Jaimie McEvoy answered my questions

Jaimie McEvoy is running for New Westminster Council, and he answered my questions!

Given the amount of press Vancouver’s Stanley Park received when it had a bunch of coyotes roaming around it, do you support introducing more coyotes into New Westminster’s parks, potentially entering a Tourism / Parks partnership for tourist-coyote meet-and-greet programs?

I’ve participated in the coyote education program at Stanley Park, and I do think that would be good to bring to New West.  Regarding introducing more coyotes, they seem to be quite prolific in that regard themselves, and don’t need my help.

Improving connections between Queensborough and mainland New Westminster is important. Will you commit to exploring new options such as draining the Fraser, installing catapults (free branding advice: name them “Qatapults”, you’re welcome), or advocating for a gondola like stupid Burnaby is getting?

Given that the Fraser Users Group would only be happy if our Queensborough connection was far up in the sky, I think a heliport is in order on both sides.  We could have a mini-copter for the small stuff, like getting your groceries or a cup of coffee to Queensborough.

Speaking of stupid Burnaby, one of the darkest chapters in New Westminster’s history was when south Burnaby claimed independence and separated from New Westminster. As a result, New West lost nearly half of its land area and tax base. To what lengths are you willing to go to in order to take our land back and bring New Westminster back to its former glory?

South Burnaby didn’t actually  separate from New Westminster.  There is often confusion between two historical areas, same-named but not the same:  New Westminster City and New Westminster District.  Kind of like the two North Vancouvers, but New Westminster was under provincial authority and never had an elected government.  But it was New Westminster’s finest land speculators, who, I believe in 1890, created Burnaby, to avoid having the city of New Westminster grow and begin property tax in that area.  In regard to your question, the Local Government Act and Community Charter do allow for parts of existing municipalities to claim independance, like White Rock separated from Surrey long ago.  It also allows for areas like neighbourhoods to initiate referenda to switch which municipality they belong to, so….  I believe a sufficiently mischievous crew with enough energy could, in fact, initiate a successful campaign to take any one of our suburbs.  It would only take a small number of us to move to Brownsville or Annacis Island.  Resistance would be futile.

By the way, New Westminster district never disappeared, it still exists, but only  as one of the districts of the Land Title Authority.

What is your favourite bubble tea shop and flavour?

I can’t drink bubble tea, I’m diabetic.  I used to drink it, and I like mango, rose, and jasmin in that order.

Do you support hosting a local version of Burning Man in New West, culminating in the burning of a derelict building?


I support the city getting a fire boat of its own or in conjuction with other muncipalities, and initiating a sprinkler program in older buildings.

What is your favourite neighbourhood and why is it (still) Brow of the Hill?

I lived in the Brow for most of the time in New West.  It had affordable rent (compared to other places), a great multicultural vibe, and shopping I could walk to.  My current neighbourhood of Ginger Drive is kind of like Brow of the Hill East.  Queens Park is surrounded.

With New Westminster’s hills, and winters having longer cold spells, what is your position on improving transportation options between Downtown and Uptown by installing rope towlines on 6th, 8th, and 10th Streets between Carnarvon and 4th Ave during the winter months?

In one of the Nordic countries, they have a simple lift, you just put your boots in it, and it takes you up the hill.  As it is, I’m still trying to get TransLink to put snow tires on the 106.

When will you bring metal to the Anvil Centre theatre?

I’m all in favor of metal at the Anvil Centre.  I once sprained my neck head banging and had to go to the doctor (I then had hair down to my waist.  Now it barely can cover my head).  The Anvil Centre would be a great place for something metal.

Thank you Jaimie!

And don’t forget to go out and vote!

Jaimie McEvoy answered my questions!

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.