Unanswered questions for the New West Progressives

I’ll start this post off with one of the items in the New West Progressives’ platform:

Connecting our citizens to various city programs and services is vital if we are to build a strong sense of community and public engagement. As a team, we commit to facilitating more submissions and feedback to council via social media channels such as YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Over the past month or so I have asked a number of questions about the New West Progressives’ platform (and some additional random questions) by email, Twitter and Facebook. A group I’m affiliated with, Yes in New West, also emailed a question to the New West Progressives city council candidates and invited them to an all-candidates meeting.

Over that time I have received one response from Bryn Ward for my questions, and instead of answering them directly she sent me a link to a podcast interview she’d done. After I listened to it and asked for clarification, for the Temporary Modular Housing question she answered “I am in favour of the project for women at risk however not the location it is in” (which wasn’t the motion to vote on) and her entrance music would be would be “Man in the Mirror“. Ms. Ward was also the only one to reply by email to the YiNW all-candidates invite, although Ellen Vaillancourt also attended.

For a team that’s committing to building public engagement through social media channels, the New West Progressives aren’t doing a good job of building public engagement through social media channels.

For the record, here are the questions I asked:

  • Speaking of 311, when it was brought in in Vancouver (thanks in part to Daniel Fontaine) they had to raid other departments to pay for its expensive implementation, like park improvements and street safety measures. Which departments would Daniel Fontaine and the New West Progressives cut?

    Child care and seniors services are conspicuously missing from your platform, would you cut those to bring in your expensive 311 service?

  • Hi David [Halkett, President of the New West Progressives], would you be able to find out why the NWP council candidates aren’t answering any questions that they’re being asked on social media or by email?
  • What can the New West Progressives do about whistle cessation that current council isn’t?
  • Why doesn’t Paul McNamara have an email address? Why do questions to his Twitter account and through his website go unanswered?
  • How would Paul McNamara have voted for the final motion on Queensborough’s temporary modular housing?
  • What is Lisa Falbo’s stance on SOGI 1 2 3?
  • What is J.P. Leberg’s stance on SOGI 1 2 3?
  • How would Ellen Vaillancourt have voted on the final motion for Queensborough’s temporary modular housing?
  • How would Daniel Fontaine have voted on the final motion for Queensborough’s temporary modular housing?
  • What are the New West Progressives’ views on New West residents spending too much on housing?
  • What red tape would the New West Progressives candidates target for elimination?
  • How will the Short Term Rental fee work?
  • What are your nomination criteria? Who selects who gets to run? How do they choose?
  • The NWP proposes going to the UBCM to push for provincial legislation changes to allow absentee voting, yet your platform proposes cutting UBCM’s effectiveness in half by only meeting every two years. How do you square this circle?

If any of the New West Progressives council candidates read this, feel free to leave your answers below.

Astute readers will note that I didn’t list a question for Danielle Connelly or Cyrus Sy about SOGI 1 2 3. That’s because they answered the question: they both fully support it, and have suggestions on making parents more informed. My utmost thanks to both of them for being responsive to questions!

Why Am I Seeing This Ad? An analysis of New West election ads on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook, you see ads. They slip into your feed with a little “sponsored” note underneath the ad author. Given it’s election season in New Westminster, if you’ve identified yourself as having anything to do with New Westminster you’ll get political ads for the various mayoral, city council, and school trustee candidates.

For every ad that’s on Facebook you can find out why you’re being shown the ad. Click on the three dots at the top right, then select “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?” and you’ll see the demographics that are being targeted with that specific ad.

I’ve done this for the New West political ads I’ve been shown, and here’s what I’ve seen:

Jonathan X. Cote

A couple of weeks ago I saw some of Jonathan Cote’s ads targeting people living in New Westminster who are older than 25. Unfortunately I neglected to get a screenshot. Since then it appears that he’s broadened his target demographic to people who are older than 18 who live in British Columbia.

New West Progressives

The New West Progressives are consistently targeting people near their business, and those who are older than 30 and live near New Westminster.

Chinu Das

Chinu Das’ ad campaigns are focused on people who like their page people aged 18 and older who live near New Westminster.

Patrick Johnstone

Patrick Johnstone’s campaigns target people aged 19 and older who live near New Westminster.

Nadine Nakagawa

Nadine Nakagawa’s campaigns focus on people aged 18 and older who live near New Westminster.

Mark Gifford

Mark Gifford’s campaigns focus on people interested in Education and (and I seem to be repeating myself here) people aged 18 and older who live near New Westminster.

Gurveen Dhaliwal

Gurveen Dhaliwal’s ads are being shown to, you guessed it, people aged 18 and older who live near New Westminster.

Caveats and Notes

I’m 42 and I live in New Westminster. I fall in all of the demographics listed, which is kind of obvious or else I wouldn’t be seeing the ads. There may be other more specific targeted campaigns that aren’t listed here (like the New West Progressives might have one targeting people younger than 30).

The voting age in British Columbia municipal elections is 18.