Jaimie McEvoy is running for New Westminster City Council, and he answered my questions!
1. There are two types of people in the world: people who like simple pop-culture “what type of cheese are you” quizzes that they can then share on Facebook, and people who don’t. Sadly, I don’t have a quiz for you but this is close enough: are you an order muppet or a chaos muppet? Which muppet are you?
Jaimie: According to a quiz I took, I am Scooter. Order muppet, I believe.
2. When was the last time you visited City Hall? What changes would you propose to make City Hall more welcoming? When was the last time you attended a City Council meeting? What changes would you propose to make City Council meetings more welcoming? Sorry, I guess that was kind of four questions.
Yesterday. Coffee. Right up front, when you come in, and a place to sit and chat with it.
3. Buy Low Foods recently shut its store in Uptown, leaving a hole in the market for grocery stores. What will you do to ensure that there is proper competition among grocery stores and a Save-On Foods opens in that location, restoring the competitive marketplace that the Competition Bureau foisted upon us in 2014?
I was pretty happy when the Safeway monopoly (and one expensive IGA) was broken. Food prices in New West had been weirdly more expensive for years. I actually campaigned in favour of a Save-On proposal at the foot of 12th Street for that reason when I was, um, President of Brow of the Hill.
Now we have that, we need to get out of that dichotomy, go more diverse, local. Buy Low, like Save On, also a Jim Pattison company, part of a gambit to take over the territory from Safeway. They largely succeeded, and consolidated.
So, I go for the smaller and more independents in place of another major corp. Meat shop on Belmont, Kin’s farm market, the Ukrainian bakery, Denny’s Farm Market (which participates in a local program that gives food vouchers to some of the less incomed), and the often overlooked Uptown Market, which is like a classic small grocery store, behind all those flowers in the front.
4. New Westminster has a number of advisory committees, task forces, and working groups. Upon being elected, which one would you like to chair the most and why? No need to restrict yourself to an existing one either, if you feel strongly that a new one needs to be formed (that you’d obviously chair) feel free to answer that!
Affordable housing, which I deal with as Chair of Community and Social Issues, and as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing. But with more focus on that issue, from renewing our efforts to end homelessness, to more rental, to a greater range of types of housing, lots more townhouses, that’s really where I would like to be working – if I picked one! Hard to choose one for a housing/anti-poverty/environmental/transportation/heritage/community economic development activist!
5. What is your favourite neighbourhood, and why is it Brow of the Hill?
First, and for a very long time, the only neighbourhood I lived in. Friendly, affordable, so convenient with everything from coffee shops to drugs (I mean prescriptions) to groceries. And maple ice cream. There was so much housing choice, so easy to live there. I do have a bias, I was active there in the Residents Association and, incredibly, the first ever renter to be its President. I should say I love all my neighbourhoods equally. (But I do have a favourite, just don’t tell the other kids….).
6. The process leading up to and including the public hearing for the temporary modular housing in Queensborough was… challenging, to say the least. This question is only for the non-incumbent candidates: on the final motion to amend the OCP and rezone the property to allow the temporary modular housing, how would you have voted? Please note that you may describe why you would have voted a particular way, but you must say whether you would have voted in favour of or against the motion on the table.
Note: Jaimie is an incumbent and thus didn’t have to answer this question. He voted in favour of the motion on the table.
7. Who would be on your sasquatch hunting team?
Obviously Troy, once he wins the effort to create the Sasquatch Conservation Area. Patrick because he’s the most competently woodsy one. My Mom, who would always be pointing at things and asking if that was a sasquatch, and then we would all turn around and look. Rob Lowe. You have to see his show, The Lowe Files, to understand. He finds things that no one else can, no matter how hard they try….
8. How do you propose engaging with renters, new immigrants, and youth?
We need to go into apartment buildings, actually go there, and not wait for people to come to us. And places where people already choose to gather, such as the Library, supermarkets, transit stations. 50% of New Westminster youth live within a short walk of the Youth Centre, so the Brow would be a good place to start.
9. With absolutely no apologies to Chris Campbell, what would your entrance music be? Please note that if you dare pick We Built This City by Starship you are hereby banned from ever running for public office ever again.
Concerto for Violin in B Minor, by Bartok. (note: sure hope I got the right video there!) Preferably as played by Viktoria Mullova. Now you know. Maybe since that’s hard to find, and if the love goes cold, Garth Brooks.