The last in our series, here are the answers to our questions from Independent Conservative candidate for the Vancouver West-End riding, Ron Herbert.
Why do you want to be the MLA for Vancouver-West End?
I’ve been interested in politics since getting involved with the debate club in high school. I’m also passionate about defending issues of fundamental justice, such as human rights and democracy. As part of the LGBT community, the West End of Vancouver is near and dear to my heart and I believe I could serve the community well as its representative in Victoria.
What is the #1 issue facing British Columbians and how will you and your party work to address it?
Fiscal accountability — Given the uncertain global economic climate, British Columbians need a government that won’t spend more than it has or borrow more than it can afford to service. As an independent conservative candidate, my “back to basics” approach is shared by John Cummins and the BC Conservatives. I would support their aim of making balanced budgets a given that shouldn’t need to be legislated.
What is the #1 issue facing residents of Vancouver-West End and how will you and your party work to address it?
Housing — The West End of Vancouver is one of the densest urban areas in North America, and the limitations of geography mean space is at a premium on what is a narrow peninsula. We must minimize the regulatory burden that pushes real estate prices up artificially due to constraints on developers that limit supply. Easing red tape will maximize affordability for the greatest number of people more than either rent controls or social housing, both of which also result in inflated land values in the long run.
What is the #1 issue facing the LGBTQ community in British Columbia and how will you and your party work to address it?
Personal Safety — Although the West End is one of the statistically safest parts of Metro Vancouver, when gay bashings occur they tend to happen in the West End. In recent years, issues of safety and policing have become a concern during the fireworks every summer. More efficient use of police resources, such as a single metropolitan police force, is definitely something we should consider and is one of the recommendations that came out of the missing women inquiry. Safety is also a paramount concern for LGBT individuals in rural/northern BC, and the establishment of a provincial police force would provide a better level of service in isolated communities reliant on the RCMP.
What will be your first priority should you be elected?
Fiscal Transparency — With fiscal accountability being our number one public priority, it behooves us as MLAs to put this into practice by demanding the highest standards of transparency and integrity with respect to the public treasury. With the exception of the premier, few British Columbians believe the last budget was “balanced” by any stretch of the imagination. If elected, I would push for reforms that would increase transparency and adherence to standard accounting principles.
Who is your personal hero and why?
Margaret Thatcher — I have always admired the impeccable integrity and conviction of a woman of humble beginnings who overcame barriers of class and gender to become one of the greatest leaders in the history of the western world. The recent death of Lady Thatcher shortly before the dropping of the election writ was influential in my decision to run for office, as she has always been an inspiration to me.
What one word would describe you as a person?
For more information on Ron Herbert visit http://ronherbert.org.