Harrison Candidate Q&A – John Allen

Village of Harrison Hot Springs: Allen, John - Mayor Candidate

  • Fri Nov 7th, 2014 10:00am
  • News

John Allen

Q: What one quality makes you most suited for the role of a community leader?

A: Whether starting a new organisation or joining an established one, I have always ended up in leadership roles. Maybe because I provide that stable, central role, a focal point which others can work around. Diplomacy and good manners and an understanding of human nature and group dynamics seems to help a lot.  I also seem to be good at crisis management and people like to know that a cool, capable head is ready to act when needed.  Leadership may come naturally to me, but I have built on that talent with education and training.

Q: Should council be working harder to protect the surrounding forests and parks from industrial development, including logging and run of river power project? Or are these necessary operations?

A: Of course they should. The forests are our backyard and the backdrop to our tourism industry. There are Visual Quality Objectives ( VQOs) in place which are supposed to protect our views but the Village  doesn’t know how to use them. I used them in protecting Echo Island.  So we now have unnecessary clearcuts spoiling the scenery in every direction. But this council has made us look like foolish hypocrites if we try to talk about tree preservation because they have approved the clearcutting of our own park reserves. Just look at the hillside at the end of Lillooet Ave.  .

Q:Would you support the creation of a bylaw that would allow for care homes and assisted living? Why or why not?

A: That is already in our OCP as an objective. The current mayor dismisses the OCP as “ not binding on council and just a bunch of suggestions”. I have always advocated for a seniors residential complex in Harrison. We had set aside the perfectly-located six acres which is now Harrisburg for that purpose but Facio & Co gave that opportunity away for ordinary housing.  During that rezoning he actually said   “Anything Mr Kingma wants to do in Harrison is fine by me”.  I enjoy our senior citizens and am saddened when they have to leave Harrison because we have failed to provide senior housing for them. I had afternoon tea today with a 99 year old lady who would love to return to Harrison. We should make an effort to house our seniors, not ship them off to Chilliwack or Agassiz.

Q: Can Harrison really survive on tourism alone?

A:   Yes, but only if we, the small local businesses, are allowed to run tourism marketing again. We, the small businesses and residents who care, have been elbowed aside by people who do not know or understand Harrison’s market. Tourism Harrison costs a lot of money and does not help us at all. Generating huge crowds of day trippers does little good, economically , but it looks impressive in the statistics. It’s overnight stays which pay the bills but this council has set out to destroy our core commercial area with intrusions of condos. The war on tourism continues . Council killed of our hugely successful World Championships of Sandsculpture. Then they ruined  the windsurfing with a ridiculous breakwater and  ticked visitors off with a 30kmh speed trap on the highway. As for diversity, I have a plan for some very light industrial and commercial space, like Whistler’s Function Junction, to attract some small, clean artisanal manufacturers.