeting, as I address the questions that were raised around the expenses that I incurred for my out of town work.

“While I don’t agree with how these questions were raised in this chamber, I do welcome the opportunity to speak about some of the out of town work that I am most proud of.

On August 21st Councillor Stam asked me five specific questions, which I will answer. However, his speech also made a handful of assumptions and veiled accusations that I believe need to be addressed:
· Councillor Stam stated that he was startled to see my expenses for the last four years totalling almost 50,000 dollars. I do find this hard to believe because each councillor and the mayor’s expense totals are made public every year, and indeed make front page headlines in our local print media almost every time. I would also like to point out that at no point did I breach the stated council expense policy, and each of my expenses has been reviewed by our staff and authorized prior to reimbursement. As for the additional expenses that I incurred for my work on the board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), these expenses were pre-authorized in a resolution from council before I ran for the position. In addition, my expense report was presented to all of council and a staff-supported endorsement for me to serve a second term on the board of FCM came before this council at the April 17th meeting this year. There has been ample opportunity for any of my council colleagues to ask me for clarity for any of the work that I have been doing. However up until I indicated that I would be running for Mayor, I had not received any.
Councillor Stam also mentioned that Andrea Reimer has been my guest on numerous occasions and raised questions around the appropriateness of these meetings. This statement was interpreted by many members of the public, as well as by some of our colleagues throughout the region and in Vancouver, as an accusation that there is an inappropriate element to Councillor Reimer and I’s relationship. There is not. Would councillor Stam have implied this if I had been meeting with a man? Councillor Reimer’s credentials as a member of the local government community are beyond reproach and I would like to point out that she is currently attending Harvard University on a paid academic fellowship. Her mind is clearly being valued by those throughout the governance community.
· Councillor Stam mentions, and I quote “a strong and reoccurring pattern of entertaining others who have no direct benefits to provide to the City of Chilliwack”. It is statements like this that I believe fail to recognize the importance of a collaborative approach in local government. In many cases, it is our council colleagues from across Canada who pioneer the best working solutions to issues relating to everything from public engagement, to housing, to public safety, and transportation models. It is often in conversations, over dinner, and at receptions that we have the opportunity to learn about these innovations.
I welcome being held accountable, but accountable to the work that I have been elected to do as well as to the costs that come from doing that work. Accountable to the next generation of Chilliwack residents who expect us to be looking ahead and learning at every opportunity as to how to do that best. In my four years on council, our city will have spent a total budget, between operational and capital, of over $450M dollars, with 126.8M being spent in 2018 alone. In contrast 20 years ago, our entire city budget was only 28M dollars. This is 4.5 times increase in the amount of money that we steward on an annual basis. I take the investing of this substantial amount of money very seriously, and that is why my job is not simply to protect tax dollars. My job is also to invest tax dollars. To invest in infrastructure, to invest in services, and to invest in the needs we will face tomorrow – not only the ones we are facing today.

Professional development is integral to council making informed decisions and ensuring that we are planning ahead appropriately. A lot has changed for local government in recent years: we have a new Federal Government with new Ministers, new senior staff, and a new plan. We have a change in Provincial Government as well, and all those relationships with our City have needed to be rebuilt. We have a housing crisis, an opioid crisis, marijuana legislation coming down to our communities, massive growth in the Lower Mainland overwhelming our transportation networks, the advent of AirBnB, and a multitude of other disrupting technologies and trends. All of the professional development for these topics is happening at the conferences I have been attending, and they are being attended by thousands of other councillors and mayors from cities from across Canada as large as Toronto with a population of over 5M, and as small as Silverton BC with a population of only 195 people. There are relevant takeaways for all of us.

Professional development is a common practice in every major profession, whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, or a teacher. Professional development is not only encouraged and supported – it is mandatory to continue to hold your professional accreditation.

However, conferences are more than just professional development. They are often our communities only opportunity to advocate for Chilliwack’s needs directly to Provincial and Federal Ministers, and their staff. As we build these relationships, we also gain greater insights into the goals and objectives of senior levels of government, which helps us to more strategically apply for support and funding to address our needs. I believe that it is through efforts like this that we can mine the vast knowledge of all of the other elected officials in our country who are working on similar issues as us. We do not need to reinvent the wheel – more often than not, solutions developed in other cities simply need to be adapted and replicated here.

Now to answer Councillor Stam’s Five Questions Directly:

1. – The May 18th and 19th Breakfast meetings were held during the Renewable Cities, Global Learning Forum which hosted 320 participants from 13 Countries. Both of the meetings were held at Yew Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel. The first was with Anna Leidreiter from the World Future Council in Germany who hosted a session at the conference on energy planning in communities. I met with her to discuss district energy options in the City of Chilliwack. And the second meeting was with William Rucklidge from Google out of San Francisco, who hosted a workshop at the conference on Google Solar, Google’s new solar mapping interface. Our meeting was in relation to Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley Regional District’s arial photos and how they might be able to be adapted to allow Google Solar Mapping to be used in our region.

2. – The June 4th meeting in the Byward market was during the Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM and it was with a large group of recently elected FCM Board Members and Committee members. I only paid for part of the bill for Councillor Reimer, Mayor Helps and Mayor Osbourne because they had paid for a meal for me earlier in the conference.

3. – The June 3rd meeting at the Shore Club, also took place during the FCM AGM. MP May is the Federal Green Party Leader, and was a keynote speaker at the conference to over 2000 elected officials earlier in the week. She was not able to meet any earlier than 11 PM that evening so we chose the Shore Club because it is the restaurant in the Lobby of the Westin Hotel and it is open late. We were discussing Federal environmental policy as it relates to BC communities, including Chilliwack. And these policy insights are also relevant to FCM as I am in my second term as a member of the Federal Environment and Sustainability Committee at FCM.

4. – November 22nd Meeting – again I was in Ottawa for FCM work. This week was what we call “Advocacy Days” where we were able to have over 200 meetings with the Prime Minister, His Ministers, Party Leaders, MP’s and Senators on issues relating to local governments and communities. The meeting with FCM Staff, other members of the board, and MP’s was to discuss upcoming meetings that week and strategy for the budget conversations we were going to be having with the Federal Government representatives the following day. We had a few meetings on this topic over the course of the week and we rotated on several nights paying for the bill.

5. – November 24-27th Air BNB rental. This was over the weekend following Advocacy Days for FCM. During our lobby week of the 20-24th of November, the House of Commons is also sitting, so our meetings are worked around the Parliamentary schedule. Two of my meetings from that week needed to be rescheduled so I extended my stay until the afternoon of Monday November 27th to accommodate the proposed morning meetings. Ottawa also hosted the Grey Cup during this weekend so I was not able to find a Hotel anywhere in the City. I instead rented an Air BNB that was a small apartment, with a double bed in the middle of the living room. This accommodation fit within the council stated expense policy and the invoice was sent to our Council secretary. On the Monday I met with Jonathan Barry, Northern and Western Desk, in the Ministry of National Defence, as well as Linda Campbell, Western and Northern Region, in the Ministry of Small Business and Tourism Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The 5 expenses that we just went over total $ 1,456.98, or less than 3% of the total reimbursements that I received over this 4 year term for the work that I have been doing.

I hope that my explanations today have helped to inform the public about what it is I have been doing on their behalf over the last four years. I sincerely apologize to our community that there has been a perception that I am misspending your money. I promise you that I am working as hard as I can on your behalf. I love this city and I am doing everything I can to make it better.”

Last night we began a new campaign initiative: Policy Listening Sessions. The idea for these evenings was rooted in our desire to hear directly from experts in their given fields and to ensure that the policy solutions that we are putting forward are informed by the best information available. We want to craft policy to meet the specific needs of our community. By all accounts, last night was a resounding success!

We put on a pot of coffee at the campaign office and those that we had reached out to began to filter through the door. Our discussion topic last night was Access to Healthcare, and we had a good representation from General Practitioners (GP’s), Emergency Room Doctors, Paramedics, Public Health Officials, Palliative Care Workers, and Surgeons. My role in all of this was to provide a little bit of context as to the role that I believe that the City should be playing on this topic, and then to open the floor up to ideas.

We heard about the growing number of people in Chilliwack who are classified as “unattached” meaning those who do not have a family doctor of their own. We heard about the Provincial initiative GP For Me, and some of the successes and challenges that it faced in accomplishing the goal of attaching all BC residents to a doctor. Ultimately this program ran out of funding, and the percentage of unattached patients in Chilliwack has gone from close to 11% in 2013, to now an estimated 30%, however accurate numbers are not available because funding has not been provided to study this shortfall.

For me this raised the question of what ultimately is the result of someone not having a family doctor? Does this simply mean that many people are healthy and don’t feel the need to find a family doctor? Or is the situation more dire than that? The answer from all voices at the table is that this baseline service, or lack there of, sends ripple effects through all aspects of the medical system. When people don’t have access to a GP, and they feel they need to see a doctor, they tend to go to a walk in clinic, or head directly to the hospital and try to get in to see someone through the emergency room. This has exacerbated the already backlogged emergency room wait times, and put most walk in clinics at full capacity by 11:00 in the morning. What other option is out there for those still needing medical attention? They are phoning 911 and getting BC Ambulance to drive them to the ER. The current situation isn’t looking like it is getting any better, and this is not just a problem for the Provincial Government to solve, it is one that the City needs to take a leadership role in helping to address.

Chilliwack is also facing a critical shortage of nursing staff and anesthesiologists and the primary barrier is how to attract these people to live in our community. This is not a problem that is only facing the medical profession, we are hearing it from many professional sectors that Chilliwack needs to do a better job of branding its self and selling all of the great things that living here has to offer, if we hope to attract outside professionals to locate here. A few months ago I had a conversation with Patti Heinzman, the Mayor of Squamish, at a conference, and she indicated that they had had a similar issue in her community. However today they have very few shortages in any professional sectors, and she attributes this to the positive, and proactive branding, marketing and tourism strategy that aimed to showcase the wonders of the Squamish life. Patti indicated that the goal of the strategy was to attract visitors and to bolster their fledgling tourism economy nearly a decade ago, and what resulted was a success… people came, and more importantly, they stayed. She finished off by saying, that Chilliwack has many of the same outdoor and lifestyle opportunities that Squamish does, and we have the benefit of being a bigger city, we simply need to tell people about it.

The evening held many other great conversations that stretched on for nearly two hours. We are endeavoring to distil down some of the core takeaways and look at opportunities and strategies that Chilliwack could use to help solve some of the issues with access to healthcare in our community.

We are looking forward to Policy Listening Session Episode # 2.

Lessons from a first-time volunteer

Posted on August 27, 2018

Hi! My name is Tannis and I’ve been volunteering for Sam’s campaign for a few weeks now, and I thought I would take the opportunity to share my experience with others who are considering joining the team.

Why am I volunteering?  

It takes more than a great candidate to win an election. Sam may love to chat, but unfortunately even he can’t talk to everyone before October 20th. As volunteers, we are out knocking on doors, attending events, or just hanging out in Sam’s downtown office to make sure every voter knows Sam’s name and what he stands for.

I’m also volunteering because I wanted an inside look in how politics are run in our City. I wanted to get a better understanding of how decisions are made, and how community members can best approach our local government to make a difference.

Do you wish certain things were different in Chilliwack? Do you wish there were smarter development decisions, more cycling options, increased transit, more community events, etc.? In my opinion, elections are the best time to speak up and help steer the City in a new direction… and volunteering is an awesome way to do that.  

What background knowledge is necessary?

The biggest concern I had before volunteering for Sam’s campaign was how much background knowledge I would need on municipal politics. It turns out I had nothing to be worried about.

I’m not here to be an expert on the issues – that’s Sam’s job – but what I can do is make sure every voter has the resources to make an informed decision come voting day.

What skills do you need to bring to the table?

All of our volunteers come from different backgrounds and experience levels. For many of us, this is our first time getting involved in a political campaign and I truly believe that is more a strength than a burden. We are bringing fresh eyes and new perspectives, and we are able to talk to voters about things that are relevant to them.

In terms of specific skills – we’ll take whatever you’ve got! If any of the following apply to you then you’d make a great volunteer:

  •   A positive attitude
  •   A love of chatting
  •   A love of writing
  •   A love of brainstorming
  •   A love for planning, organizing, or helping out at fundraisers and events
  •   A love of playing devil’s advocate to campaign or platform ideas

What’s the time commitment?

This is a choose your own adventure volunteer experience. Most of the volunteers have full-time jobs and volunteer in a way that best works for their schedule. No commitment is too small!

Can I talk to someone about volunteering?

Absolutely. Shoot Sam an email and he’ll get you set up with one of our volunteers. I really could not be happier that I decided to come out and volunteer, and if you’re considering it at all I urge you to reach out and chat with us.

Hope to talk to you soon!

When Opportunity Knocks

Posted on August 7, 2018

In my last blog post, I mentioned a doubling of our efforts to meet Chilliwack voters on their doorstep. I want to talk about this a bit, because our aim is not just to elicit voter support; it’s to listen to voters and, in doing so, to better inform my platform and my approach as Mayor. After the election is not the time to be putting in the legwork, we need a plan now.

Chilliwack needs a proactive approach in building our community, an approach that reflects Chilliwack back to its voters. That’s why I opened my campaign office on Mill Street and that’s why I’ll continue to canvass our neighbourhoods between now and October 20th. By hearing concerns, fielding questions from both supporters and critics, we can ensure the conversation at city hall reflects the concerns of its residents

So if you see me at your doorstep or on the street, please don’t hesitate to speak your mind. Or, if I miss you or you’re unable to make it to my campaign office, please send me an email with any questions or concern you have; I’m listening today, just as I will be as your mayor.  

My campaign office is at 9340-B Mill Street, and current hours of operation are Wednesday, 12 p.m.-4 p.m., and Thursday 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  Please stop by, or email me at

Thank you Chilliwack!

I love this city and the great people who live here.

- Sam