All Candidates Meeting Answers - October 4, 2022 at Maywood Community School

I attended an All Candidates Meeting on Tuesday October 4th and had a great time. I met a lot of wonderful Burnaby citizens who share my vision of a Cleaner and Better Burnaby.

There were six questions but I only got to answer two of them due to the structure of the event. Here's what I would have answered to all the questions.

Question #1 - 

The Burnaby Inter Agency is comprised of non-profit community service providers. As a Councillor, how would you support this sector in Burnaby?

ANSWER: It is imperative that the City of Burnaby supports the non-profit sector. They are an important network for all of Burnaby's residents to make connections in order to live their lives.

Burnaby needs to to make sure that these organizations are able to access somewhat affordable facilities. Our central location that is accessible by Skytrain makes us an ideal hub from a strategic standpoint.

If I am elected, I am pledging to donate 5 percent of my Council salary to non-profit organizations that serve Burnaby well.

I will also commit to volunteering when I can, as well as continue with the Clean Up Burnaby activities.

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Question #2

Lack of affordable housing has led to rising numbers of individuals experiencing homelessness. What would you do to address issues of homelessness in Burnaby?

ANSWER: The most important thing that we can do for our homeless friends is to give them a safe and stable place to call home.

We should have at least 10 to 12 City owned unused properties ready to go to build modular housing when provincial and federal funding are provided. These modular facilities also need to have support services on site.

Within the last month, my Clean Up Burnaby Campaign has helped clean up an abandoned homeless camp in the forest as well as cleaned up behind the Gilmore Avenue pump station, which is a regular gathering place for unhoused individuals. I took two extremely chaotic and messy locations, got rid of the garbage and made them calm and clean areas once again.

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Question #3

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a growing digital divide amongst Burnaby citizens. What would you do as a City Councillor to address issues of digital literacy and access to digital technology?

PARAPHRASED ANSWER: When we talk about a digital divide, we are usually talking about seniors, low income individuals and recent immigrants who have settled in Burnaby.

When it comes to getting online, it can be expensive after you've bought a computer, tablet or smart phone then add in a data plan.

When it comes to getting online, our great equalizers are community centres, senior facilities and libraries. We must make sure these facilities are well equipped and has staff that can help out as issues come along.

I commend the current City Council for instituting a program where old computers and laptops were given to be distributed to needy Burnaby residents.

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Question #4

Do you believe that Burnaby residents who are not citizens should be able to vote in municipal elections?

ANSWER: My father is a landed immigrant who came over to Canada in 1974 from England with my mother Anne.

They settled in Prince George and he spent the next 29 years working as an HVAC engineer. He paid taxes and was essentially a Canadian at heart, but wasn't able to vote until recently. The main reason my father got his Canadian Citizenship was he was tired of the hassle involved with crossing the US border.

There are long time residents of Canada who are good citizens and area well informed about municipal politics and we don't allow them to vote. I think it's a giant shame that being a long time resident doesn't validate your opportunity to vote.

I propose that all voters need to take a simple 5 question test and get four of the questions right. An informed and engaged electorate is one that will make informed decisions that will benefit this municipality.

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Question #5

Burnaby Inter-Agency Council members work with health care providers in many ways to improve health outcomes for Burnaby residents. What role do you think that municipal government should play in achieving a healthy community in Burnaby?

ANSWER: The best investments we can make for Burnaby's residents are to invest in safer, cleaner and more accessible parks and playgrounds, and quickly build a robust and efficient network of mobility lanes (AKA bike lanes).

Building more and better parks will get residents out of their indoor abodes to socialize with fellow residents, which is going to be important if we're going to start building a lot of tall buildings that can isolate people. A majority of these parks need to have dog friendly areas so apartment dwellers can take Fido out for a bathroom break and a run around.

A robust network of mobility lanes will get people out of their vehicles and allow them to go where they need to go, which will reduce fossil fuel consumption. However, these mobility lanes should be free of walking and running pedestrian traffic, and those two forms of travel should be segregated.

We also need to keep eScooters and eBikes off sidewalks. It's a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt or injured and we need to act proactively.

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Question #6

Rising housing costs have created serious challenges for individuals and families. What would you do to address housing affordability issues in Burnaby?

PARAPHRASED ANSWER: The big issue that we're dealing with tonight is densification and how we're going to do it in Burnaby over the next 40 or 50 years. We have two options: we build a lot of tall towers near Skytrain routes, or we go a more environmentally friendly route and densify our single family neighbourhoods.

I propose that the City of Burnaby eliminate the single family house zoning, and instead offer the flexibility to build a duplex, multiplex complex, stacked townhouses,  laneway houses with appropriate parking and tiny homes.

Right now, if you wanted to buy a run down house and build a duplex, you would have to go to City Hall to get the property rezoned and it would cost you 30,000 dollars. We need to reduce red tape and overhead costs if we want our neighbourhoods to densify properly and keep costs down.

As well, we need to slow down a little bit on building ridiculously tall towers.

The BCA City Council under Mayor Derek Corrigan sat back and allowed seniors, low income individuals and families get evicted. Eliminating relatively affordable older stock needs to be done properly and with respect to these Burnaby residents.

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This is the official website of Martin Kendell, an independent political candidate running for City Council in Burnaby, BC, Canada.


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2022 Clean Up Burnaby Campaign

In 2022, Martin is continuing the Clean Up Burnaby Campaign and setting a goal of removing 1,000 pounds of garbage and 800 disposable PPE masks from the streets and parks of Burnaby by October 15th, 2022.

On June 8th, Martin picked up his 1,000th pound of garbage, and on June 29th, Martin picked up his 800th face mask. But he will soldier on to make Burnaby a cleaner and better place!

Pounds of garbage



Disposable PPE masks



2022 Clean Up Burnaby
Community Clean Up Extravaganza
Final Update

In 2022, I organized a series of five Clean Up Burnaby Community Clean Up Extravaganza events around Burnaby.

Thanks to the efforts of dozens of enthusiastic volunteers, these Clean Up events removed over 1,500 pounds of garbage from the streets and green spaces of Burnaby!

- Saturday April 16 - Metrotown area - over 400 pounds of garbage picked up!
- Saturday May 14 - Brentwood area - over 400 pounds of garbage picked up!
- Saturday June 11 - Burnaby Heights/Hastings area - over 250 pounds of garbage picked up! 
- Saturday July 2 - Lougheed Town Centre area - over 250 pounds of garbage picked up!
- Saturday August 13 - Royal Oak area - over 300 pounds of garbage picked up! 

Thanks so much to the following organizations for their generous donations:

Home Depot, McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Save-On-Foods, Domino's Pizza, White Spot, Starbucks, The Amazing Brentwood, The City of Lougheed, Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionary, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Let's keep moving forward for a cleaner and better Burnaby!!!

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